Job Creation

Proximity to the library has value

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.

Public libraries create jobs state-wide

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

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.