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Friday, April 6 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
FR3.30.09 Administrators’ Perspective on Fiscal Sustainability of Public Library Districts

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The total number of special districts in the US is very likely to become greater than general-purpose local governments in the near future. Meanwhile, special districts spend more public money than all city governments combined. However, research on the fiscal sustainability of special districts is far from enough. It is still not very clear what is the effect of institutional arrangements on their fiscal sustainability. In all the variants, public library districts are the type of special districts that are least studied, despite the wide existence. Ebdon & Park’s working paper for 2017 Annual Conference of the Western Social Science Association (WSSA) explored this dark land and established a basic understanding.


In order to continue filling the gaps, this study investigates the topic from the public administrators’ perspective. The research question is “How do the institutional arrangements of public library districts affect their fiscal sustainability?” To answer it, interviews are conducted with directors of four public library districts that newly approved in the past decade. A longitudinal comparison from the witnesses' angles is therefore possible. The findings are expected to uniquely show the institutional characteristics of public library districts when setting fiscal objectives and dealing with crises, especially those rules in use. 


Minshuai Ding, University of Nebraska at Omaha


Friday April 6, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Provincial Ballroom (2nd Floor)