(Paul Benes, Robert Sine, 2002)
At the request of The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (FED) Research Department, we have completed a study to understand the cost of their support services. In this study we outlined the methodology on how to capture data and a formulation on how to analyze the information. The methodology obtained for the Research Library serves as phase one with further possible expansion into other areas of the Research Department. With intangible values associated with research, it is difficult to obtain value figures and hence justification for some Research Department allocations. Through our development of a methodology and the formulation for analyzing the data, the information collected can be easily transferred into a report form. Since the library consists of two major components, users and staff, the methodology must first obtain data for each. By using a cost benefit analysis approach, where the benefit is associated with the costs of not having the Research Library, we determined a method to assign values to intangibles. Through the testing of the model, we found that having no library may at times cost less than it costs to have a library. However, there are certain disadvantages to not having a library such as the lack of immediate access to certain documents, working papers, or having Fed material in print. We then suggested estimating a skeleton library with one staff person to support these services that cannot be provided by other libraries. In this case, we found that the benefit of having the library outweighs the overall costs of having a skeleton library. Values derived from this methodology can then be transferred to determine calculations for budget recommendations. The survey developed for this study can be modified in the future to obtain any extra data needed and better understand the user characteristics of the library system. We also used a task tracker program to track the characteristics of the staff. Observing and following the methodology and formulation developed in this model can develop reporting information for yearly budget requests within the organization.