The macroeconomic efficiency of a public library in a small town near Warsaw has been calculated in the form of benefit/cost ratio. The benefits have been estimated by the method of contingent valuation of the library services and by the revealed preferences expressed by the costs of travel to and from the library as well as the costs of library deposit fees. The macroeconomic costs have been assumed equal to the microeconomic costs, except for labour costs which have been estimated as social opportunity costs of labour and therefore corrected downwards because of the persistent unemployment in town and except for the rentals not actually paid by the library. The BCR ratio turned to be far below zero (depending on assumptions varied between 0.34 and 0.68). However only the direct benefits accruing to the library customers have been included, and the non-use value ignored.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.