No matter how you view it, support for libraries provides a terrific return on investment (ROI).
First there are the intangibles, like having a cultural scene with more energy, a citizenry that is better informed, and children who read and do better in school. These are important. They add to the quality of life. Having a library in town is a plus for businesses, professional recruitment, and community development.
Then there are the tangibles, real numbers to look at. In 2009, Great River Regional Library (GRRL) patrons borrowed 2,640,143 books. The monetary value of that service was $52,802,860. They borrowed 201,181 audio books with a value of $5,029,525, and 281,717 music CDs with a value of $4,789,189. You can go down the line of GRRL service totals and apply figures based on purchase, rental or business rates. Add it up and you learn that the GRRL operating budget for 2009 was $8,595,800; the total value of services provided was $76,662,737. GRRL provided a $7.92 return on $1 investment!
Would you like to know the value of your own use of library services? Go to the calculator on the Support the Library page and enter figures for the movies borrowed, magazine use, interlibrary loans, children’s programs attended, etc. per month. The calculator will do the math for you.
There’s no better investment you make.