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Cost Savings/Budget Impact
A service of the Connecticut State Library and your local library

iCONN is authorized and funded by the Connecticut State Legislature at a cost of approximately two million dollars per year. If every library, school and college were to purchase the same databases on their own, the aggregate cost would exceed thirty-five million dollars per year. But what does this really mean at the local level?

This site documents what individual libraries are saying about the impact iCONN is having on their budgets in the form of cost savings, cost avoidance, or the ability to access valuable information resources that would otherwise have been unavailable due to budget limitations.

If you would like to add your comments, please send them to: William.F.Sullivan@ct.gov. Comments may be edited for brevity or clarity. Thank you for your assistance.

From Lynn Fontana, Team Leader, Trumbull High School:

Our students and teachers use ICONN regularly. The school saves more than $7,000 yearly b/c we have this site. For the state to cut now after schools have become dependent, is a horrible injustice. Education is supposed to be very important in this state!

Suzanne M. Risley, Director of Library Services, Mitchell College:

Mitchell is a small private institution, with a student enrollment of approximately 650 FTE. We are tuition driven, and anyone who works under similar circumstances knows the uncertainty of this situation. Our resources are quite limited, yet Mitchell is successfully moving forward to establish itself as a four-year college, having added seven new baccalaureate programs within the last five years. We face the substantial challenge of supporting this exciting new initiative through the delivery of exemplary library services. Our students have the same information needs as undergraduates in larger institutions, and I simply do not know how we would cover all the bases if the Connecticut Digital Library lost its funding. What particularly distinguishes this wonderful service in my own mind is that it truly levels the playing field. Its existence assures equal access to information for institutions both large and small, whether public or private. The Connecticut Digital Library is a standard-bearer for information equity.

From Charles M. Getchell, Jr., University Library Director, Quinnipiac University:

Recently, our professional staff reviewed the roster of Tier II databases provided to us by iCONN. As we prepared our budget request for the 2003--2004 fiscal year, we were aware of the financial difficulties faced by the state government and the difficult tasks that lay ahead for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the State Legislature during their budget process. It remains our hope that the iCONN project will be funded at 100% of the governor's budget (released recently), and that more funds will be appropriated in the coming years so that this invaluable collaborative effort will not only prevail in its present state but grow in the years ahead.

If iConn were to cease to exist, we would need to identify approximately $77,000 to re-subscribe to lost databases. The rich, diverse coverage of the Tier II products--from ProQuest/ABI-Inform (business) to PsycINFO (liberal arts) to LexisNexis Academic Universe (all Quinnipiac schools) is a bedrock of research and information at this institution. We need every product provided though iCONN's Tier II as well as some of specialized products provided through the Gale suite of products, and any shrinking of the state's electronic library would have a most deleterious impact on our library and our community. Forced redeployment of our budget would reduce or terminate other important initiatives and purchases for our collections.

Beyond the immediate financial value for Quinnipiac, we believe that iCONN has had a significant impact on libraries and library users throughout Connecticut. In serving their respective constituencies and striving to improve life long learning, college, university, public, and school libraries have common bonds and goals. We all utilize the iCONN resources--be they Tier I or Tier II--to help further education in the state of Connecticut.

Judy Lhamon, Acting Head of Reference and SCORE Manager, Silas Bronson Library (Waterbury):

Because of our dire budget situation, the library has had to cancel dozens of subscriptions to popular magazines and professional journals. Among those are:

  • Antique Trader Weekly
  • Antiques, The Magazine
  • Baseball Digest
  • Billboard
  • Bon Appetit
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Essence
  • Field and Stream
  • Fine Woodworking
  • Gourmet
  • JAMA
  • Progressive
  • Saturday Evening Post
  • Seventeen
  • Village Voice
  • Vogue

The good news is that articles from many of these magazines, newspapers, and journals are available in Full Text from the Connecticut Digital Library, www.iconn.org. They can be accessed from any computer hooked up to the Internet. Librarians and patrons use iconn.org/CT Digital Library here all of the time. The lack of this resource would be nothing short of a catastrophe to this library. As the Connecticut Digital Library is funded by the State of Connecticut, we urge all users happy with this critical resource to let their state representatives know how important it is to all residents of CT, and especially to patrons of underfunded libraries like SBL, to maintain or even expand resources available on CT Digital Library.

From Michael A. Golrick, City Librarian, Bridgeport Public Library:

The iConn databases are great! We are promoting them to our local appointed and elected officials, and have started a library card campaign in the schools.

We recently calculated that the state offering these databases saves the Bridgeport Public Library over $40,000 PER YEAR! This is equal to more than 10% of our annual materials budget. It is an incredible savings for us which lets us purchase more books and other materials for City residents.

Thanks for all of your efforts.

From Judy Eisenberg, Electronic Services Librarian, West Hartford Public Library:

The iCONN databases have significantly increased the scope and depth of our online collection. They have also saved us a considerable amount of money. Last year, we were planning to subscribe to Gale's Health Resource Center and Wilson's Biography Center but because these titles were provided by iCONN we were able to save over $7500. This savings allowed us to subscribe to additional online databases that were formerly beyond our reach.

The hypertext links between Infotrac Onefile and the Request Serials Catalog are another less obvious iCONN benefit. Using this feature has dramatically increased the scope of our serials collection. Now when customers ask whether our library subscribes to a particular magazine or journal, we not only check our own holdings list but the Request Serials Catalog as well.

We depend upon the iCONN programs. They are an essential addition to our Library's services.

From Karen Bowles (Director, Stratford Library Association):

The savings to the Stratford Library Association this year was $17,100 in subscription fees. We were able to drop our subcriptions to Ebsco, Electric Library, and SIRS, as the resources provided by iCONN compensated/replaced those databases. I think that's WONDERFUL!

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