Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Economic Impact of Libraries

Many people love their local library. We love the books. We love the smell. We love the movies and the programs and the computer access and the magazines. We love studying there, researching there, and going to storytimes and other programs there. For us, the library is a wondrous place, full of fun, full of adventure, full of opportunity.

But what about those folks in the community who don’t love, or even use, the library? It’s important to for them to know just how valuable a good local library really is—not just in societal or cultural terms, but in cold, hard economic terms. A recent survey we conducted indicates that over 90% of the people that visit the Mukwonago library do other shopping and business within the village during their trips to the library. Additionally, in a 2007 survey of Wisconsin residents, 29.7% of respondents list access to a good library as a strong factor in deciding where to live. Another 31.7% list it as a contributing factor—nearly two-thirds of those surveyed consider the local library in deciding where to live.

Finally, it should be noted that the Mukwonago Community Library is not only an economic asset for the community, it is also an incredibly efficient municipal entity. We have the lowest cost per circulation in the county and among the lowest in the country. For every tax dollar that goes to the library, nearly six dollars worth of materials and services are made available to our patrons. So tell everyone you know how economically valuable the library is!

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