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Measuring the value of the British Library

Measuring the value of the British Library

Oxford Economics has published a report evaluating the economic value of the British Library.  The researchers used a benefit cost analysis (or BCA) to determine the economic value of the Library to the UK and globally.

The British Library houses 150 million items, including treasures such as Da Vinci’s Notebook, and is visited by 1.5 million people every year.  The Library is a centre of learning and research and provides document supply services, events and exhibitions as well as a full range of educational services.  The report analyses each aspect of the Library’s services and products, including its web services.

Key findings

  • Value to UK society – a benefit cost ratio (BCR) of 4.9 = a value of £4.9 for every £1 spent (up from 4.4 in 2003)
  • The Library generates a net economic value of £419m to UK society
  • Value to global society – a BCR of 5.1
  • Valuation of the Library’s Reading Rooms = £70 million per annum, including over £20 million for the Business & IP Centre (BIPC).
  • The Library’s web services are valued at £19.5 million per annum.
  • Assessment of the value the Library contributes to the Higher Education sector thorough operation of the UK Research Reserve (£5.4 million per annum).

The full pdf report can be downloaded here.

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British Library Announces UK Web Archive

The British Library recently announced the launch of the UK Web Archive, which will store and make accessible every site in the .uk top-level domain. The project will deploy an impressive array of text-mining and analysis software - Avi Rappoport reveals the details in Information Today’s Newsbreaks.