restricted access Virtual Reference, Real Money: Modeling Costs in Virtual Reference Services

Libraries nationwide are in yet another phase of belt tightening. Without an understanding of the economic factors that influence library operations, however, controlling costs and performing cost-benefit analyses on services is difficult. This paper describes a project to develop a cost model for collaborative virtual reference services. This cost model is a systematic description of all expenses incurred by a library in providing virtual reference service as part of a collaborative.