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Estimating the economic value of library benefits

John Sumsion (John Sumsion was a Research Consultant, in the Department of Information Studies, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.)
Margaret Hawkins (Margaret Hawkins is a Research Associate in the Department of Information Studies, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.)
Anne Morris (Anne Morris is Project Director, in the Department of Information Studies, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 1 April 2003

Abstract

The theory underlying the economic value of library benefits is outlined, and research (mainly in Australia and New Zealand) is reviewed. A UK research project examined four methods of assessing benefits in economic terms with particular attention to a consensus “market value” model. In developing the “market value” model one key variable is the relationship of book reads to book prices. A prototype value added schedule gives estimates of value for different library services to compare estimated total benefits with total costs. For UK public libraries, calculations show that the economic value of library benefits exceeds costs incurred, with social and intangible benefits in addition. New performance indicators are suggested by the research. It is shown how the methodology can be extended from public libraries to a parliamentary library and also to the economic and social costs of crime.

Keywords

Citation

Sumsion, J., Hawkins, M. and Morris, A. (2003), "Estimating the economic value of library benefits", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 13-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/14678040310471211

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited