Monday, September 13, 2010

The Cost of Place

Last weekend I was at the Library History Seminar, where I presented a paper on the importance of the library as place. Place, if it includes keeping library materials on shelves for easy access, is costly.

Paul Courant recently spoke at OCLC about economic perspectives on academic libraries. Near the end of his talk, he gave estimates for the annual costs of keeping books: on a shelf, $4.26; in high-density storage, $86; in a digital repository, $.15.