Estimating the Value of a Depository Collection

Elizabeth Psyck


In the fall of 2018, I was asked to calculate the value of Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) general collection (defined as everything except Special Collections and University Archives) as part of risk mitigation planning and updating insurance coverage. Records indicated that our collection’s value was last calculated 11 years earlier, and we lacked both written documentation and institutional memory regarding the process used to calculate that value. While there is a fairly significant body of knowledge around calculating the value of monographs, I struggled to find guidance on calculating the monetary value FDLP collections. There is a robust body of scholarship on promoting the intrinsic value of being a member of the FDLP to library administration and other stakeholders, but very few of them focus on detailed financial benefits of tangible collections.

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