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Library Use Value Calculator

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Library Use & Return on Investment Value Calculator

What is your library worth to you?

We know you value the services and resources provided by your public library, but just how much are those services worth? How much would you pay out-of-pocket if the library didn't exist, or if these services and resources weren't available at no cost?

Take a moment and reflect on your library use over the past month, then plug those numbers into the form below. This page will calculate a total value related to the items you checked out and the services and resources you used. It also calculates a "return on investment" that is based on the per capita library expenditures in your community. (Note: If you do not live in a community with a public library, the return on investment calculated by this form will most likely be under-valued. If you live in a community with a public library, but choose to use a library in another community, the return on investment calculated by this form may not be accurate.)

When you've finished, we invite you to share your findings with us by clicking on the "online form" link near the bottom of this page. You also will have the option to share some stories about your library use and why you believe the library is important to you and your family.

To use this form:

Please enter the number of times you use the following library services each month
Input
Your Use
Library Materials & Services Value of
Services


For every $1.00 in taxes you spend on your library,
you receive $___ of value in return*

 

We'd love to hear what value you have calculated! Please fill out our online form and give us your library name and calculated value.

 

*Where did these numbers come from? -- Per capita expenditures were collected from Wisconsin's 2012 Public Library Statistics, compiled by the State Division for Libraries & Technology (DLT). The return on investment is calculated by dividing each library's annual per capita expenditure by 12 (the number of months) to get a monthly per capita expenditure. The formula then divides the total value received each month by the monthly per capita expenditure.

This calculator is an adaptation of projects by the Maine State Library and Library Research Service, a unit of the Colorado State Library and the Colorado Department of Education that is operated in partnership with the Library and Information Science (LIS) Program, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver.


For more information about this library services value calculator, contact Mark Ibach.