26 July 2012

LAC understates benefits

Measuring Our Value was an independent economic impact study commissioned by the British Library to look at the direct and indirect value of the Library to the UK economy. The direct value comes from those who use the BL products and
services directly;  the indirect value from the wider UK population. See the examples in the summary of the BL study at http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/increasingvalue/measuring.pdf

The result: the annual value of the BL was £363M of which £304M was indirect, only £59M was direct value.

The direct value was less than the total public funding of £83M, while the overall benefit to cost ratio was 4.4 to 1.

Library and Archives Canada marginalizes indirect benefit failing to acknowledge the indirect value of their services.

Instead LAC trumpets the number of hits it gets on its website and promotes the year over year increase. The relatively small and decreasing number of visitors to the physical site at 395 Wellington is cited to justify further curtailing onsite service. Yet its the onsite users who contribute, likely disproportionately, to the economic value of LAC services through the larger indirect benefits.

1 comment:

Archivus said...

Interesting and something that LAC should do. The resources at LAC are used extensively for academic and freelance writing and publishing, documentary television, news research,social science research, government-sponsored research and so much more. It is odd that LAC does not trumpet its contribution to our cultural life, not to mention our economic well-being. Authors who draw on LAC sources often pay tribute to individual staff members or the institution as a whole; perhaps LAC should use this goodwill to advantage instead of ignoring it - which seems to be the case.