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Variety Is The Spice Of Life: Differing Models of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries Tim Bucknall, UNCG
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Variety Is The Spice Of Life: Differing Models of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries Tim Bucknall, UNCG

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Variety is the Spice of Life: Differing Models of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries …

Variety is the Spice of Life: Differing Models of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries
Tim Bucknall, UNCG

Variety is the Spice of Life: Differing Models of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Libraries

Tim Bucknall, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

In this session I will discuss and explore three very different successful entrepeneurial initiatives launched at UNCG. Journal Finder was the first link resolver to go into production in the U.S. and is currently used by 40 libraries in 6 states. It was recently sold to WT Cox, a serials subscription agency. The Carolina Consortium is a buying club of 130 libraries that save approximately $150 million per year through joint purchasing arrangements. NC DOCKS is a locally developed institutional repository shared among 5 universities. These collaborations are very, very different from one another, yet all are cost-effective and fiscally sustainable. This session will compare and contrast differing models of entrepeneurship within a library, as well as the mechanisms used for assessing their financial viability. Download the presentation.

Tim Bucknall is the Assistant Dean, University Libraries at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and the Founder and Convener of the Carolina Consortia

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  • 1. Differing Models of Collaborative Entrepreneurship at the UNCG Libraries
  • 2. Different, but the same  Should make fiscal sense.  Should align with our mission and goals.  Has to be good for primary clientele – the students and faculty of UNCG.  As a state-supported school, we would like initiatives to provide benefits state-wide.  As a public academic library, we would like initiatives to provide benefits to other libraries.
  • 3. Journal Finder- The Accidental Entrepreneurial Model
  • 4. Creating Journal Finder  At the time of its creation and early development, there was no entrepreneurial intent  The product was so good, that lots of libraries wanted it.  We decided to become a service provider for other libraries.  “It isn’t right to charge”
  • 5. Money Questions  Should we charge at all? Or should it be Open Source?  What is our overall fiscal strategy? Are we going to use this as a cash cow? Or are we viewing this as a community service?  How should we structure the fees? FTE? Number of titles?  What services should we provide?  Should we go national or stay local?  Should we try to sell it to a company?
  • 6. The Balance Sheet “Why in the world would you run a service that just breaks even? You should pay someone else to do it.” Changing numbers - The equation during development - The early stage of the service - The mature stage of the service - The sale
  • 7. Indirect Benefits  Saved an estimated $150,000 that UNCG would have had to pay for a link resolver (based on a Serials Solutions quote for comparable functionality)  Estimated cost avoidance for NC schools of $525,000 (all that money would have gone out of state)  Estimated UNC System savings of over $240,000  There is also a certain amount of value to  The ability of UNCG faculty and students to use to a resolver two or three years before most other schools  UNCG’s name and logo displayed for years at 42 schools with 200,000+ students  Raising profile of UNCG nationally through presentations, consulting, articles, etc
  • 8. Was it worth it? We were able to  be the first in the country provide our students and faculty with a research tool available nowhere else  offer a cut-rate, high quality service to historically underfunded schools  offer a cutting-edge research tool to UNCG patrons and come out over $400,000 ahead over 5 years, while other institutions are coming out about $200,000 behind to offer a comparable product over the same 5 year period
  • 9. Journal Finder – Accidental Entrepreneurship 1. Makes fiscal sense 2. Aligns with library mission and goals ROI (Money) – High ROI (Usage) – High
  • 10. The Carolina Consortium – The Sam’s Club Entrepreneurial Model
  • 11. Background  Major cancellations at UNCG lead us to implement wide-scale PPV  PPV was more cost effective than subscriptions, but use was clustered in a few publishers  It was cheaper to join Big Deals for Wiley, Blackwell, and Springer but we weren’t eligible to join any consortiums with access to those deals  Other schools had expressed interest, so we decided to see if we could achieve critical mass to form a group
  • 12. The Carolina Consortium  Founded in 2005 with 39 academic libraries participating in up to 3 deals, with a total cost avoidance of about $70 million  NC and SC partnership  No committees, officers, or staff  A Virtual Consortium
  • 13. Measuring the value of the group  Usage  Number of available titles  Cost per use  Cost per title  Cost avoidance  Economic impact  Actual savings  ROI
  • 14. Small – Meredith College  Enrollment of 2400  In 2004, had 3 Wiley and 11 Springer subscriptions with a list price of approximately $9950  By participating in the Carolina Consortium Wiley and Springer deals, they gained access to an additional 1447 journals  Meredith was able to increase its Wiley and Springer holdings 1000% and was only required to pay about 2% more
  • 15. Medium – UNCG  In 2004, we paid $65,886.32 for PPV articles. After the Big Deals, that expenditure was reduced by 75%, generating a $48,000 savings.  Dropped $10,000/yr Springer Solinet deal  Benefited from inflation caps  Significant actual savings (around $65,000/year), not just cost avoidance  Paying less, and getting more
  • 16. Large – Clemson and USC  Gained many new titles  Joined the Carolina Consortium so that they could share their titles state-wide
  • 17. Carolina Consortium - Trends 600 534 500 400 Offers 300 270 Schools Deals 200 117 100 83 72 39 38 16 3 0 2005
  • 18. The Carolina Consortium today  130 colleges, universities, and community colleges  72 offers generate 879 deals  Annual aggregate cost avoidance of $230 million
  • 19. Carolina Consortium– Sam’s Club Entrepreneurship 1. Makes fiscal sense 2. Aligns with library mission and goals ROI (Money) – High ROI (Usage) – High
  • 20. NC DOCKS – The “Risk Management” Entrepreneurial Model
  • 21. A Shared Need  Multiple UNC-system schools were highly interested in establishing IR’s  One was poised to pay a commercial vendor over $20,000 one-time, plus $10,000/yr for an IR product
  • 22. A Shared Solution  UNCG offered to build and host an IR for UNCG, UNCP, ECU, ASU, and UNCW for $3500/yr per school  Schools would commit to 3 years  The group would collectively decide on features and needs  Initial design is fairly low-cost, with the option of adding features if usage warrants
  • 23. The Money  For approximately the same cost that one school was about to pay an out-of-state company, we are able to provide a highly customized IR for 5 schools  All payments are a balance transfer within the UNC system, so all funds stay within UNC’s coffers  It seems unlikely that any school could host and run their own IR (even an Open Source product) for as little as they are paying us  The amount of staff time that UNCG is committing to building and hosting NC DOCKS is more or less equal to our income from the project, so it is cost neutral
  • 24. Was it worth it?  In terms of usage, it is too early to say  Definitely cheaper for the five of us to share costs than for us each to support a separate IR
  • 25. NC DOCKS – “Risk Management” Entrepreneurship 1. Makes fiscal sense 2. Aligns with library mission and goals ROI (Money) – OK ROI (Usage) – too early to say
  • 26. Conclusion Embrace entrepreneurship. It can be an effective vehicle for promoting and extending library values, collections, and services. http://journalfinder.wtcox.com http://library.uncg.edu/carolinaconsortium http://libres.uncg.edu/ir