Re: Just a thought . . . Sarah D. Tusa 08 Oct 2009 18:23 UTC

Server costs have already been considered in the discussion.  The publishers don't call each of the users.  The only increase in phone calls has nothing to do with the number of users.  The number of mailings only has to do with the number of institutional and/or individual subscribers, and I don't see what the FTE has to do with the number of mailings.
Okay, I wasn't specific enough in what I meant by "production cost."  Okay, so server cost is separate from production cost, but we have already included server cost in this discussion.

A customer is a library or an individual subscriber, if you are talking about mailings and phone calls.  I don't see them calling individual students or faculty members.  Yes, all that is part of the cost, but it always has been part of the cost, and it didn't have anything to do with the size of the student population of a given campus.

Anyhow, I'll have to call this argument a draw.  I'm short-handed and because of all the inflated pricing practices, I probably need to find a few more subscriptions to cancel.

The exchange was eye-opening, but not in the way one might think.  (Oh, and we don't charge our students according to the size of our materials budget.)

Sarah Tusa, Associate Professor
Coordinator of Collection Development & Acquisitions
Mary & John Gray Library, Lamar University
PO Box 10021
Beaumont, TX  77710-0021

Ph:   409/880-8125
Fax: 409/880-8225

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum [] On Behalf Of Rick Anderson
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 3:48 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Just a thought . . .

> I respectfully disagree.  I don¹t see how it costs any more to give access to
> a campus of 25,000 than it does to a campus of 1,000 students.   What does the
> number of students have to do with production cost?

If the only costs that had to be recovered were production costs, you'd be
exactly right.  But in fact, providing an ongoing service involves ongoing
costs, including server maintenance (you need more, bigger, and more robust
servers to accommodate more customers), customer service support (you get
more complaints and more problems with more customers), and back-office
staff and infrastructure (more invoices, more mailings, more phone calls,

To say that the only costs publishers should recover are production costs is
like saying all the library needs is a materials budget.  Buying the books
is only the beginning of the expense of providing ongoing access to a
library collection.  Same goes for providing ongoing access to an online

Rick Anderson
Assoc. Dir. for Scholarly Resources & Collections
Marriott Library
Univ. of Utah
(801) 721-1687