Ever wonder how much the Green Mountain Library Consortium has saved member libraries? In the 2009 membership year, and the grand total we saved is $2,440,354. Wow!

It breaks down like this:

If every Listen Up! Vermont member library purchased the equivalent amount of content (disregarding the administrative fees to OverDrive), the cost for the state would have been $2,091,679. Instead, as a group, we invested $30,635. This project is by far the clearest example of how working together can bring a service to Vermonters that would otherwise be impossible to provide due to the expense.

If every Recorded Books One Click member library purchased an individual account, the cost would be $230,256. Our member libraries instead purchased a group contract for $26,500.

If every vokal member library contracted with our support contractor, ByWater Solutions, to run their own Koha install, the cost, with data migration, would equal $158,800. Instead, our member libraries invested $15,501 to develop and support the beginnings of a consortium catalog.

With our latest project, the Mango Language learning database, if every participating library purchased an individual subscription, the cost would be $33,600. We negotiated a group rate for half that.

Finally, as you well know, the GMLC is entirely run by volunteers, who do all of the administrative work, including negotiating with vendors, billing and invoicing, materials selection, remote access for libraries, technical support, and more. These volunteers donated approximately 675 hours of their time to the organization in 2009, at no cost to the member libraries. If these 675 hours were paid at $20 an hour, that is $13,500.

The next time you take a look at your bill, or the participation cost for a new project, remember this post and the power of group purchasing. Would you be able to fit in the adminstrative time into your schedule to make the project happen? Would you have the technical expertise? Would you be able to afford to do the project on your own? All of our libraries participating in our two downloadable audio book projects are receiving both services for less than the cost of adding only the less expensive on their own. That’s savings!

Thank you, once again, to all of our volunteers that make the GMLC so successful.