Ohio libraries benefit their communities


The Ohio Library Council (OLC) has issued a statewide return on investment (ROI) report of Ohio’s public libraries which confirms that libraries, including Carnegie Public Library and Jeffersonville Library, provide a strong economic benefit to their communities.

“Based on every measure in the report, Ohio’s investment in public libraries is both cost effective and of high value to Ohio residents,” said Dr. Howard Fleeter, an economist and public policy researcher based in Columbus. “Today’s findings confirm Ohio’s status as the nation’s premier provider of library services.”

The report shows that Ohio’s public libraries save Ohioans money and also directly benefit the state economy. Public library services in Ohio are worth nearly $2.7 billion.

“First and foremost, this report shows, in a measurable way, just how much Ohioans love their libraries,” Sarah Nichols, Carnegie Public Library director said. “Ohio has the second highest percentage of registered library users at 77.7 percent. That is incredible! I love this number! Additionally, Ohio libraries, ours included, strive to be good stewards of public funding, and it shows. The economic value of free programs for Fayette Countians of all ages, databases, Wi-Fi, books and movies to borrow, and more, is truly invaluable. We are fortunate, as a library, to have a supportive, engaged community and great backing from our legislators at the state level.”

Ohioans take advantage of the benefits and visit their local libraries often. According to the report, Ohio has the highest library use per capita in the nation. Compared to other states, Ohio libraries are also more cost efficient with one of the lowest cost per transaction rates in the country. Ohio’s figure of $2.88 is well below the national average. For every dollar spent by Ohio public libraries in 2014, Ohioans received $5.48 in total economic value.

“We know Ohioans value their public libraries,” said Doug Evans, Executive Director, Ohio Library Council. “This report gives us measurable evidence that Ohio’s public libraries provide a significant economic benefit to Ohio and its residents.”

To read a summary or to view the full report, visit olc.org/olc-releases-roi-report-ohios-public-libraries/.

The information in this article was obtained from the Ohio Library Council.

Carnegie Public Library responds to recent findings

By Martin Graham

[email protected]

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy

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