Southwestern Region

The Value of Public Libraries

At the Birmingham Public Library, the value ranges from $1.30 to $2.70 per $1 of library fees. The Phoenix Public Library results showed a value of  $10 or greater per $1.

Library variables affects test scores at all educational levels

TAAS [Texas Assessment of Academic Skills] performance was associated with different library factors at each educational level. Library variables found to be important were: Elementary School [K/MS]:Library volumes purchased in 1999-00 per 100 studentsLibrary operational expenditures per studentLibrary computers connected to a modem per 100 studentsLibrary software packages per 100 studentsMiddle/Junior High [K/MS]:Identifying materials fo instructional units developed by teachersProviding information skills instruction to individuals or groupsHigh School [T]:Library staff per 100 studentsLibrary staff hours per 100 studentsLibrary hours of operation per 100 studentsVolumes per studentsCurrent subscriptions to magazines and newspapers per 100 studentsPlanning instructional units with teachersProviding staff development to teachers

Higher test scores at all educational levels in schools with librarians

The Texas Study demonstrated higher TAAS [Texas Academic Assessment of Skills] performance at all educational levels in schools with librarians than in schools without librarians. Over 10 percent more students in schools with librarians than in schools without librarians met minimum TAAS expectations in reading. On average, 89.3 percent of students in schools with librarians compared with 78.4 percent in schools without librarians met minimum TAAS expectations in reading.

Libraries' usefulness for economically impacted Americans

Eighty-one percent (81%) of economically impacted Americans have a library card compared to 68% for Americans who have not been impacted. Economically impacted Americans are 50% more likely to visit their library at least weekly (18% vs. 12%) and are nearly a third more likely to visit at least once a month (36% vs. 27%). More than a third (37%) of economically impacted respondents said they are using the library more often than they did before the economic downturn. Increased library use is substantially higher than any other lifestyle activity increase measured.

Libraries' increasingly important role as a technology provider

A majority of public libraries, 67%, report that they are the only free source of computer and Internet access for the communities they serve.
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