Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ron McCabe: Libraries Play Key Role in Public Education

Wisconsin Rapids Journal, 6/24/2011.

Excerpt:  As president-elect of the Wisconsin Library Association, I am learning more everyday about the amazing contributions of libraries of all types to the education of the citizens of our state. Here are a few examples that relate to public libraries. I was surprised to learn that more people visit Wisconsin's public libraries every week than the Packers home game attendance in an entire season. There were 35.5 million public library visits in 2009. These visitors borrowed 65.6 million books and other materials that year.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Top Ten States
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Wisconsin is the No. 1 state in public library resource sharing. If all of the library materials borrowed from other libraries were purchased by home libraries, the Department of Public Instruction calculates the cost of these materials at more than $100 million per year. NorthStar Economics estimated the direct economic impact and the impact of Wisconsin public library services to be $753 million in 2008. In the same study, NorthStar estimated that the annual return per dollar of public tax support for Wisconsin's public libraries was $4.06.

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