Since everything we tally up for the state report is how much each library service get used, I thought I'd put all those totals into the Library Use Value Calculator - this then, in theory, will show how much value the entire community gets from using the library (instead of just using the calculator on an individual level).
Here's how things broke down*:
So at retail prices, the entirety of our activity last fiscal year should have cost our patrons a staggering $12,371,068.30 - over twelve million dollars. The library's total budget is about $1.5 million. So, by funding and using the library, our community saves about $10.5 million dollars a year.
I think that pretty clearly spells out the value of public libraries. Hopefully we'll be able to work this into some marketing materials to make the case of why our (meager) budget is important to the community.
*A couple notes on the figures:
- Interlibrary Loan Requests I think includes all of our network transfers within our consortium
- I was surprised ebooks was so low, but our Overdrive stats show that downloadable audio is still far more popular than ebooks (of course, ebooks are still new to us, so we're still building that collection)
- The state report has a single line for "Periodicals" - so I put that into the Magazines box in the calculator, and left Newspapers empty
- The state report groups all "CD" usage, so our audiobooks and music CDs are combined under Audiobooks, and I left CDs empty
- I left Meeting Room Use (per hour) empty, and am just replying on the attendance numbers - the per hour use is more individual and doesn't really scale out well to the community level
- I didn't have a total for Database Searches, so the number there is the number of times our databases were accessed (as opposed to searched) - which, again, makes more sense for the community level rather than individual level