The latest assignment for my ILS565-Library Management class was a cost finding exercise. The assignment was to pick one aspect or service that a library provides and determine its actual cost – including both direct costs and indirect costs. I decided to determine the cost of accessing a document via a library’s electronic course reserve management system. The direct costs were fairly straightforward to figure out. I determined the steps involved in putting materials on reserve, the amount of time that each step took and then figured out the cost of labor hours for this. I then calculated the cost for other direct costs including the server, the software, maintenance fees, system’s support, etc. The indirect costs were for more difficult to determine. The professor reminded us to include building costs (heat, hvac, cost of building, etc) and administrative overhead (cost of supervision, etc.). This was where much of the stress came into play. Also, every-time I thought I had determined all of the indirect costs, another one came to mind. However, I prepared early for this assignment, and finished most of it yesterday (This fact was really important because today is my birthday – and I don’t think anyone should have to do homework on their birthday).
Overall, this was a really fascinating assignment. Regardless of how I did, I learned quite a bit. I was really shocked that the major percentage of the cost is from the cost of labor – I think it was about 54% of the total. But even more important, I had fun doing this assignment – which I think was something that I really needed this semester. Learning can be fun, and I was beginning to forget that. I’m actually looking forward to the last couple of weeks of the semester. Yeah!!!!!