ERIC Number: ED223262
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Public Library Finance.
Mason, Marilyn Gell
This study reviews trends in public library finance; examines recent political, economic, and technological changes; and assesses the impact of these changes on public library services. A history of the public library in America is presented, as well as an analysis of the principles of economics and public finance which reveals that current funding of public libraries is endangered by the reduced fiscal capacity of local governments, and that political conditions limit support at state or federal levels. The emergence of information industries, based on rapidly developing computer and communications technologies, and their impact on public libraries are outlined. A review of the income, expenditures, services, and current status of public libraries suggests that the role of the public library is changing, and that there is a strong connection between the functions a library performs and its funding. Results of shifting patterns of public library support in California and West Virginia are examined and three options for future funding of public libraries are presented: continuation of the status quo, achievement of a balanced intergovernmental funding system, or increased use of fees for service. Recommendations for additional study and a 113-item bibliography on public library finance conclude the report. (Author/ESR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reference Materials - Bibliographies; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: California; Library Funding; Proposition 13 (California 1978); User Fees; West Virginia