September has been declared Library Card Sign-up Month by the American Library Association. It coincides with the beginning of the school year to remind parents, teachers and students that a library card is the most important back-to-school tool available. And, at Camp Verde Community Library, it’s FREE!
Not only is the card free, the materials and resources in the library may be used free of charge. What might that mean to you if you were to use the library? Follow with me through a little calculation exercise to see how much money you could save by using your public library.
A couple of state library systems have created Return On Investment (ROI) Calculators to show what library services might cost an individual if he/she had to buy the material or pay for access. I’m going to use the ROI Calculator found on Michigan eLibrary’s website because it was last updated in August 2014. Let’s say in the month of September (did I mention it’s Library Card Sign-up Month?) you do the following:
• checkout 10 books
• checkout 3 movies
• checkout 2 kids books
• borrow 2 magazines
• read the AZ Republic in the library
• use a computer for 4 hours
• checkout 3 music CDs
• attend a photography class at the library
• attend a writers workshop sponsored by the library
• download 1 eBook
• bring the kids to 2 children’s programs
• use Chilton online to look up how to fix your truck
• checkout 1 audiobook
Michigan’s ROI Calculator has set the value of these materials and services as follows:
• $15 per book
• $5 per movie
• $15 per children’s book
• $5 per magazine
• $5 per newspaper
• $22.50 per one hour of computer use
• $10 per music CD
• $15 per adult program
• $8 per eBook downloaded
• $7 per children’s program
• $7.50 per search using eResources
• $18 per audiobook
In our example we show a savings to our patron of $387.50 for the month of September (which just happens to be Library Card Sign-up month). Now, you might think that some of the dollar amounts assigned are high, but then some of them might be low, so it evens out. Having purchase materials for the library and knowing what many services cost, I think the calculator is somewhat conservative in assigning dollar amounts. On the other hand, the library is funded by the community so in essence community members are already paying for the services and resources we provide. We get that. One more reason why you should USE your public library.
If we lived in Michigan we could use the ROI calculator to tell us how much value we receive for each dollar invested (an impressive $117.39). Altering the ROI Calculator to do that for Camp Verde is beyond my website-updating capabilities. However, it can be interesting to stop and think just how much money you can save by using the materials and resources at your public library. Another great reason why you should USE your public library. Not to mention that we like to see you here (especially during Library Card Sign-up Month)! So… bring the whole family in to get library cards and check something out. It might just open up a whole new world.