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The Value of Public Libraries

This week I’ll be posting my personal set of links to research studies about the value of libraries. I collect these links and studies since I think they’re so important and we must all be armed in the defence and promotion of libraries and our value to society. Today, it seems we need more ammunition than ever. I am not saying that data and research is enough. Stories matter too. More on that later.

Today, these are my links for public library value studies. I have checked the links but they are notoriously unreliable (it is the web!) so just report dead links in the comments and I’ll do my best librarian stuff to find them again. If you know of more, then just tell me and I’ll add them to the list!

The Value of Public Libraries

Selected (mostly free) Web References

Dividends: The Value of Public Libraries in Canada

OCLC Community Advocacy and Awareness Site

Libraries: How They Stack Up 2003 (OCLC)

How Libraries Stack Up: 2010 (OCLC)

The Public Library: A National Survey

Placing a Value on Public Library Services

Public Library Benefits Valuation Study Methodology and Key Findings

The Role of Public Libraries in Local Economic Development

Enhancing Economic Development through Libraries

National Arts and Economic Prosperity Impact Study: Executive Summary
Arts and Economic Prosperity

Library and Information Center Management, Seventh Edition

Making Book: Gambling on the future of our libraries (Kansas City)

South Carolina Public Library Impact Study

Taxpayer Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries

St. Louis Public Library: Placing a Value on Public Library Services

Impacts of the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Sector

British Library: Measuring Our Value

The Value of Public Libraries (IFLA)

One Dollar In, More than Three Out!: New Study Asserts the Economic Value of the San Francisco Public Library System

The Condition of Libraries: 1999-2010 (ALA)
The full report is available at
Individual reports by type of library are available at

Economic Value of Public Libraries in the UK

Library Value Calculator(s) – SAMPLES:

New York:
New Hampshire:

I hope you find these useful. Please reblog, (re)tweet and post as much as you want.


Posted on: April 6, 2010, 11:10 am Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Suggestion:
    The value of libraries ….. and librarians:
    Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries
    2010 — specific — qualitative

  2. I just posted my Value to Patrons spreadsheet for March 2010 here:

    And here’s a link to my CIL 2009 presentation: