Articles and Studies Related to
Library Value (Return on Investment)



Abram, Stephen. (2005, December 14). The value of libraries: Impact, normative data, and influencing funders. Sirsi/Dynix One Source

Bertot, John C. and McClure, Charles R. (1997). Impacts of Public access to the Internet through Pennsylvania public libraries. Information Technology and Libraries , 16 (4), 151-164.

Chambers, Jay C. and Vergun, Robert.  Measuring Inflation in Public Libraries: A Comparison of Two Approaches, the Imput Cost Index and the Cost of Servcies Index. Education Statistics Quarterly, Volume 1, Issue 2, Topic: Public, State, and Federal Libraries.

Childers, Thomas & Van House, Nancy A. (1993). What's good? Describing your public library's effectiveness. Chicago: American Library Association. 93 p. ISBN 0838906176.

Workbook explains how to define what various constituents connected with a public library want it to do and what doing these things well means in qualitative terms. Chapters include: (1) organizational effectiveness; (2) how to gauge effectiveness; (3) the steps that the public library field has taken to improve the ways of assessing and communicating effectiveness, including strategic planning, measurement, personnel appraisal, and budgeting; (4) key characteristics of the public library and how these characteristics might affect the way library managers depict its effectiveness; (5) the major results of "The Public Library Effectiveness Study"; (6) the AMPLE (A Model of Public Library Effectiveness) framework by which a manager may plan a program of assessing public library effectiveness; (7) using AMPLE to communicate with a library's constituent groups. From ERIC abstract.

Counting on Culture < Release.

To become operational in January 2006, Counting on culture is an interactive tool that uses property tax information and IRS data from a sample group of nine communities to measure the impact of cultural growth on communities in Massachusetts.

Ellis, Kem B. (1994, Summer). The Challenge of Measuring the Economic Impact of Public Library Service. North Carolina Libraries 52, 52-56.

Fitch, Leslie and Warner, Jody. Dividends: The Value of Public Libraries in Canada. Bottom Line, 11 (4), pp. 158-179.

Fraser, Bruce T., McClure, Charles R., and Leahy, Emily H. Toward a Framework for Assessing Library and Institutional Outcomes.  Portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol 2, No. 4 (2002) p. 505-528.

Getz, Malcolm. Public Libraries: An Economic View. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1980.

Holt, Glen E., Elliott, Donald and Moore, Amonia (1999). Placing a Value on Public Library Services. St. Louis: St. Louis Public Library

Holt, Glen E., et al (1999). Bibliography of articles on the St. Louis Public Library cost-benefit analysis study.

Holt, Glen E. (1997). As Parents and Teachers See It: The Community Values of a Public Library. Bottom Line, 10 (1), 32-35.

Holt, Glen E. (1997). A San Francisco story: Economics and Politics in the Age of Electronic Media, Bottomline, 10 (2 ), 84-87.

Holt, Glen E. (1996). Something More Than Sound Bites: Communicating Value to Library Constituencies. Bottomline, 9 (3), 36-39.

Holt, Glen E., et al. Libraries are Valuable--Prove It!: Prepared for the Public Library Association Pre-Conference, July 7, 2000.  St. Louis, MO. :St. Louis Public Libary, 2000.

Holt, Glen E. & Elliott, Donald. (1998, September). Development of a Portable Cost Benefit Methodology for Urban Libraries.

Kingma, Bruce R. (2001). The Economics of Information: A Guide to Economic and Cost-Benefit Analysis for Information Professionals (Second Edition). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Lance, Keith Curry. Libraries and Student Achievement: The Importance of School Libraries for Improving Student Test Scores. Threshold, Winter 2004, p. 8ff.

Matthews, Joseph R.  Measuring for Results: The Dimensions of Public Library Effectiveness.  Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.

Matthews, Joseph R. The Bottom Line: Determining and Communicating the Value of the Special Library.  Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2002.

