Další informace

Hodnota knihovny

Seriál článků v časopisu Čtenář

Odborné studie

  • Stejskal, J., Hajek, P., & Cerny, P. (2020). A novel methodology for surveying children for designing library services: A case study of the Municipal Library of Prague. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 0961000620948568.

Recognizing individual needs and customer preferences is key to succeeding and increasing competitiveness in both the commercial and public sectors. In the public sector, this is one of the ways to increase the efficiency of public funds allocated to public libraries. However, in order to make the right decisions, library management needs quality information about preferences and consumer behaviour, even from customers who cannot be the subject of routine research due to their young age. Therefore, this article proposes a new methodology for surveying children in order to design library services. The proposed methodology, which integrates principles from ethnographic and sociological methods, aims to overcome the problems of conventional sociological methods, such as how to conceive a child as a respondent and how to determine their preferences from hypothetical situations. This article uses a specially designed questionnaire tool to identify preferences, behaviour and information from children (as visitors of a library). The authors learned that Czech children went to the library primarily for books and games. In addition, the data from the questionnaire revealed patterns in the children’s and adults’ behaviour when visiting the library. All of the data in this article can be used for further research into consumer behaviour.

  • Stejskal, J., Hájek, P., & Řehák, T. (2019). The economic value of library services for children: The case of the Czech public libraries. Library & Information Science Research, 41(3), 100963.

Public support of library services must be targeted towards children because these services play a key role in their development. However, no prior research has investigated the value of public library services for children. Specifically, earlier studies evaluated the value of public libraries as a whole, without considering library services for different stakeholders. The fact that children are not autonomous economic agents is another problem to address. These barriers can be overcome by using the contingent valuation method with parents/caregivers as the subjects queried and children used as the objects in this study. Thus, the economic value of library services for children can be obtained to support managerial decisions on services specifically designed for children. More precisely, this study is unique in that it develops a contingent valuation methodology for estimating the value of children’s library services based on adults‘ willingness to allocate a proportion of municipal budgets. Both users and non-users were surveyed to verify the proposed methodology empirically. The results show that the perceived effectiveness (ratio between perceived benefits and costs) of children’s library services is 11.2 (11.2 units of benefits for each unit invested) in Czech public libraries compared with 4.3 for a library as a whole. This finding confirms the essential role of children’s library services, implying that public libraries should offer a broader selection of children’s books and other services. The study also shows that the value of children’s library services depends on the age, education and economic structure of the adults queried. In addition, their satisfaction with library services is another important determinant, indicating that public libraries can influence the perceived benefits of children’s library services.

  • Hajek, P., & Stejskal, J. (2017). Library usage mining in the context of alternative costs. Library Hi Tech, 35(4), 558-576.


The behaviour of a library user is based on his ability to evaluate the consumption of library services based on alternative market services. The purpose of this paper is to study the usage behaviour in a public library building in the context of alternative costs instead of a narrow focus on book circulation data.


By library usage mining, using associative rules, the authors described the behaviour of library users and identified the typical behaviour during the visits. The authors analyse the results in the context of alternative costs assigned to the visits.


The results confirm that some underused services, such as digital services, deliver significantly greater benefit. The frequency of use, the duration of visit and the number of items used are associated with higher alternative costs. There were no significant differences in alternative cost within economic groups (excluding pensioners). This paper identified 41 frequent patterns with different alternative costs.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this study is the fact that data for library usage mining were collected using a questionnaire survey.

Practical implications

This may be particularly important for both policy makers and library management. The first beneficiaries are donors and patrons, who can learn about the benefit that libraries bring to society. The proposed system for library usage mining also enables managers to promote specific (effective) services, take steps to avoid readers leaving, and improve the adoption of library services. It can also be used to adapt the location of library services. Librarians, especially those who engage in acquisitions, may also use this information in their evidence-based decisions about the design of services.


So far, there has been no relevant research on the economic aspects of extracted behaviour patterns. Therefore, this study revealed users’ economic preferences using a questionnaire survey that supplemented transaction data. The ability to describe users’ behaviour can provide library management with enough information to realise evidence-based decision making.

  • Hájek, P., & Stejskal, J. (2015). Modelling public library value using the contingent valuation method: The case of the Municipal Library of Prague. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 47(1), 43-55.

Traditional contingent valuation methods to estimate public library value include ‘willingness to pay’ and ‘willingness to accept compensation’. Elicitation design accounts for the large part of the willingness to accept compensation/willingness to pay disparity. Payment mechanism is an important issue in the process of the elicitation design. Various payment mechanisms are employed in this study. Our findings suggest that the willingness of people to decide about the allocation of a certain amount of their taxes (tax decrease or increase) represents a compromise between the increasingly discussed out-of-pocket willingness to pay and in-pocket willingness to accept compensation approaches. The main determinants of public library value (in the case of the Municipal Library of Prague) include available income of the households, frequency of use of the services, and alternative costs. Furthermore, the effects of both the use and importance of services on the public library value is investigated. The importance of loan services is the major determinant of the value.

  • Stejskal, J., & Hájek, P. (2015). Evaluating the economic value of a public service—the case of the Municipal Library of Prague. Public Money & Management, 35(2), 145-152.

To allocate public resources efficiently, governments need accurate information about the performance and effectiveness of public institutions. This paper presents a new approach to valuing public services, using the example of the Municipal Library of Prague (MLP). The contingent valuation method was used with a focus on library users’ willingness to pay for individual library services. The result is an overview of the perceived value of the MLP’s services and its return on public investment. The proposed methodology could be used for other public services, such as healthcare or education.

  • Stejskal, J., & Hajek, P. (2015). Effectiveness of digital library services as a basis for decision-making in public organizations. Library & Information Science Research, 37(4), 346-352.

In practise, public organizations often provide basic and widespread access to digital services to citizens and to varying degrees. For the effective use of public funds it is necessary for there to be an objective method for the assessment of the effectiveness of the public services (i.e. including digital services). A methodology that can analyse the effectiveness of the digital services provided by public organizations is proposed. The methodology was applied to the digital services provided by the Municipal Library of Prague (MLP). This methodology allows comparison of the effectiveness of the different services provided. This contributes to the effectiveness of the decisions of public representatives and overall social effectiveness of the digital services provided. The results show that the effectiveness of digital services (provided by remote access) at the MLP in 2012 is 4.02 (this means that each unit of financial investment brings benefits in the amount of 4.02 units). In contrast, digital services provided directly in the library have a very low effectiveness, i.e. 1:0.89, thus they are clearly ineffective. In addition, when compared to all the services that are provided, digital services have the highest effectiveness of all. The proposed methodology can therefore help economic decision-making but also to improve the quality and range of services. It can be used in other organizations and various public sectors.


Vyplatí se knihovna?
Seminář Šťastné číslo pro knihovnu (24. 9. 2015)

1. část

Seminář Šťastné číslo pro knihovnu (24. 9. 2015)

2. část

Nejnovější články