Gianni Geroldi

Accesso ai servizi e gestione delle biblioteche: problemi di politica di welfare

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In the debate over operation of a public service like libraries, two opposing theses have often clashed with each other. The first, which is based principally on positive social externalities and argues that it is difficult to deliver an optimal service, favors a public organization - but not necessarily at the operating level - and essentially free access to the service. The second is more inspired by free-market beliefs, which are critical of State intervention in the economy and the inherent inefficiency of government activities, and tends to assimilate library services with a normal good that can be traded on the market at prices that spur the participation of private operators. This article partially addresses these problems on the basis of a paradigm derived from welfare state economics, which assumes an articulated vision of the aims and operating characteristics of the services to define intermediate rate solutions that might boost usage of library services and, on the other hand, support them financially.


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