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Return on Investment (ROI) Resources

Let's talk in dollars...

Q. How much money did you save your patrons by loaning books, movies and other items?

A. Number of items circulated multiplied by the average cost of the items.

Example: If your library circulated 25,000 items (books, movies, audiobooks) and you multiplied that by $20* you've theoretically saved the people of your community $500,000! How much have they invested in you?

 

Q. How many family entertainment dollars did you save the people of your community by offering programs?

A. Program attendance for the year multiplied by the cost of the average movie ticket in your area.

Example: If your program attendance for the year equals 500 and you multiply that by the cost of a $6.00 movie ticket you've saved $3,000 of entertainment costs for the people of your community.

 

Q. How much money does your library save the people of your community by providing computers with Internet access for the public?

A. Number of people who use your public access computers in a year multiplied by the cost of using the same equipment and connectivity through a local business.

Example: Kinko's Copy Center has begun offering access to computers with Internet connections and Microsoft Office Suite at $12 and hour, use that figure and multiply it by the number of people who used your computers last year. A local cyber cafe charges 13 cents a minute for Internet access.

More Economic Impact figures to use to describe the value of your library:
Some of these answers can be gathered in-house, others you may need to do a survey to find out. Sample surveys (or by contacting Rebekkah at rsmith@midhudson.org)

As you can see, promoting the value of your library in the community through economic statements can be quite effective. Speaking in terms of dollars and cents can have a big impact on people who might not register the value of library services otherwise.

Other resources to help you speak up about the value of your library's services to the community:

 

*R.R. Bowker Average Book Prices (2008) (2007 Preliminary Numbers)
Source: The Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac (2008)

Average per-volume price for hardcover books selling for less than $81.00 (this accounts for 80% of all hardcover books):
Adult Fiction: $27.33
Adult Non-fiction: $42.85
Juvenile: $20.49

Average per-volume price for all hardcover books:
Adult Fiction: $33.45
Adult Non-fiction: $87.76
Juvenile: $28.49

Average per-volume price for trade paperbacks:
Adult Fiction: $16.98
Adult Non-fiction: $37.12
Juvenile: $10.97

Average per-volume price for mass market paperbacks:
Adult Fiction: $10.29
Adult Non-fiction: $11.41
Juvenile: $6.86


 

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