Privacy and Confidentiality

The expertise of the library staff has value.

Staff include knowledgeable reference librarians and other staff, class instructors, volunteers, and people committed to maintaining the library.

The technology for use in the library has value.

This includes computers and Internet access, specialized equipment for the disabled, online content, specialized databases, which possibly constitutes the only means of access for lower income families and individuals.

The educational programs and materials, as well as the educational mission of the library have value.

This includes the encouragement for young people to read (and the role libraries play in creating and cultivating readers), the constantly growing collection of resources and materials, the fact that everyone is welcome, and literacy programs.

The collection of materials in the library has value.

Minnesota's public libraries are like libraries in other states in that they are valued for providing free access to educational and entertainment materials, are an open and welcoming gathering place, and for providing resources to those who would otherwise be unable to afford them. A typical list of what comprises Minnesota library collections and downloads can include books and periodicals, professional journals, travel materials, audio books, DVDs, videos, music, and business resources.

Social Return on Investment in Public Libraries

The social return on investment from Minnesota public libraries is greater than simply the measureable return on investment. Other benefits of significant value include the collection of materials itself, and the many services of the library; the educational programs, as well as the educational benefits of the library's mission including literacy of the citizenry; technology for use in the library; the expertise of the library staff; the library facility as a community gathering place; the "halo" spending by library users at establishments close to the library; and the value of a library's enhancement to neighborhood real estate and community partnerships.

Value of Young Adult Public Library Programs

Young Adult Programs - According to Bibliostat, total attendees in these programs in Minnesota in 2010 was 75,633. Multiplied by the resulting per attendee value ($4.32), we get the total value of the young adult programs which is $326,735.

Value of Children's Public Library Programs

Children’s Programs - According to Bibliostat, total attendees in these programs in Minnesota in 2010 was 878,248. Multiplied by the resulting per attendee value ($4.32), we get the total value of the children’s programs which is $3,794,031.

highly educated households frequent the libraries more often

Those with more education are more likely to report household use of a public library in the past year: 62% among those with some college or less education, 83% among those who have graduated from a technical or other college, and 92% among those with post graduate work.

School librarians offer information literacy and technology instruction

School librarians offer information literacy and technology instruction that is crucial for 21st century learners, particularly marginalized at-risk learners who may not have access to resources and computers in their homes. Furthermore, school libraries can provide students equal access to print and digital resources to help close the gap between privileged and at-risk students

Public libraries can help high schools prepare students for college or 21st century careers

Public libraries can help high schools prepare students for college or 21st century careers. High schools are struggling to provide the skills that students need if they are to achieve success in college and in today’s workplace. In a 2006 poll of over 400 companies, researchers found that “new entrants to the U.S. workforce generally disappoint those who would like to give them their first job. High school-educated workers lack the level of ability employers seek in everything from writing and work ethic to oral communication.” The most important skills cited by employers fall into the area of applied or “soft” skills: professionalism and work ethic, oral and written communications, teamwork and collaboration, and critical thinking and problem solving. These skills are also essential to college success.

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