Cost Analysis of an Automated and Manual Cataloging and Book Processing System

Joselyn Druschel


A comparative cost analysis of an automated network system (WLN) and a local manual system of cataloging and book processing at Washington State University Libraries indicates that the automated system is about 20 percent less costly than the manual system. A per-unit cost approach was used in calculating the monthly cost of each system based on the average number of items processed per month under the automated system. The process and the results of the analysis are presented in a series of charts which detail the tasks, items processed, unit and total monthly costs of both the manual and automated systems. The higher costs of the manual system were essentially staff costs.

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