NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Malcolm Getz

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Working Papers

May 1979Technical Systems and Innovations in Public Libraries
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Published: Getz, Malcom. "Technical Systems and Innovations in Public Libraries." Public Libraries: An Economic View, Chapter 5, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, (1980), pp. 104-141.

The extent of use of twenty innovations in the operation of public libraries is examined in 31 large public library systems across the country. The innovations include the use of computers in ordering, cataloging, and circulating materials. The pattern of diffusion of the innovations across the systems is explored using contingency tables and discriminant analysis. All the large library systems seem to participate in early adoption of some innovations; none seem to be pace-setters for all innovations. The extent of diffusion of some innovations may be reduced by the development of successive innovations that replace them. Only some of the innovations seem to be climax technologies that are likely to persist for longer periods of time.
March 1979Comparing Public Library Systems
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Published: Getz, Malcom. "Comparing Public Library Systems." Public Libraries: An Economic View, Chapter 2, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, (1980), pp . 28-55.

The operations of 31 large public library systems across the country are compared using information from the author' s interview survey. Operations are compared in physical terms: hours of service, materials, locations, and staffing. Differences in operations are found to be associated with differences in labor costs, local fiscal circumstances, and demographics. The libraries seem to reduce hours in the face of higher labor costs. Differences in the use of the libraries are found to be associated with differences in library services and demographics. The number of materials acquired per capita has a strong impact on library use.
Public Libraries and Labor Markets
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Published: Getz, Malcom. "Public Libraries and Labor Markets." Public Libraries: An Economic View, Chapter 3, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univeristy Press, (1980),pp. 56-71.

Differences in labor compensation across 31 large public library systems are examined based on the author's interview survey. Salaries for recruit clerical workers, recruit librarians, and librarians with five years' experience are compared along with hours of work per week and fringe benefits. Cost of living differences in metropolitan areas and collective bargaining are found to be strongly associated with differences in labor compensation. The collective bargaining differential for experienced librarians seems to be about13.5 percent.
February 1979The Efficient Level Of Public Library Services
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Published: Getz, Malcom. "The Efficient Level of Public Library Services." Public Libraries: An Economic View, Chapter 4, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, (1980), pp. 72-103.

Criteria for determining the efficient mix of branches, hours, stock, and new acquisitions are developed and applied to the branch operations of the New York Public Library. A method based on traveling costs is used to value library use at each branch. The relationship between library operations and library use is estimated using a two-stage technique. The costs of library operations are explored. Marginal benefit-cost ratios are presented. The study finds that the New York Public Library operates too many branches for too few hours of service.

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