Freedom to Read

Economic Vitality Brought with Seattle Central Library

The Library is associated with $16 million in net new spending in Seattle in its first year of operations--equal to $80 million for 5 years, $160 million for 10 years, or $320 million over a 20-year period. Nearby businesses report increases in spending associated with visitors to the Central Library. Increases in the use of Library resources contributes to learning, literacy, business productivity, personal and professional developments, and individual livelihood.

Expanding Identity of Seattle Central Library to Tourists

More than 2.3 million tourists are expected to visit the Central Library during its first year of operation, an increase of more than 250% compared to the prior year. Approximately 30% of these visitors--725,000 individuals--are projected to be out-of-town visitors, coming from the Puget Sound region, other states, or other countries. The Library is drawing greater numbers of visitors from a larger radius; these increases in activity drive the economic benefits the Library brings to Seattle. A 1% increase in annual visitors to King County creates $1 billion in new spending statewide over a 25 year period.

Maryland public libraries as a positive investment

... 92% of those polled felt that public libraries were a good investment for their tax dollars. And, when told that less than 1 percent of the county's budget and only four-tenths of 1 percent of the state's budget was spent on libraries, more than 60 percent stated that more money should be invested in libraries by both local and state government.

Benefit to cost ratio of Florida's public libraries

The B/C (Availability) of Florida's public libraries is 10.8 to 1 where the benefit to the state in terms of availability of Florida's public libraries is the total cost to use alternatives of $4.3 billion divided by the cost of $668 millions (includes cost of multi-type cooperative support to public libraries). The B/C (REMI Wages) is 7.5 to 1, where the benefit to the state in terms of wages is $21.8 billion and the cost is $2.9 billion. The B/C (REMI GRP) is 5.1 to 1, where the benefit to the state in terms of GRP output is $14.9 billion and the cost is $2.9 billion.

Taxpayer return on investment in Florida's public libraries since 2004

Overall, Florida's public libraries return $8.32 for every $1.00 from all sources. The total revenue investment in Florida's public libraries was $661.5 million in 2008. Based upon an analysis of what would happen if public libraries ceased to exist, the total economic return attributable to the existence of public libraries is $6.23 billion. For every $3,491 spent on public libraries from public funding sources in Florida, one job (in the economy, not just in libraries) is created. For every dollar of public support spent on public libraries in Florida, Gross Regional Product (the value of all goods and services produced in the state) increases by $10.57. For every dollar of public support spent on public libraries in Florida, income (wages) increases by $22.97.

South Carolina valuation of library services

The total direct and indirect return on investment for every $1 expended on the state's public libraries by SC state and local governments is $4.48--almost 350%! (p.5)

The extent taxpayers in South Carolina feel the public library contributes to their economic well-being

Among the findings are indications that the public library: - 49% of business users indicated that they obtained most of the business/research information from their public library - 78% of business users indicated that information obtained from the public library contributed to the success of their business - 59% of personal investors said they obtained the information needed for making investment decisions from their public library - 48% said "definitely" the investment information at the public library had contributed to their financial well-being and 34% said "somewhat"

Intangible and indirect benefits of the library

The public library provides important intangible and indirect benefits and has become increasingly vital in this era because of the reliance on - and expectation of - public access to networked information services and resources. As the nation and the world continue to move into the networked invironment with increased access to a broad range of digital information, one may reasonably expect additional economic benefits to result from networked services and programs in the public library. (p.225)

New Zealand valuation of library services

The National Library of New Zealand found a 3.5:1 benefit-cost ratio in their national bibliographic database through use of a CM (choice modeling) survey. (p.441)

Norwegian valuation of library services

Another CV (contingent valuation) survey of public libraries... has recently been reported by Svanhild Aabo, who estimated that Norwegian public libraries represent, on average, a 4:1 benefit-cost ratio. (p.441)


Subscribe to Freedom to Read