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Institutional investment on libraries: what is the return of fund-raising? a case study at Spanish National Reserach Council

AuthorsPonsati Obiols, Agnès CSIC
Electronic ressources
Issue Date2-Jul-2010
AbstractThe CSIC (Spanish Research Council) is a multi-sector, multi-disciplinary public research entity attached to the Spanish ministry of Science and Innovation and it is established throughout Spain. It is a scientific institution which collaborates with the state, autonomous and local authorities , with other research institutions (universities, public and private research entities). It is made up of 120 institutes with a specialized library which supports research. These, in turn are organized into the CSIC Library Network made up of 78 specialized libraries distributed over Spain. In coordination they make up one of the largest contributions to the system of scientific information in the country; highly specialized library resources of more than 1,500,000 monographs and more than 45.000 titles corresponding to 76,000 print journal collections as well as an important digital collection of e- journals (13.000), e-books (197.000), multiple databases and other types of documental material such as maps, photographs, manuscripts, archive materials etc. CSIC Library Network started it’s Virtual Library 10 years ago and results had been very positive. But since then users feel libraries, and special “physical ones” as something that is not very useful anymore. Furthermore, in an era of decreasing resources and increasing calls for accountability, academic and research libraries all over the world face the challenge of demonstrating and quantifying their value to their funders and to their stakeholders. Now it’s time to show how productive library investments are. Calculating a Return on Investment (ROI) is one approach to meeting this challenge of demonstrating value. Building on a case study conducted in 2008 for the University of Illinois, this presentation will describe a research project that examines ROI values for academic and research libraries in different countries and will discuss the specific results for the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Spain. In 2009, the methodology established for the first study was expanded and tested in nine academic institutions in nine countries. Universities or research institutes in North America, Western Europe, Australia, and Asia participated in this second phase of this Return on Investment study. Each institution provided data on their grant proposals, grant funding, and library budgets. In addition, administrators were interviewed and faculty members participated in a survey to report the role of the library's e-journal collection on their grant writing activities. These comparative results have not been presented before. The basis of ROI studies is to quantify and demonstrate the library's economic value to the institution. For every Euro spent on the library, the university earns money back in the form of additional grants income or donations, or long term value to the community from an educated work force, more productive faculty and more successful students and graduates. ROI must be articulated within the mission and objectives of the specific institution and any ROI project must be measurable, replicable both in the same institution and in others, and meaningful (and interesting) to funders. This study demonstrates that, although there are differences between institutions and countries, library e-collections have a quantifiable ROI and demonstrable value to their parent institution.
DescriptionPoster presentado en la 39 Conferencia anual de LIBER (Association of European Reserach Libraries). -- 39th Liber Annual Conference "Re-Inventing the Library. The challenges of the new information environment", Aahrhus (Denmark), 30 June/2 July 2010.
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