Manacling a Comprehensive Cost-per-Use Project in a Large Academic Library
This article reports the findings of a study to evaluate title-level cost per use (CPU) for most recurring resources at The University of Alabama Libraries. The study relied on cost and usage data from FY2016. The purpose of the project was to identify titles for cancellation and to establish CPU for most titles ordered individually and those within packages for use in future contract negotiations. The analysis began with a list of all recurring titles having a cost of $1,000 or more. The review involved 1,035 titles with an initial objective to highlight all titles with a CPU of $200 or more. Titles exceeding this CPU threshold received additional review, with several identified for cancellation. This article presents the findings and provides an overview of the process used to collect CPU on a large scale. The article outlines some of the challenges faced by libraries when trying to align data that are stored in various silos and the limitations for various platforms and software used when collecting CPU data. The findings from this study formed the basis for a LibGuide developed and used to raise awareness of the need for cancellations. The data also assisted with future contract negotiations.