Five years ago the LLMC Board adopted a pricing policy linking future subscription increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Several factors underlay that policy decision. For a start, it was predictable that all of LLMC’s expenses would increase as general price levels for labor, goods and services rose.
As important, in addition to covering normal inflation, LLMC also incurs a special type of expense stemming from its very success. We can all take pride in the fact that our total scanned content has now climbed to over 75,000 volumes. However, each of those volumes will require perpetual maintenance and preservation costs. That permanent maintenance responsibility grows steadily as each month’s worth of additional productivity adds to our online holdings. Therefore, if we are to maintain the same level of quality services, we have to track those increased costs in our subscription schedule. While recognizing this reality, our Board was also anxious to avoid the lurches in subscription rates that occur when inflation is ignored for several years, requiring occasional outsize increases in order to catch up. So the Board decided that a consistent and publicized policy that people could plan for would work best for all.
Therefore, since there has been measurable inflation since mid-2012 (CPI rise of ca. 2.1%), the LLMC Board decided at its recent July meeting that it made sense to continue our prudent policy of incremental adjustments by countering most of that inflation through a 2% increase in the billings going out on the first of January, 2014, and for subscription periods beginning anytime in 20141


1It is noteworthy that, although subscription rates are inching up, and will continue to do so in the future, the cost-per-volume bargain enjoyed by LLMC’s customers keeps gliding steadily downward. Even with the new rates, the “rental” cost in 2014 for LLMC’s product by law school libraries, our highest-paying subscribers, will be lower than $0.10 per volume per year.