Date of Original Version



Book Chapter

Abstract or Table of Contents

This paper uses case studies and two web-based digital reference cost calculators to illustrate the choices and challenges involved in measuring the cost of offering a digital reference service. The models are interactive and reusable for any number of cost formulations. Case studies provide practical scenarios designed to show the strengths and limitations of the cost models. Exercises are included to clarify concepts and challenge students to think critically about service issues. This paper ends with an appendix of selected references to important research on measuring reference service benefits and effectiveness.


The version that appeared in the actual publication was heavily edited without consulting the authors. Readers may wish to compare the two versions before citing this work. This version fully represents the authors' findings and analysis.