Marketing and income generation in Scottish public library services
This thesis investigates the interaction between marketing practice and strategy and resource allocation in Scottish public library services. It focuses, in particular, on the period immediately prior to local government reorganisation in 1996. The historical framework within which public libraries have developed is described. So, too, is the political environment within which the libraries operate. A review of the literature indicates that, although there are examples of good practice with regard to libraries undertaking market research to ascertain the needs of their users, and potential users, many authorities could make improvements in this area. Similarly, the literature suggests that more could be achieved in other ways to ensure that libraries are more efficient, effective and responsive to user needs, and that some of the more systematic and aggressive approaches to fund-raising that are evident in the U.S.A. could be employed to advantage in Scotland. The results of a survey that was undertaken in 1996 support the view that Scottish public libraries could make better use of marketing techniques with a view to targeting the funds they have available and generating additional income. Existing, published, research has drawn attention to the significance of population size with regard to the efficiency of Scottish public libraries. Statistics published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) indicate the relevance of the size of local authorities in terms of the amount of income and expenditure per person. This thesis shows that population size is also a significant factor with regard to the use of marketing techniques and the range of ways in which library services generate income.