Questions & Answers About the Library Fee

What is the return on investment for students paying a library fee?

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A library fee has a high return on investment because when each student pays a little bit, the library can provide A LOT of resources and services to everyone. Library hours, services, articles, or books funded by fee revenue will pay for themselves quickly as students use them.

A full time student paying $36 a semester will see that the fee pays for itself if they: 

1. Request just one article via InterLibrary Loan (ILL).
The Libraries’ average cost for an ILL article is $36.81. This service is at risk for cuts because of budget cuts combined with rapid growth in how much students use the service.

2. Stay past 11 p.m. seven times.
Winstead’s is the closest late night spot with wifi, McDonald's is next closest. You’ll probably spend $5 to study there but if they library has longer hours with a fee, staying late pays for itself after seven visits.

3. Access two articles.
Most of what students find in Canvas or on the Libraries' website is paid for by the Libraries, even if it looks free. Even though the Libraries’ cost for articles is pretty low because of buying in bulk, without the Libraries students would spend between $30 and $60 for a single article.

4. Check out one book or eBook from the library website.
A really cheap academic book is about $35, and they just go up from there. With a library fee the Libraries will be able buy an increased number of books and resources to meet student needs. Plus, the Libraries can buy in bulk, which saves students money.

5. Meet with a librarian for research help.
Personalized consultation services like the ones students get from a librarian run from $50-$150 an hour!

6. Take one class using a library-supported affordable textbook option.
Average savings is over $90 per course! When UMKC instructors use free or low-cost textbook options, the Libraries provide some of the books, and also help faculty switch to affordable or freely available textbook options for their classes.