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The objective was to attempt an up-to-date measure of library activities and the costs of library services throughout the EC, building on UNESCO work. However, the pattern of library provision throughout the EC is so diverse that the results of the study provide an insight into rather than an exact measure of these. Statistical data were collected through a questionnaire- based survey, completed by published sources available in the Member States. The methodology included interviews (where necessary) and the checking of UNESCO survey data on magnetic tape. Two types of data, for five consecutive years (1980 to 1985), were collected for each of the six library sectors defined by UNESCO: activity data concerning the physical aspects of the library service, such as the number of books, staff, users, etc.; financial data as measures of the scale of libraries in national economies in adjusted ECU equivalents at constant 1985 prices, such as revenue and capital expenditure as a percentage of government expenditure, distribution of library expenditure, sources of income etc. Activity data were easier to obtain than the financial information and more estimates for missing values were necessary for the latter. The figures should therefore be interpreted more as guidelines to level of activity rather than a precise assessment of expenditure. The study identifies and analyses the major problems encountered in the collection of statistical data on libraries, such as the lack of standard financial forms of account, the diversity of sources/authorities to be accessed which makes for inconsistencies, various difficulties with the interpretation of definitions of library activities, etc. It concludes with suggestions for future action which could contribute to developing a consistent statistical reporting process for the funding of libraries and the evolution of library services. The report has seven appendices: the terms of reference, UNESCO definitions of library sectors, the questionnaire used, the sources, the data derivation, contextual and/or econometric data used, the statistics based on the survey responses with estimates for missing values.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: EUR 11546 EN (1988) FS, PP 149, ECU 12.50, AVAILABILITY: EUROFFICE LUXEMBOURG, BP 1003, GDL
Availability: Can be ordered online
Record Number: 1989126089200 / Last updated on: 1992-11-03
Available languages: en
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