Cost, value and effectiveness of librray and information service

2015-11-12T10:17:06Z (GMT) by Thomas A. Whitehall
Several things conspired to encourage me to attempt this thesis: • My job as a library manager during an economic recession forced me to take an interest in the costing and valuation of library services. I attended courses, seminars and workshops on the subject; but although I learned a great deal I found that could not progress beyond a certain point. The work done in the area seemed a confused jumble of theoretical ideas from librarians and information scientists, contributions from economists which seemed to illuminate parts of the area, and the occasional intrusion of very down to earth but apparently effective ideas from practising librarians. I needed a bird's eye view of evaluation to understand it. • The realisation that the business of cost, value and effectiveness is becoming a theoretical sub-discipline of library and information studies, and will be treated as such by educators and practitioners unless it can be seen as part of the very practical business of resource management. • A point made by Oldman (1976) about there being two approaches to the management of library resources: listening to the users and trying to fulfil their needs, and investing the resources available in a responsible manner. What is needed is an amalgam of the two approaches, she maintains. • A question from a student: "How can the library user influence the effectiveness of library services?"