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February 2015, Volume 7, Issue 2

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

Take Your Child to the Library Day
Feb. 2

Digital Learning Day
Feb. 4

World Cancer Day
Feb. 4

Take Your Child to the Library Day
Feb. 7

Clean out your Computer Day
Feb. 9

Valentine's Day
Feb. 14

President's Day
Feb. 16

Random Acts of Kindness Day
Feb. 17

Read Across America
Mar. 2

World Wildlife Day
Mar. 3

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Get down to business with SDSL e-resources

Board Talk


The true value of your local library

By Daria Bossman, State Librarian

South Dakota Data Digest Public Library report

South Dakota Public Library 2013 data is in and our 111 communities spent (averaged) almost $27 per resident on public libraries. For that South Dakota patrons have access to thousands of books, eBooks, audiobooks, videos, free programs, computers and Wi-Fi. They receive help with homework and can study, read or just hang out in a safe and inviting environment. Not everyone has access to a personal computer at home or at work. In today's world 98% of all job applications have an online component. Little attention is drawn to the fact that daily in South Dakota thousands of folks without personal computers apply for a job online IN their local library and on public library computers. Talk about economic impact!

Shawn Behrends, the SDSL's State Data Coordinator stated in a recent Cornerstone article, "South Dakota residents received an average value of $128 per capita on these services from their public libraries. That represents a return on investment of $4.73 for every dollar spent on library materials and services. Most people would agree that's a great value!" Our 4.7 ROI is close to the national average though some libraries have calculated an ROI (return on investment) closer to 10 or even 13 times their initial investment! I don't know many governmental agencies in any community that can boost that for every dollar invested, the community gets back nearly five dollars in value! Boards, when you are working on your next year's budget, don't hesitate to share these statistics with your city council!

So do you know the value of your library to your community? Last month we featured an article which highlighted our new Library Value Calculator on our SDSL's website. Did you read that article? Have you gone to our website and plugged in your Public Library Survey data to share the economic impact of your library's materials and services with city council members, commissioners, local leaders and citizens? It is fun tool to see what kind of return value individuals receive from their library as well.

And when you talk about the value of your library, don't forget about other, less measurable ways the library impacts the cultural, educational and economic well-being of your community. Does your library provide business periodicals and resources, and adult learning opportunities or programs? How many people who visit the library also visit local businesses? What is the educational impact of the library's summer reading program and other children's literacy programming? The library provides employment and supports local business with the goods and services it purchases. These are just a few of the "other" benefits of your public library. Don't be shy about sharing. What seems obvious to us may not be that obvious to others. Your job is to "toot the horn" for your community's library and to obtain additional needed funds for the ongoing support of that library. Use this ROI tool (PDF) and see some eyes pop!

Then, give us a call. We love to hear your stories and share in your successes!





board, community, employment, literacy, programming, public libraries, statistics, summer reading

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