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Preservation Manager’s Guide to Cost Analysis
Elise Calvi, Yvonne Carignan, Liz Dube, and Whitney Pape
Item Number: 978-0-8389-8365-2
Publisher: ALCTS
Price: $47.00
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68 pages
8.25" x 11"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-8365-2
Year Published: 2006
Why does a preservation manager need to know how to conduct a cost analysis? Those responsible for preservation activities, whether project-based or ongoing, often find themselves devoting considerable energy to the "how"-as they prepare budget requests for new activities, evaluate and report on existing operations, and work to improve efficiency and quality in production processes. In order to determine the most appropriate methods for accomplishing a particular task, one needs to understand the work in detail, be able to break it down into its component parts, and enumerate and quantify the resources required. For this reason, those responsible for managing preservation need to know how to analyze work processes and their associated costs.

An understanding of cost analysis methods, coupled with a clear understanding of the activity under study, will position the preservation manager to conduct cost analyses in support of a range of management objectives, including:

  • developing work plans, production schedules, and budgets for new programs or projects (including those for external funding proposals),
  • comparing different methods of accomplishing work (such as in-house vs. outsourced),
  • improving productivity,
  • reducing costs, and
  • identifying the cost impact of improving quality.

Table of Contents



1. The Role of Cost Analysis in Preservation

2. A Methodology for Cost Analysis

3. Identifying and Calculating Costs
Direct versus Indirect Costs

3.1 Supply and Equipment Costs
Supply Costs
Equipment Costs

3.2. Service Costs

3.3 Labor Costs
Activity Time
Labor Rate

3.4. Indirect Costs
How to Calculate Indirect Costs

4. Practical Applications
4.1. New Program Planning: Deacidification
4.2. In-House vs. Outsourced Activity: Phase Boxes

5. Review of the Literature on Cost Analysis

6. Selected Annotated Bibliography
Preservation Literature
Library Literature
Technical Services Literature
Business Literature

About the Author
Elise Calvi is head of Preservation in the University of Delaware Library where she manages both the preservation and digitization programs. Calvi conducted education and outreach programs while working at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia, including organizing a three-day conference on architectural records in 2000. She also edited the conference proceedings, Architectural Records: Preserving and Managing the Documentation of Our Built Environment. She has also worked in preservation in the University of Maryland and Harvard University Libraries. In addition to her academic library experience, she has also worked in museums and archives. In 1993 she co-authored “Guidelines for Use of MARC Field 533 Subfield m in Bibliographic Records for Preservation Microform Masters,” which was adopted as a CONSER standard. Calvi is a member of the Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) of ALCTS, and is currently a member of the Book and Paper Committee. She also serves on the University of Delaware’s Preservation Studies doctoral degree program committee.

Yvonne Carignan is head of preservation for the University of Maryland Libraries and active in leadership roles for the American Library Association’s Association for Library Collections and Technical Services and the Preservation and Reformatting Section. Her recent scholarly activities include speaking at the University of Iowa Changing Book Conference and co-editing Who Wants Yesterday's Papers: Essays on the Research Value of Printed Materials in the Digital Age. Carignan’s service to the professional community includes the workshop, “Through Fire and Flood: Disaster Planning and Preparedness,” presented for organizations such as the Mid Atlantic Regional Archives Conference and Potomac Technical Processing Librarians. Carignan can be reached at

Liz Dube is Conservator for the University of Notre Dame Libraries, where she manages the special and general collections conservation programs, and also served as Head of Preservation for several years. She received her conservation training and MLIS from the University of Texas' Preservation and Conservation Studies for Libraries and Archives program, and has also worked at the Universities of Connecticut, Texas, and Iowa. Dube is a member of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and the Preservation and Reformatting Section of ALA, where she currently serves on the Executive Committee. In 1998 she authored "The Copying Pencil: Composition, History, and Conservation Implications," which appeared in AIC's Book and Paper Group Annual. In 2004 she wrote a successful NEH grant proposal to preserve over 5,000 at-risk volumes from Notre Dame's unique Catholic collections.

Whitney Pape is the NEH Preservation Librarian at Brown University, managing the preservation programs for general and special collections, as well as the NEH Preservation Endowment to preserve humanities collections at Brown. She received her MLIS and Endorsement of Specialization in Preservation Administration from the Preservation and Conservation Studies Program of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas at Austin, and previously served as the Special Collections and Preservation Librarian at Oberlin College Library. She has co-chaired the Preservation Administration and the Preservation and Reformatting Section Discussion Groups and Chaired the Books and Paper: Methods, Materials, Standards Committee for the Preservation and Reformatting Section of ALA. Her article "Funding for Library Preservation: Endowments as Income Streams," co-authored with Eric C. Shoaf, was published in Advances in Librarianship in 2004. She is currently teaching the course "Introduction to the Preservation of Library Materials" for the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Library and Information Studies.


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