In recent years, Korean public libraries, placed under changing circumstances, require that some new and positive financial policies be formulated for the improvement of their services. T he purpose of this study is to propose a scheme to ensure the revenues of Korean public libraries. The main contents of this study are as follows : (1) Public finance theory is applied to the question of why the public library is publicly supported. The public library does not contribute to stabilization, but it does playa role in each of the other public sector functions : allocation of resources and redistribution of income. In public finance terms there is justification for at least partial subsidy of public library services, which have the attributes of public goods, merit goods and externalities. (2) Public libraries in Korea find themselves suffering from limited budgets. They are neglected in national and local budgets. The lack of adequate funding for library collections prevents libraries from rendering efficient services. (3) In order to put the finances of the Korean public library system on a firm basis, the following proposals are made: 1) It is proposed that the parallel administration under which public libraries are organized be unified to be directly under the local governments. 2) It is proposed that the legislative and administrative system for public library finance be strengthened. (1) Library expenses should be itemized independently in the calculation of general grants-in-aid to local governments. (2) A fixed portion of the total municipal revenue should be appropriated for public library services. It can be executed by making provisions expressly in the annual guidelines for budgeting, municipal ordinances, or in the Library Promotion Law. The rate of allocation should be specified as a part of the national public library development plan. (3) Library tax as a local tax can be imposed. An indirect tax is preferable in order to avoid public misunderstanding and antagonism. 3) The augmentation of the specific grants-in-aid for the public library is proposed. The Library Promotion Law and the Law on Budget and Administration of Grants should be amended to oblige the central government to give financial assistance to local public libraries. 4) It is proposed that strategies to encourage private endowments be worked out. Revision of the Law on Tax Reduction and Exemption and the activation of an advisory library committee at each public library are recommended. 5) Funding and utilization of the envisioned Library Promotion Foundation is proposed. Government contributions, contributions from the Culture and Arts Foundation, and donations from individuals, corporations, and enterprises can be considered as the financial resources of the Foundation. 6) It is proposed that the structure of the Korean Library Association be consolidated to exercise greater influence over the formation of national policy on the public library system. 7) It is proposed as an ultimate guarantee of the health of the public libraries that the citizenry be educated to strongly support library services in responce to the active services provided by the public libraries.
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