Challenges to the efficiency of libraries: the case of the Slovak public libraries

Economic Annals-ХХI: Volume 179, Issue 9-10, Pages: 126-137

Citation information:
Šebová, M., & Maličká, L. (2019). Challenges to the efficiency of libraries: the case of the Slovak public libraries. Economic Annals-XXI, 179(9-10), 126-137. doi: https://doi.org/10.21003/ea.V179-11


Miriam Šebová
PhD (Economics),
Associate Professor,
Department of Regional Science and Management,
Faculty of Economics,
Technical University of Košice
32 B. Nemcovej Str., Košice, 04001, Slovak Republic
miriam.sebova@tuke.sk
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5157-5299

Lenka Maličká
PhD (Finance),
Associate Professor,
Department of Finance, Faculty of Economics,
Technical University of Košice
32 B. Nemcovej Str., Košice, 04001, Slovak Republic
lenka.malicka@tuke.sk
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5706-5695

Challenges to the efficiency of libraries: the case of the Slovak public libraries

Abstract. The current economic situation puts cultural sector performance under pressure in most European countries. On the one side, the demand for the quality of public services is rising, while on the other side, the budgets, especially for culture, are shrinking. This trend has been followed by introducing performance-based management into cultural institutions. In this regard, libraries may be considered as the best cultural institutions for introducing the techniques of benchmarking the performance of the organisation. They provide statistics about their visitors and loans of the books which can be reliable sources for measurement of their output and input indicators.

The objective of the paper was to identify key indicators suitable for analysing efficiency based on available cultural statistics in Slovakia (which ended up with 2017 at the time of research) using the non-parametric frontier method of data envelopment analysis (DEA). In the research, three models are estimated. The first model is an over-parametrized model involving all available variables. In the second one, loan efficiency is examined. The third model focuses on financing efficiency. The findings show that the efficiency of libraries differs significantly in the three examined models. Percentage of efficient public libraries in the specialized models two and three is lower than in case of the first model (5.57% and 9.11% vs. 12.92%). It clearly points to the fields of the Slovak public libraries’ management which need improvement, namely: low circulation, low number of users in connection with high current expenditure and large floor space. As this research is the first complex analysis of the efficiency of all Slovak libraries, the findings can be helpful in practice for improving their performance management.

Keywords: Public Library; Efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA); Performance Management; Slovak Libraries; Cultural Management

JEL Classification: Z1; Z11

Acknowledgements and Funding: This paper is supported by the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and Slovak Academy of Sciences, grant number VEGA 1/0806/18.

Contribution: The authors contributed equally to this work.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21003/ea.V179-11

