NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Efficient Level Of Public Library Services

Malcolm Getz

NBER Working Paper No. 321
Issued in February 1979

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0321

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.

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