Public library

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.

Public library literacy campaigns reach out to family service providers

Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL’s) citywide literacy campaign, which targets both parents and caregivers of babies and toddlers, includes informational brochures and materials, produced in six different languages, which are distributed through the library and community partners; a web resource with information about early literacy; library programming on early literacy for children from birth to age five; and direct outreach to a wide range of children and family service agencies throughout Brooklyn. The campaign has cast a wide net by connecting with area service providers to get the word out to the community. Flyers and posters are available at area beauty parlors, clinics, schools, hospitals and markets. BPL has also made informational brochures available for family court. Area health providers, such as Coney Island Hospital, assist by providing Brooklyn Reads to Babies program information and library card applications in new infant goody bags (p. 9).

Libraries offer early literacy programs and workshops for childcare providers

Libraries are now making much deeper resource investments in early literacy training. Indeed, for many communities they are the lead agencies for early literacy services and training for young children. In the survey conducted among Urban Libraries Council members, over 90% of responding libraries identified their library as providing special programming in the area of early literacy. Of these, 92% had enhanced their collections with materials specifically related to early literacy promotion. School readiness and child development activities included family and intergenerational reading development programs, parenting programs, and support services for child care professionals. Among the libraries providing early child development programming 70% provided early literacy workshops on a weekly or monthly basis, and just over 60%  provided workshops for childcare workers and early education teachers (p. 8).

Value of Public Library Reference Transactions

Reference Transactions – The basic methodology for calculating the value of reference transactions is based on estimates made for the recent Wisconsin library study (2008), but here inflated to 2010 dollars. Bibliostat reports reference transactions numbering 3,591,200. These are valued at $4.32 each, resulting in a total value of $15,513,984.

Value of Public Internet Computers at the Library

Public Internet Computers – The basic methodology for calculating the value of computer and internet access is based on estimates made for the recent Wisconsin library study (2008), but here inflated to 2010 dollars. Bibliostat reports traffic estimated at 7,070,855 access events, valued at $4.32 each, resulting in a total value of $30,546,094.