In this thread, we are going to only look at the costs and benefits of different types of training. We will start with one sample training need, and your professor will bring in one or two more during the week, depending on how quickly the class moves through the material. As a group, let’s compile all of the costs and benefits we can think of for each training event or process. Then, as a team, we’ll come up with a cost-benefit analysis or return on investment proposal for each training event. Assumptions of dollar figures will have to be made.
Training Event 1: You are the library director of a large public law school’s library. Over 300 students use the library on any given week, and you also service local attorneys (who pay a monthly fee of $45 for the right to use the library). The library fee for students is set by the school’s board of directors, and it is $450 per student per year. The school has 900 students (about 350 first-year, 300 second-year, and 250 third-year students). There are 250 local attorneys currently paying library fees, but a market of 8,000 lawyers exist in the area who are potential future customers.
A new service is being rolled out to lawyers and law students called BriefLaw. This service is a brief database of all appellate court cases and briefs that have been used in all appellate courts throughout the country. Access to the database is in pilot form and is only available through select law schools. This is a government service. Only one law school per state will have access to BriefLaw for the first year, and then it will slowly roll out to other schools and eventually onto WestLaw and Lexis (planned for about 3 years from now if things go well.)
Training for librarians on how to use the service will cost about $1,250 per librarian for the class itself. Travel from the university to the training location in Washington D.C. will cost about $2,500 per librarian, including airfare, food, hotels, and other travel costs. Training will last 1 week (5 days) and is only offered once. You are trying to determine all of the costs of the training, as well as the return on investment. The library is supported by the law school but also has to pay for many of its own expenses through income from book fines and student and attorney fees. You estimate that next year’s budget will be about 25% from your income, and you are hoping this new service will entice more attorneys to sign up for the service. You are considering a bifurcated fee where attorneys who want just the library services continue to pay $45 per month but those who want both services will pay $75 per month.
From what you can tell, the training for using BriefLaw has a steep learning curve. It is really complicated to set a proper query to get briefs to pull up on topics. The technology itself has many steps. It is likely you are going to have to devote at least two full-time librarians to training students and attorneys on how to use BriefLaw, as well as helping them with the service.
You have 15 full-time librarians on staff, 22 part-time librarians, and 20 student assistants. Discuss in your first post, or respond to a classmate, about the following.
- The costs of training, both explicit and implicit
- The benefits of training, both explicit and implicit
- The opportunity potential of doing this training
- The opportunity costs of not doing this training