References

  1. Aabø, S. (2005). The role and value of public libraries in the age of digital technologies. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 37(4), 205-211.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000605057855
  2. Allen, J. (2019). Mapping differences in access to public libraries by travel mode and time of day. Library and Information Science Research, 41(1), 11-18.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2019.02.001
  3. Banker, R. D., Charnes, A., & Cooper, W. W. (1984). Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis. Management Science, 30(9), 1078-1092.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.30.9.1078
  4. Basso, A., & Funari, S. A. (2004). Quantitative Approach to Evaluate the Relative Efficiency of Museums. Journal of Cultural Economics, 28, 195-216.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JCEC.0000037997.23746.f2
  5. Charnes, A., Cooper, W. W., & Rhodes, E. L. (1978). Measuring the Efficiency of Decision Making Units. European Journal of Operational Research, 2(6), 429-444.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/0377-2217(78)90138-8
  6. Cooper, W. W., Seiford, L. M., & Tone, K. (2007). Data Envelopment Analysis: A Comprehensive Text with Models, Applications References and DEA-Solver Software (2nd edition). New York: Springer.
  7. Cooper, W. W., Seiford, L. M., & Zhu, J. (2011). Handbook on data envelopment analysis. New. York: Springer.
  8. De Caravalho, F. A., Jorgé, M. J., Jorge, M. F., Russo, M., & de Sá, N. O. (2012). Library performance management in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: applying DEA to a sample of university libraries in 2006-2007. Library Management, 33(4-5), 297-306.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/01435121211242335
  9. De Witte, K., & Geys, B. (2011). Evaluating efficient public good provision: theory and evidence from a generalised conditional efficiency model for publiclibraries. Journal of Urban Economics, 69(3), 319-327.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jue.2010.12.002
  10. Donelly, F. P. (2015). Regional variations in average distance to public libraries in the United States. Library & Information Science Research, 37(4), 280-289.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2015.11.008
  11. E-obce.sk Slovensko (2019). List of Municipalities in Slovakia (database).
    Retrieved from https://www.e-obce.sk/zoznam_vsetkych_obci.html (in Slovak)
  12. Eurobarometer TNS Opinion & Social (2013). Special Eurobarometer 399: Cultural access and participation. Brusels: European Commission.
    Retrieved from https://data.europa.eu/euodp/data/dataset/S1115_79_2_399
  13. Guajardo, S. A. (2018). Special District Libraries and Operating Costs: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) with Discretionary and Non-Discretionary Inputs. Journal of Library Administration, 58(3), 241-263.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01930826.2018.1436758
  14. Guo, Y., Chan, Ch. H., & Yip, P. S. F. (2017). Spatial variation in accessibility of libraries in Hong Kong. Library and Information Science Research, 39(4), 319-329.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2017.11.007
  15. Hammond, Ch. J. (2002). Efficiency in the provision of public services: a data envelopment analysis of UK public library systems. Applied Economics, 34(5), 649-657.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00036840110053252
  16. Herrera, L. (2016). The Paradox and the Promise: Perspectives on the Future of Public Libraries. Public Library Quarterly, 35(4), 267-275.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01616846.2016.1244990
  17. Jaeger, P. T., Gorham, U., Bertot, J. C., & Sarin, L. C. (2014). Public Libraries, Public Policies and Political Processes: Serving and Transforming Communities in Times of Economic and Political Constraint (Kindle Edition). Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Plymouth, UK: Rowman and Littlefield.
  18. Kerslake, E., & Kinnell, M. (1998). Public libraries, public interest and the information society: theoretical issues in the social impact of public libraries. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 30(3), 159-167.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/096100069803000302
  19. Li, P. F., & Yang, Z. (2014). Performance Evaluation of the Public Libraries in USA Using Data Envelopment Analysis. International Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 4(2), 10-19.
    Retrieved from https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Performance-Evaluation-of-the-Public-Libraries-in-Li-Yang/620db951f93b22c6e2a4519c43c5ff788f69f306
  20. Linhartová, V., & Stejskal, J. (2017). Public Libraries’ Services and their Economic Evaluation. Scientific Papers of the University of Pardubice: Series D, 14(3), 90-101.
    Retrieved from https://dk.upce.cz/handle/10195/69596
  21. McClure, C. R., & Jaeger, P. T. (2009). Public Libraries and Internet Service Roles: Measuring and Maximizing Internet Services. Chicago: American Library Association.
  22. Miidla, P., & Kikas, K. (2009). The efficiency of Estonian central public libraries. Performance Measurement and Metrics, 10(1), 49-58.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/14678040910949684
  23. Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic (2018). Summary Statistics about Libraries for 2017. Bratislava: Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.