McClure, Charles R. & Bertot, John Carlo. (1997, October). Evaluation of the online at PA libraries project: Public access to the Internet through public libraries

McClure, Charles R.; Bertot, John Carlo; & Beachboard, John C. (1995). Internet Costs and Cost Models for Public Libraries: Final Report. Washington, DC: National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

McClure, Charles R. Robbins, Jane B., & Fraser, Bruce T. (2001). Economic benefits and impacts from public libraries in the state of Florida: Final report to Florida Division of Library and Information Services Access.

McCook, Kathleen de la Pena.  Serving the Demands of Democracy: The Critical Role of Libraries in Ensuring the Full Civic Participation of a Diverse PopulationThreshold, Winter 2004, pp. 22-30.

McNicol, Sarah.  The eVALUEd Toolkit: A Framework for the Qualitative Evaluation of Electronic Information ServicesVINE 34, no. 4 (2004): p. 172-175.

Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. (2005, December).  Cultural Economic Development.

Library of Michigan is participating in the development of a Cultural Economic Development Online Tool, available this summer.

Newhouse, J.P.; Alexander, A.J. An Economic Analysis of Public Library Services. Santa Monica: Rand, 1972.

Norton, Tom Albert. Demonstrating the Value of Library and Information Services. Science and Technology Libraries 36 (1991), 90-93.

Olson, Chris.  What's in it for them? Communicating the Value of Information Services. Information Outlook, November 2002, pp. 19-23.

Oppenheim, Charles. (1986, July). The Value of Library and Information Services: And How to Beat the Economists at Their Own Game. State Librarian 34 , 24-26.

Porter, Kathleen.  The Value of a College Degree. ERIC Digest, ED470038, 2002-000-00.

Rudd, Peggy D.  Documenting the Difference: Demonstrating the Value of Libraries Through Outcome MeasurementPerspectives on Outcome Based Evaluation for Libraries and Museums, Washington D.C.: Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2002, p. 16-23.

Ryan, Joe & McClure, Charles R. (2003, June). Economic impact of the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) on the business and tourism industries study: Final report. Honolulu, HI: HSPLS.

Simoneaux, L. and Miller, W. (1998). Provosts, Libraries, and Electronic Information: Reports from AAHE and CNI. College & Research Libraries News. 59(6).

Saracevic, Tefko; Kantor, Paul B. Studying the value of library and information services. Part II. Methodology and taxonomy. Journal of American Society for Information Science, 48 (1997), p. 543-563.

Smalley, Topsy N. College Success: High School Librarians Make the Difference.  The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Vol. 30, No. 3, p. 193-198.

State Library of Iowa. Telling the library story toolkit.

Strouse, Roger.  Demonstrating Value and Return on Investment: The Ongoing Imperative. Information Outlook 7 (3) (2003), p. 14-20.

Task Force on Academic Library Outcomes Assessment Report. Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). (1998).

The Future of Libraries: Six Perspectives on How Libraries, Libraries, Librarians, and Library Patrons will Adapt to Changing Times.  Threshold, Winter 2004.

The Value of the Hospital Library Fact Sheet, Medical Library Association.

Walzer, N., Stott, K., and Sutton, L.   Managing Illinois Libraries: Providing Services Customers Value. Macomb: IIRA.  [IIRA Reports-5/1/2000]


American's for Libraries Council. "Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Citizen and Leadership Attitudes About Libraries in the 21st Century"

"The Economic Impact of Public Libraries on South Carolina," a study prepared for the University of South Carolina by Daniel D. Barron, Robert V. Williams, Stephen Bajjaly, Jennifer Arns, Steven Wilson of The School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, January 2005.

"Economic Impact Study - Regional Benefits of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh," a report that examines both the library's value to the economy in terms of return on investment as well as its contributions to people and their communities.

