What is the value of the services offered by a Library to our community? Libraries such as ours, in fact, provide a hefty return on investment. The collection of the Solvay Public Library contains a total of approximately 57,600 items. If you estimate a value per item of $20, we offer $1.5 million dollars’ worth of materials to our community at any one time. If a patron checked out 20 items, and did this every week for a year, the patron will have checked out $20,800.00 worth of materials.
From mid-2015 to mid-2016, the Solvay Public Library checked out 96,784 items. At $20 per item estimate, that is over $1,935,680.00 of value we brought to the community. We have an annual ordering budget of $45,000.00 – or about 43 times less than the circulation value to our area.
Some items in our collection will circulate dozens of times in a year. The most popular new movies, for example, can average one checkout per week all year long. Calculating 52 circulations for an item that cost us $20 totals an investment worth $1,040.00. That is a considerable rate of return.
Many groups in our area rely on us for meeting space. During the 2016 calendar year, our meeting room space was utilized for 138 programs, attended by 1,119 people. That’s a service we provide which also has value to the community.
Numbers are a very important way to assess the impact of a library such as ours. Communities such as Solvay and Geddes need a resource that satisfies various informational and entertainment materials that residents are unable to purchase for themselves. They need a place where they can safely seek out knowledge, entertainment and continuing education. The value of the Solvay Public Library stems from its role as a place where the community can discover, learn, and grow.
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