Library Value

The folks at the Maine State Library have adapted a tool created by the folks at the Massachusetts Library Association, and it’s absolutely wonderful.  It’s an online calculator to determine the value of your library use.

Fill in the number of books you checked out, the number of magazines you read, the number of interlibrary loans you received, the number of programs you attended…..and the form does an automatic calculation that estimates the value of the services you received.

Just for fun, I plugged in just some of the numbers from the Chatfield Public Library’s 2006 annual report.   Patrons of that library got an estimated value of  $992,600.00 last year…..and I know that’s just a tad more than the library’s budget.

Librarians have traditionally had a rough time trying to explain to the Powers-That-Be how their services benefit the community.  Here’s a way to let them know in dollars and cents what their residents receive for their library funds.

Pretty impressive stuff!  So…..when your City Administrator or City Council or County Commissioners whine about how much the library is costing the community, just show them this.  It puts things in perspective a bit.

Originally posted on SELCO Librarian.


1 Comment

Filed under Libraries and Librarianship

One response to “Library Value

  1. When most libraries enter their information, I find it is at least 10$ for every $1 the library receives. When I put in my library’s information for our annual report, we could said that the city gives us $800,000, and we turn it into $8,000,000 worth of service. Great tool!

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