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Alternatives
Financing

the
Public
Library

A Study
Prepared for the

National Commission on Libraries and Information Science

MAY 1974

This work was developed under contract OEC0-73-7092 with the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. However, the content does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of that agency and no official endorse

ment of these materials should be inferred.

Submitted

by Government Studies Systems, Inc.

3401 Market Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Prefatory Note

The objective of this study is to define and provide justification for feasible alternative options which hold promise of providing adequate financial support for public library services.

The research plan implemented in the study was designed to examine and evaluate relevant data, information and developmental patterns within the public library, public finance and governmental administration fields. The focus of these efforts was to provide insight and judgment on the general questions: (1) what are the problems in the present pattern of public library financing, and (2) what changes and alternative methods can be proposed to provide a more adequate funding system?

The research focussed on the following areas, all of which are of strategic importance to funding issues: 1. Role of the public library; characteristics and potential of public

library services for meeting present and future societal needs; 2. Responsibilities, structure, organization, legal basis for public

library development and financing at Federal, state and local

levels; 3. General assessment of the existing pattern and nature of public

library services in relation to the funding systems; 4. Public goods theory applied to public library financing as a frame

of reference for developing and examining alternative funding

systems; 5. Differential needs for public library services and differential ca

pacity of states and local governments to support such services; 6. Comparison and relationships of public library funding systems

with other relevant systems of governmental financing, particu

larly public education finance; 7. Patterns and trends in state and local government fiscal affairs

and taxation problems; and 8. Impact of revenue sharing including any concomitant changes in

the Federal role and intergovernmental fiscal policies. At strategic points in the study process Government Studies & Systems (GSS) organized and conducted three day-long seminar sessions to review, analyze and evaluate the research design, findings and conclusions of research components, and the formulation of alternative

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