Library Releases Economic Value Report

Posted Jul 30th, 2012 by Rhonda Sewell  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Toledo.com


A recent economic impact study of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) shows that the system delivers great economic value to the local community. For every $1 invested in the Library, the community receives a net benefit worth nearly $3.

Overall, the Library’s total return on investment to the local community is nearly $136 million.

The 38-page Economic Value and Return on Investment study assesses the economic value of services provided by the Library system and concludes that the 20-location system provides many benefits to the community in a very cost-efficient manner. The report was authored by University of Toledo Economics Associate Professor Oleg A. Smirnov, Ph.D.

“Our staff and patrons are clear on the value our system provides by facilitating access to a wealth of knowledge and information. But, measuring this reality in economic terms sheds new information on our value. Dr. Smirnov came up with realistic and quantitative numbers of what the Library returns to the community,” said Clyde Scoles, Library Director.

In a Library Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, July 26 at Mott Branch, the board voted unanimously to accept Dr. Smirnov’s report, which was commissioned by the Library utilizing private funds. No public tax dollars were used to fund the report.

Scoles said he sought the expertise of Dr. Smirnov to conduct the study via the University of Toledo’s Urban Affairs Center, based on his knowledge of a similar return on investment study done of Southwest Ohio libraries in four counties.

“The Southwest Ohio study, and other return on investment studies done on public libraries are such an eye-opener and reveal just how important libraries are and what role we play in the communities we serve,” said Scoles. He added that the findings of TLCPL’s economic impact study will be used to educate the public, especially during a critical time when the system is asking for support of a 2.9 mill operating levy in November.

Dr. Smirnov’s report used different economic methodologies to measure the value of TLCPL. The report calculates and studies the system’s value of information and access to data sources; quality of life and economic development; economic impacts of the Library’s public services, and cost vs. value factors and the role of information of the Library. The author’s report also includes valuations of specific services such as circulation of library materials, reference services, value-added services and return on investment.

“I’m used to working in academic libraries and I was so impressed by the many offerings of our local public library system,” said Dr. Smirnov of his Library study. “It is clear from my findings that the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library contributes much to the prosperity of the local community.”

To arrange an interview with Dr. Smirnov or for more information about the study, please contact him at oleg.smirnov@utoledo.edu
or via UT’s College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences at 419.530.6121-direct # (or 419.530.2572).

For information on the Economic Value and Return on Investment Report, visit toledolibrary.org, or call 419.259.5266

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Rhonda Sewell - Toledo-Lucas County Public Library | Toledo, OH

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