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Friday, September 12, 2008

The Real Value of Your Library

You know that using a library saves people money. It's one thing to tell customers that; it's another to prove it to them--or better yet, let them prove it to themselves.

Here in NJ, Joanne Roukens (executive director of the
Highlands Regional Library Cooperative) created a little thing called "Valuing Libraries." It includes a "value calculator" for libraries and she's also done various presentations and made them available. Amazing stuff.

I just found another value calculator this morning, this one from the Franklin Park (IL) Public Library.
See how easy it is to use? And how the explanation of the values are right there? I love it! See also their special front page--what a simple and wonderful idea.
(I learned of this one from
Michael Stephens' blog, Tame the Web. If you don't already read it, you should; it's always got all kinds of cool and innovative stuff.)

How many of you have made these calculators available? They are very powerful tools!


Angela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

The Denver Public Library has one:

waltc said...

Don't all of these ROI calculators stem from the Massachusetts/Maine work? So far, every one I've seen has explicitly credited the origin.

@MCL said...

Yes, from MA/ME ..and we too credit them.

(linked it from blog and Foundation web page) ..
web stats analyzer tells me not too many folks have visited it, tho' ...

Alexandria Arnold said...

We attended Joanne's workshop a couple of years ago and were thrilled with the program. The Highlands RLC spreadsheet is much more extensive than most of the other calculators around and we believe it gives us a more complete picture of the ROI we're providing. Not only does it provide good fodder for our "elevator speech", but it helps us gauge whether collections are really vital and contributing to our mission, or whether we need to consider discontinuing them.