Informace o publikaci

The economic value of library services for children: The case of the Czech public libraries

Název česky Ekonomická hodnota knihovních služeb pro děti - případová studie českých veřejných knihhoven


Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Ekonomicko-správní fakulta

Klíčová slova child readership; public library; value
Popis Public support of library services must be targeted towards children because these services play a key role in their development. However, no prior research has investigated the value of public library services for children. Specifically, earlier studies evaluated the value of public libraries as a whole, without considering library services for different stakeholders. The fact that children are not autonomous economic agents is another problem to address. These barriers can be overcome by using the contingent valuation method with parents/caregivers as the subjects queried and children used as the objects in this study. Thus, the economic value of library services for children can be obtained to support managerial decisions on services specifically designed for children. More precisely, this study is unique in that it develops a contingent valuation methodology for estimating the value of children's library services based on adults' willingness to allocate a proportion of municipal budgets. Both users and non-users were surveyed to verify the proposed methodology empirically. The results show that the perceived effectiveness (ratio between perceived benefits and costs) of children's library services is 11.2 (11.2 units of benefits for each unit invested) in Czech public libraries compared with 4.3 for a library as a whole. This finding confirms the essential role of children's library services, implying that public libraries should offer a broader selection of children's books and other services. The study also shows that the value of children's library services depends on the age, education and economic structure of the adults queried. In addition, their satisfaction with library services is another important determinant, indicating that public libraries can influence the perceived benefits of children's library services.