Costs of and benefits resulting from public library e-government service provision: Findings and future directions from an exploratory study

  • Lauren H. Mandel University of Rhode Island
  • Laura I. Spears The Florida State University
  • Debra Guenther The Florida State University
  • Charles R. McClure The Florida State University
Keywords: e-government, public libraries, library service costing

Abstract

As the public trusts the library to provide access and support to use computers and the Internet, much of the burden of e-government service provision has shifted from government agencies to public libraries. This unfunded mandate contributes to libraries’ financial burdens in a time of radical public library funding cuts.  Public libraries need to be able to identify the precise costs of this service provision, as well as its benefits, in order to justify additional financial or other resources to support these services, especially high-speed broadband connections to facilitate access to and use of e-government services.  This paper present the findings of an exploratory study designed to identify the range of costs Indiana public libraries incur in their provision of e-government services, as well as the benefits of that service provision.  The multi-method research design employed in this study offers one possible approach by which other states might develop a comprehensive perspective, including costs, of their public libraries’ e-government service provision.

Author Biographies

Lauren H. Mandel, University of Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, assistant professor
Laura I. Spears, The Florida State University
The Florida State University, School of Library and Information Studies, doctoral student and Research Coordinator of the Information Use Management and Policy Institute
Debra Guenther, The Florida State University
The Florida State University, School of Library and Information Studies, graduate student and research associate at the Information Use Management and Policy Institute
Charles R. McClure, The Florida State University
The Florida State University, School of Library and Information Studies, Eppes Professor and Director of the Information Use Management and Policy Institute
Published
2013-12-16
How to Cite
Mandel, L. H., Spears, L. I., Guenther, D., & McClure, C. R. (2013). Costs of and benefits resulting from public library e-government service provision: Findings and future directions from an exploratory study. First Monday, 18(12). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v18i12.4805