Because community engagement has value, involvement of library volunteers from the communities includes benefits for volunteers in terms of enhancing their confidence, skills and levels of employability.
Users who stop at the library while completing a longer list of errands report "halo" spending at firms and establishments close to the library. Although this spending is not part of an economic impact statement of Minnesota's public libraries, it is also true that proximity to a library increases spending for those businesses located near the library.
These include interlibrary loans, classes and special programs, availability of home delivery, services for the disabled, assistance with resumes and job searches, tax forms, children's programs, bookmobiles.
stakeholders, inside and outside the library represent library users with children or grandchildren; employees from the community at large, who check out materials for use at their workplace, as well as job seekers; library users who contact public library reference libraries for information; and technology users with a need for Internet access.
Monetized impacts and other benefits from annual operations in 2010 delivered a payroll impact of more than $260.8 million dollars, a sales [services] impact of more than $366.4 million dollars, and an employment impact of an estimated 3,674 jobs to the State.
The money that public libraries spend on payroll, benefits, construction, operating costs and services generates jobs for Wisconsin citizens. Jobs attributable to public library spending occur in four ways. The first is the direct staff jobs for people working for public libraries. The second job creator is the jobs generated by non-payroll library expenditures. The third job creator is the jobs that result from the people that serve the public library workforce in their professional and private lives. The fourth job creator is the jobs generated by visitor spending. Public libraries directly employ 3,222.42 full-time employees (FTEs). Public library payroll and benefits (staff spending), public library operating and construction spending, and visitor spending create an additional 3,058 jobs. The total number of jobs created in Wisconsin due to the presence of Wisconsin public libraries is 6,280 (pp. 20-21).
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.
In 2004 Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh supported more than 900 jobs and $80 million in economic output in Allegheny County through its operations and renovations. Even without the additional impact of these renovations, the library can be expected to sustain more than 700 jobs and more than $63 million in economic output in Allegheny County annually. (p.2)
Fels estimates that 979 Philadelphians found jobs directly as a result of the resources provided by the Library in FY10. (p.5)