Merlin Participation Costs

Start-Up Costs

Costs for joining Merlin are based upon a library's level of participation. They include the start-up costs plus the annual membership fees.  The license portion of the start-up cost is applied to the Merlin Capital Fund. 

Annual Membership Fees

Merlin Contributions

Annual Merlin costs vary depending on a library’s level of participation and cover expenses including telecommunications, record maintenance, hardware and software maintenance, Capital Fund contributions, and NWLS Merlin staff training, troubleshooting, and automation travel costs. Members contribute 90% of the annual Merlin budget. NWLS pays the remaining 10%. Increases to the vendor’s annual maintenance are included in the annual Merlin costs.

Annual Fee Formula

Annual Merlin contributions are based on a four part formula (which excludes NWLS and Phelps School): a $1500 membership fee for each library; a percentage based on collection size; a percentage based on circulation; and a credit or surcharge applied based on net lending or borrowing activity. 

The formula first subtracts from the total Merlin cost all of the membership fees and the NWLS and Phelps School contributions to determine a subtotal.

  • 50% of the subtotal is used to calculate the circulation fee based on a library's % of total circulation.
  • 50% of the subtotal is used to calculate the collection fee based on a library's % of total collection.

Merlin Annual Budget Report  •  2011 •  2012  •  2013  •  2014  •  2015  •  2016