Florida State University. School of Information Studies. Information Use Management and Policy Institute. Economic Benefits and Impacts from Public Libraries in the State of Florida

Maryland Public Library Survey: Customer Survey of Maryland Residents About Libraries. FINAL REPORT
(November 1, 2004) - Prepared by Potomac Incorporated for The Southern Maryland Regional Library and Division of
Library Development and Services/Maryland State Department of Education

McClure, Charles R. & Bertot, John Carlo. (1998, June). Public library use in Pennsylvania: Identifying uses, benefits, and impacts - Final report.

Normative Data Project for Libraries (NDP) is a cooperative effort of a large number of libraries, Sirsi Corporation, a worldwide provider of software and services for libraries and consortia, and partners such as GeoLib, the chief source of geographic data on U.S. public libraries. In addition, data collected nationally by the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and recompiled at the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) are integrated into the system.

"The Public Library Effectiveness Study: The Complete Report," prepared by Nancy Van House and Thomas A. Childers for the American Library Association, Chicago (IL), 1993.

"Public Library Use and Economic Hard Times: Analysis of Recent Data," a report prepared for the American Library Association by The Library Research Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 18, 2002

The Seattle Public Library Central Library: Economic Benefits Assessment.  The Transformative Power of a Library to Redefine Learning, Community, and Economic Development (2005)

"Taxpayer Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries: Summary Report,"  a study prepared for the State Library and Archives of Florida through the collebrative efforts of Jose-Marie Griffiths (Univ. of Pittsburgh and Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill); Donald W. King and Christinger Tomer (University of Pittsburgh); and Thomas Lynch and Julie Harrington (Florida State University), September 2004.

"The Wisconsin Library User (and Non-User): Outcomes of a Statewide," a study prepared for the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium by Morrill Solutions, 2003.

"The Wisconsin Library User (and Non-User) II: Outcomes of a Second Statewide Survey (2003 - 2007 comparisons) Image," a study prepared for the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium by Morrill Solutions, June 2007.

Worth Their Weight: An Assessment of the Evolving Field of Library Valuation Image. American's for Libraries Council, May 2007

International - Articles/Books

Aabo, Svanhild.  Valuing the benefits of public libraries. Information Economics & Policy 17, no. 2 (Mar 2005): p. 175-198. [contingent valuation study - Norwegian citizens values public libraries]

Aabo, Svanhild and Audunson, Ragnar. Rational Choice and Valuation of Public Libraries: Can Economic Models for Evaluating Non-Market Goods Be Applied to Public Libraries?  Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (Folkestone, England) vol. 34, no. 1 (Mar. 2002) p. 5-15
Bibliography "Impact and Outcome of Libraries" and article available for purchase at:

Broady-Preston, Judith and Williams, Tegwen.  Using Information to create business value: City of London legal firms, a case study. Proceedings of the 5th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, 2003.

Morris, Anne, Sumsion, John and Hawkins, Margaret.  Economic Value of Public Libraries in the UK.  Libri, vol. 52 no2 (June 2002) p. 78-87. 

Nelke, Margareta (1998) Knowledge Management in Swedish Corporations : The Value of Information and Information Services. TLS Meddelande 28.

Payne, Philip, Crawford, John and Fiander, Wendy. Counting on Making a Difference: Assessing Our Impact. 
VINE 34, no. 4 (2004): p. 176-183 Journal Code: VERI [academic libraries, UK]

Stewart, Chrissie and Thornton, Steve.  The use of an impact survey as a measure of special library performance.
Proceedings of the 3rd Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services 1999, Newcastle upon Tyne 2000, p. 243-246.

Walzer, N. and Stott, K. Enhancing Economic Development Through Libraries. Macomb: IIRA.  [IIRA Reports-7/1/1998]

International - Studies/Presentations

"Economic Value of Public Libraries (UK)," a project funded by Resource - The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries (Nov. 1999-Nov. 2000) and prepared by a research team from the Department of Information Science, Loughborough University consisting of Dr, Anne Morris, John Sumsion, and Margaret Hawkins.

Measuring Our Value. The British Library. and

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Studies and articles related to library value, return on investment.