    Retrieved from http://www.culture.gov.sk/vdoc/424/vysledky-kult-2017-324.html (in Slovak)
  24. Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic (2019). Revision of Expenditure on Culture. Bratislava: Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, Institute of Cultural Policy.
    Retrieved from http://www.culture.gov.sk/ministerstvo/institut-kulturnej-politiky-/revizia-vydavkov-33c.html
  25. Musgrave, R. (1959). The Theory of Public Finance, A Study in Public Economy. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  26. OECD (2016). PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education. Paris: OECD.
    Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/education/pisa-2015-results-volume-i-9789264266490-en.htm
  27. Papcunová, V., & Hudakova, J. (2018). Public libraries as a part of local culture in the conditions of Slovak Republic. In: «Region In The Development Of Society». Proceedings Of The International Scientific Conference 18th-19th October 2018, Brno, Czech Republic. Brno: Mendel University in Brno.
    Retrieved from http://www.icabr.com/respo/respo_2018.pdf
  28. Reichman, G. (2004). Measuring university library efficiency using data envelopment analysis. Libri, 54(2), 136-146.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/libr.2004.136
  29. Reichman, G., & Sommersguter-Reichman, M. (2009). Efficiency measures and productivity indexes in the context of university library benchmarking. Applied Economics, 42(3), 311-323.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00036840701604511
  30. Shahwan, T. M., & Kaba, A. (2013). Efficiency analysis of GCC academic libraries: An application of data envelopment analysis. Performance Measurement and Metrics, 14(3), 197-210.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/pmm-07-2013-0023
  31. Sharma, K. R., Leung, P., & Zane, L. (1999). Performance Measurement of Hawaii State Public Libraries: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 28(2), 190-198.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1068280500008182
  32. Shim, W. (2003). Applying DEA technique to library evaluation in academic research libraries. Library Trends, 51(3), 312-332.
    Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2142/8480
  33. Simon, J., Simon, C., & Arias, A. (2011). Changes in productivity of Spanish university libraries. Omega, 39(5), 578-588,
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omega.2010.12.003
  34. Stejskal, J., Hájek, P., & Řehák, T. (2019). The economic value of library services for children: The case of the Czech public libraries. Library & Information Science Research, 41(3), 1-7.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2019.100963
  35. Stejskal, J., Mikušová Meričková, B., & Řehák, T. (2016). The Efficiency of Services Provided by Public Libraries: A Case Study of the Czech Republic. ITlib – Informačné technológie a knižnice, 56(3), 50-56.
    Retrieved from http://itlib.cvtisr.sk/buxus/docs/50_efektivita%20sluzeb.pdf (in Slovak)
  36. Stiglitz, J. E. (1986). Economics of the Public Sector. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
  37. Stroobants, J., & Bouckaert, G. (2014). Benchmarking local public libraries using non-parametric frontier methods: A case study of Flanders. Library & Information Science Research, 36(3-4), 211-224.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2014.06.002
  38. Tavares, R. S., Drumond, G. M., Angulo Meza, L., & Méxas, M. P. (2018). Efficiency assessment in university libraries. Transinformaçăo, 30(1), 65-79.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1590/2318-08892018000100006
  39. TIMSS & PIRLS (2017). What Makes a Good Reader: International Findings from PIRLS 2016. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center.
    Retrieved from https://timssandpirls.bc.edu/pirls2016/international-results/wp-content/uploads/structure/PIRLS/P16-International-Findings-from-PIRLS-2016.pdf
  40. Vaňková, I., & Vrabková, I. (2017). The Technical Efficiency of Public Libraries in the Czech Republic. Central European Review of Economic Issues, 20(4), 119-132.
    Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10084/125621
  41. Vitaliano, D. F. (1998). Assessing Public Library Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 69(1), 107-122.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8292.00075
  42. Vrabková, I. (2018). Models of static and dynamic technical efficiency of municipal libraries in the Czech Republic. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 68, 100646.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2018.09.001
  43. Vrabková, I., & Friedrich, V. (2017). Gaps in performance: benchmarking of the Czech and Slovak city libraries. Library Management, 38(4-5), 263-275.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/LM-11-2016-0085
  44. Vrabková, I., & Friedrich, V. (2019). The productivity of main services of city libraries: Using the example from the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Library & Information Science Research, 41(3), 1-11.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2019.100962
  45. Worthington, A. (1999). Performance Indicators and Efficiency Measurement in Public Libraries. Australian Economic Review, 32(1), 31-42.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8462.00091