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Abstract

Public library systems in New York State have been in existence since the 1950s. They have been providing services to individual public libraries by facilitating resource sharing among them and enhancing their capacity to provide quality services to users. The public does not always have knowledge of public library systems since they are not directly served by public library systems. Knowledge of public library systems is important when it comes to understanding their accountability, especially when they have faced repeated state budget cuts in recent years. This study will help to fill this gap of public knowledge by looking at services provided by public library systems and the decision-making process in public library systems when they make service decisions. Three New York public library systems were selected for multiple case studies. Member libraries' budgets were found to be an important factor which affects what services these three public library systems provide and how they make service decisions.