Along with most public institutions, public libraries are under attack for being socially unresponsive and economically unworthy of public funds. Looks at how urban libraries can defend their case by considering three main points: selecting appropriate methodology; building a framework for benefit‐cost analysis; and assessing necessary research. Concludes that continued research is very important as library resources are always changing. Proposes a pilot project to estimate direct and external benefits from public investment in library resources in one sector of library operations.
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