Economics of Libraries

Nestor L. Osorio (Northern Illinois University)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Article publication date: 1 June 2004




Osorio, N.L. (2004), "Economics of Libraries", Collection Building, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 102-103.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This collection is edited by two experienced authors in library and information science: Lewis G. Liu is Associate Professor and Business Information Specialist at the City University of New York at Baruch College and editor of The Role and Impact of the Internet on Library and Information Services (2001). He has also published numerous articles in library journals. The late Bryce Allen is the author of Information Tasks (1996), awarded by the American Society for Information Science and Technology for the Best Information Science Book of the year in 1996. He is also the author of more than 35 articles in professional journals.

This issue of Library Trends contains a dozen articles written by experts in information management. The papers are divided into four sections: Academic Libraries, Public Libraries, Library Cooperation, and Financial Management. The section on academic libraries covers about two‐thirds of the collection. Some of the topics included in this section are: a study of the economic behavior of academic and research libraries and how they contribute to the university they serve; an examination of the economies of scale in academic and research libraries; the application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to determine efficiency levels in ARL libraries; the utilization of Activity‐Based Costing (ABC) in an Australian academic library; and two articles dealing with the cost, usage and assessment related to materials in paper and digital format.

There are two articles about public libraries. The first compares per capita library funding with public opinion of the self‐reported use of public libraries; the second presents a cost‐benefit analysis method applied to five large public library systems. In the next section, an article about game theory and decision‐making processes in library cooperation is presented. The last paper discusses financial management from a macroeconomic perspective and, based on Maurice Line's (1986) set of criteria for library and information service management, draws objectives for the financial management of them.

This collection presents some innovative theories and models that can be utilized by library managers and information specialists. It is recommended for academic libraries and for large public libraries.

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