Putting a value on local libraries

Sunshine Coast Libraries are participating in a state-wide study to estimate the socio-economic value of libraries – and you are invited to have your say.
International studies have shown that for every dollar invested in public libraries, around $3.56 is the average rate of return in community benefits.
These benefits accrue from libraries’ contributions to improved literacy rates and supporting community members to achieve better educational outcomes with better employment prospects in the future.
Manager of Library and Gallery Services, Ross Duncan said public libraries were one of the most valued and visited public institutions in Australia.
“With more than 11 million library members across Australia visiting libraries more than 111 million times each year, it is clear that libraries are as popular as ever,” he said.
Mr Duncan said Sunshine Coast Libraries were participating in this study to gauge the return on investment Sunshine Coast Council was achieving for ratepayers in its library services.
“We are continuing to offer an increased variety of services, to the public. Along with the traditional books, members are able to borrow DVD’s and CD’s, toys, access free internet terminals and attend many workshops and activities,” he said.
This study requires that community members complete a brief survey asking questions about how and when they use libraries. Once completed, the surveys will be sent to the State Library of Queensland for analysis, with all information remaining confidential.
“With more than 1,300 responses already received, we are well on our way to gaining valuable insights into the value of council’s libraries,” Mr Duncan said.
“We are asking people of all ages to complete the survey to provide a true reflection of our community.”
To encourage people to complete the survey, council is offering a prize of an iPad, an iPod touch and some double movie passes. The survey period closes 9 November 2011.
Those interested in taking part in the survey can do so either online or in person next time they visit a council library.