Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  work in progress

The Economic Value of Library Systems

An economic study developed by the Free Library of Philadelphia in 2010 is a good starting point for anyone who wants to advocate for their library. The Free Library of Philadelphia summarized four areas where the library makes an impact on its community.

1. Workforce Development – $6M

– $2.2 million in career development book-reading & lending
– $2.1 million in job-finding online activities, including workforce database usage and online job searching/prep
– $1.7 million job-readiness and workforce-related programming

The study estimates that 979 Philadelphians found jobs directly as a result of the resources provided by the Library in FY10.

979 entry-level jobs translates into $30.4 million in earned income in one year (at an average entry-level salary for Philadelphia), generating $1.2 million annually in wage tax revenue for the city

2. Business Development – $3.8M

8% of survey respondents report that they could not have started, grown or improved their business without the Free Library, resulting in an estimated 8,630 businesses that benefited from Free Library business development services.

3. Value to Homes and Neighborhoods. Homes within ¼ mile of a Library are worth, on average, $9,630 more than homes more than ¼ mile from a Library.

4. Literacy – $21.8M

– $18.4 million in literacy-related reading & lending
– $2.6 million in literacy related programming
– $818,000 in literacy-related online activities

10% of survey respondents report “ I couldnt have learned to read without the library,” meaning an estimated
10,788 people attribute their ability to read to the Free Library.

13% of survey respondents report they taught someone else to read and could not have done it without the Free Library, meaning 14,024 people attribute their being able to teach someone to read to the Library.