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What's the best way to assess costs for digital libraries?

Last year, Joyce Chapman, Assessment Coordinator for Duke Universities, developed a beta version of a Library Digitization Cost Calculator to assist organizations in estimating the costs for digitizing collections. We would be grateful for suggestions for improvement and especially data from your institution's experiences with digitization, so that Joyce can incorporate it into the cost estimation tool.

There are many potential areas for measuring costs:

  • Hardware and software
  • Technical support
  • Overhead
  • Content arrangement and description
  • Content preparation
  • Metadata creation
  • Digitization, which can vary by:
    • type and fragility of content
    • type of capture mechanism
    • expertise of staff
    • amount of quality control measures implemented
  • Upload processes
  • Web services support and development
  • Cross-departmental communications
  • Outreach

To say nothing of the costs of preservation!

If you are interested in helping us develop best practices and guidelines for assessing costs of digital libraries, please join our Digital Library Assessment Google Group and speak up!  :-)

Joyce is now heading up a small task force that we hope will have progress to share at the next DLF Forum!