As a means to help along any potential grant writing or funding efforts in the future, on this page I’m going to compile an itemized list of estimated start-up and operating expenses for The Biblioblog Reference Library, if it were to be “done right.”
Currently, the entire project is a volunteer effort with no budget, no paid staff and an out-of-pocket operating cost of ~$150/year (domain registration + hosting costs).
(Update Aug 14: To clarify something pertaining to a concern that was voiced the Library is not in any danger of disappearing anytime soon if this budget isn’t met as I am having no trouble absorbing its *current* costs. This budget outlines what is necessary to turn this volunteer effort into a formal one.)
All amounts are in USD.
Equipment & Startup Costs:
- ~$1,300 to ~$2,500 – Server
- $1,300 minimum: Mac Mini (2.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x2GB, 2X500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm, OS X Lion Server, AppleCare Protection Plan)
- $2,500 ideal: Mac Mini (2.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM, 2x256GB Solid State Drive [RAID1], OS X Lion Server, AppleCare Protection Plan)
- ~$15 – Domain Registration (Godaddy)
- ~$120 – Data Connection (FiOS 25/25 Mbit/sec, Static IP)
- ~$2,000 to ~$4,000 – Staff
- ~$2,000 minimum – Part Time Librarian ($25/hr, 20 hrs/wk)
- ~$4,000 ideal – Full Time Librarian ($25/hr, 40 hrs/wk)
- ~$25 – Utilities (Electricity)
- First Year: ~$26,780/min, $51,980/ideal
- Subsequent Years: ~$25,980/min, ~$49,480/ideal
Non-Essential Wish List:
- ~$15/month – Steve’s Coffee Fund
Many of these expenses assume independence, but may easily be rolled into existing resources if taken on by an institution (such as Internet connection, utilities and hardware… coffee fund…).
Some things that I have contemplated as a means to subsidize the project include:
- Obtaining a grant (which would require either working with a qualifying institution, or incorporating a non-profit organization).
- Starting a “Friends of the Library” program with added benefits for dues-paying amici.
- Advertising (which is not an option in the Library’s current state as I feel it would not be ethical to put advertisements on other peoples’ content without explicit consent).
- A web store (which would include authors’ books and Biblioblog memes printed on merchandise; this is not a very large potential revenue stream).
- Starting a related publishing house where vetted bibliobloggers may physically and digitally (via Kindle, iBooks, etc.) publish their work (which would also have the added benefit of having a vast pool of potential peer and book reviewers).
The responsibilities of the Librarian would include (as this is pretty much what I’m already doing):
- Maintaining and developing the website as a whole.
- Maintaining and developing the Archivist system.
- Monitoring the Archivist system in real time to ensure that it is operating correctly.
- Managing the blogs list (acquisitions, removals, cataloging, editorial decisions).
- Monitoring the blog feeds.
- Keeping a familiarity with the archived collection as a whole (as an actual Reference Librarian).
- Maintaining a list of topical indexes about various Biblioblogging issues.
- Maintaining all of the Portals.
- Maintaining a list of Featured Articles of exemplary content (which will eventually be a separate Portal to itself).
- This could eventually entail starting a peer-reviewed Biblioblogging journal or a popular magazine as a means to encourage, share and reward quality contributions.
- Keeping all Library correspondence and inquiries (via mail, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in order and up to date.
- Promoting the blogs to increase traffic, discussion, and involvement from interested individuals and the public as a whole.
- This would eventually entail setting up booths and sessions at meetings such as SBL and other venues.
- Develop new programs and metrics to follow trends in Biblioblogging.
- Act as a liaison to the Press about current Biblioblogging issues.
- This would eventually entail organizing a battery of expert bloggers who are willing to contribute to press releases as well as talk directly to the Press.
- Keep a record of new developments within the Library (i.e. the blog you’re reading now).
- Maintain Press contacts.
So… now the question is, who thinks this project is worth it? 🙂