Card Catalog Fact Sheet

From December 1986


  • 25 public card catalogs are currently being maintained

  • 807,000 cards were produced on RLIN in FY86
    (this represents 673 feet of cards)

  • each card costs $.039
    (total card costs for FY86 = $31,473)

  • 15,519 cards are received, on average, each week
    (this represents 12 ft. 10 in. of cards that need to be sorted and filed)

  • Van Pelt

  • the Van Pelt public catalog consists of over 8,000,000 cards

  • 306,200 cards were produced for the public catalog in FY86
    (this represents 255 ft. of cards)

  • to house the cards the equivalent of 204 catalog drawers (full) were needed
    (this translates into 2.26 of our 90 drawer cabinets)
    [a 90 drawer card catalog unit costs approximately $3,000]

  • 81 hours of staff time was scheduled each week for filing alone
    (this represents 2.3 FTE)

  • compensation costs for those staff members who filed was $95,332

  • $.35 is the estimated per card cost for filing and sorting the card shipments in Van Pelt

  • HOW WE ARRIVED AT THAT:	 cards:  $11,942
                            people:  $95,332
                                    $107,274 / 306,200 = $.35

    NOTE: If the per card costs hold true throughout the system the total card related costs for filing into all card catalogs (without any consideration of cabinet and physical space needs) for FY86 was $282,450.

    (807,000 cards x $.35)

    Card Catalog Maintenance

    In addition to the costs of producing and filing cards, shown on the previous page, there are significant additional costs associated with maintaining the cards that are already in the catalog. These costs are much more difficult to quantify because the tasks involved can range from fixing a typo to establishing a new form of entry.

    Here are some direct costs incurred for maintenance that can be quantified:

    	Catalog Editing Office
    	Staff Compensation . . . . . . . $87,000
    	RLIN Catalog Maintenance CPU . . $39,000

    The staff costs reflected above are only for Van Pelt. Staff in all the other units that have Card Catalogs are involved to some degree in maintaining them.

    Last update: Wednesday, 02-Apr-2003 08:53:17 EST
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