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Home » post » Does it still cost libraries $4 bucks for every GPO dollar?

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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Does it still cost libraries $4 bucks for every GPO dollar?

One of the ways we FGI volunteers try to keep up with the government information news is through the use of Google Alerts.

Sometimes these “new alerts” dredge up old information that is still of interest.

For example, today’s alert looking for instances of “Free Government Information”, brought out this interesting item from the new ERIC database:

ERIC #: EJ491407
Title: Costing Out a Depository Library: What Free Government Information?
Authors: Dugan, Robert E.; Dodsworth, Ellen M.
Source: Government Information Quarterly, v11 n3 p261-84 1994

Back in 1994, the authors came to this somewhat startling conclusion in their abstract:

In 1993, the Georgetown University library spent over four dollars to support its depository program for every dollar the Government Printing Office spent to distribute the information. Methods used to calculate costs, cost-sharing issues, and suggested action are discussed. Appendixes include a summary of the cost-compilation model and a selective bibliography. (Contains 30 references.) (KRN)

Anyone out know if this is still true? Although printed output of government is down drastically, people still need to discover, describe and provide access to government information resources.

A quick browse of the first two screens of ERIC documents related to Depository Libraries took me back to 2001 without a similar study.

Please let us know about more recent studies in the comments section.

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