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Value for Money: Southwestern Ohio’s Return from Investment in Public Libraries. November 29, 2006 Levin, Driscoll & Fleeter. Overview of Study. The objective of this report was to assess the return from the investment in 9 Public Libraries in Southwestern Ohio in 2005.

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Value for Money: Southwestern Ohio’s Return from Investment in Public Libraries


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Value for Money: Southwestern Ohio’s Return from Investment in Public Libraries

November 29, 2006

Levin, Driscoll & Fleeter

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Overview of Study

  • The objective of this report was to assess the return from the investment in 9 Public Libraries in Southwestern Ohio in 2005.
  • The study included both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the benefits received by patrons as a result of the services provided by the nine library systems.
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Quantitative Analysis of Library Services Included the Following:

  • The estimated market value of circulated items (books, movies, music CDs, etc…)
  • The estimated value to patrons of library reference services
  • The estimated value to patrons of access to electronic databases subscribed to by the libraries
  • The estimated value of use of library facilities and equipment
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The aggregate economic value of patron borrowing of Circulated Materials in the 9 libraries in 2005 is:

  • $104,874,725
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The aggregate economic value of patron use of Reference Materials in the 9 libraries in 2005 is:

  • $64,565,102
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The aggregate economic value based on the direct benefits from patron use of all services in the 9 libraries in 2005 is:

  • $190,413,820
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Comparison of Library Expenditures with Economic Value of Benefits

  • The 9 Southwestern Ohio public libraries spent $74.5 million in 2005
  • The estimated economic value of the direct benefits received by library patrons was $190.4 million in 2005
  • The total economic value of library services in 2005 is $284 million once an additional $93.6 million in economic impact generated by “multiplier” effects is included
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Qualitative Benefits of Library Programs in 2005

  • The 9 Southwestern Ohio public libraries offered a total of 23,457programs of various types in 2005
  • Total attendance at these programs was 506,376, representing more than 7% of the total 2005 patron visits at the 9 libraries
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Types of Library Programs Offered to Patrons in 2005

  • Programs to encourage reading
  • Training to help parents and teachers teach reading
  • General support for K-12 education
  • Support for businesses and job seekers
  • Support for the elderly, blind, and disabled
  • Cultural programs
  • Cooperation with community organizations
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Types of Cultural Programs Offered by Libraries in 2005

  • Writers workshops
  • Musical or other artistic presentations
  • Craft programs
  • Patriotic, historical, and genealogical programs
  • Cultural understanding and tolerance
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Types of Organizations that use Library Meeting Rooms

  • Education groups
  • Businesses
  • State & Local Government agencies
  • Health & Social Services organizations (i.e. AA, AARP, Red Cross)
  • Community & Political organizations
  • Cultural & Recreational groups (i.e. Boy Scouts, Rotary, 4-H)
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Value for Money: Southwestern Ohio’s Return from Investment in Public Libraries

Using a conservative measure of value, the total quantifiable direct economic benefit of every dollar expended by libraries in 2005 was $3.81.