What is the true value of a public library?

McMenemy, D. (2007) What is the true value of a public library? Library Review, 56(4), pp. 273-277. (doi: 10.1108/00242530710743471)

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Abstract

Purpose: To examine the different discourses put forward on how the value of a public library can be measured and question their efficacy. Design/methodology/approach: Discusses some of the methodologies used to evaluate public libraries and offers a viewpoint on the desirability of valuing public libraries from an economic standpoint. Findings: The paper argues that focussing on the economic value of an institution like the public library runs the risk of demeaning its social and intellectual foundations. Additionally that obsession with issue statistics leads to an incorrect focus for libraries about their potential impact on their community. Practical implications: The paper should be of interest to anyone researching the topic of public libraries and how they are perceived, as it offers a viewpoint on how libraries should be valued by society. Originality/value: The paper offers an alternative viewpoint regarding the effectiveness of some of the mainstream evaluation methods used to justify the value of public libraries.

Item Type:Articles (Editorial)
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMenemy, Dr David
Authors: McMenemy, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
Journal Name:Library Review
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN:0024-2535
ISSN (Online):1758-793X

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