NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Comparing Public Library Systems

Malcolm Getz

NBER Working Paper No. 323
Issued in March 1979

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0323

Published: Getz, Malcom. "Comparing Public Library Systems." Public Libraries: An Economic View, Chapter 2, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, (1980), pp . 28-55.

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