|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Patrons Find Value in Library Services
By Kate Mutch, Public Services Librarian
October 15, 2008
A few months ago I wrote about the value of my own library usage. The library saved me over $5,500 last year! Admittedly, I work at the library and am an avid reader. So I polled a couple of other people to get an idea of how valuable the library is to them.
One of our library regulars told me she reads 2 or 3 library books each week. That’s between 104 and 156 books a year, a service value between $2,808 and $4,212. She doesn’t use any of the library’s magazines but does listen to one book on CD every 4 or 5 weeks and checked out about 15 movies last year.
She attended 2 programs and used the interlibrary loan service 4 times. The total value of the services she used is between $3,688 and $5,082.
If each person who read the 107,000 adult books that circulated last year had to purchase them individually, it would have cost our citizens over two million dollars. Families would have spent over $3.8 million dollars to purchase the 184,000 children’s books that were checked out and read. The library’s other services and materials are also heavily used, providing high value to county citizens.
This year, over 400 adults attended at least one computer class taught at your library. Free informational programs for adults included Home Buying Basics, Credit Repair workshops, Start Your Own Business workshops and Residential Solar & Wind Power information.
The library is also an excellent value to children and families. Did you know that over 5,700 parents and children attended the 224 storytimes held at NCPL last year? By attending the story times, these children are learning skills that prepare them for success in school.
Last year the library kept over 3,000 children and teens reading through the summer, helping them retain what they learned during the school year. Librarians spend time in the schools as well, enriching children’s education while teachers engage in professional development.
With this in mind, I was curious about the value of library services for a family with children.
One mother said her preschooler checks out about 15 picture books each week, a value of $15,000 annually. He checks out 3-4 movies each week ($3,300) and also attends storytime weekly ($240). The approximate value to just one child was an astonishing $18,540 if the family had to purchase the materials and services used for free at NCPL.
Her other child, a 3rd grader, checks out about 3 books and one movie per week ($3,980) and attends 10 programs a year ($60) for a total value of $4,040.
Mom and Dad don’t read as much, but do borrow a book every few weeks and check out several movies each month. The total annual value of library service for this family was approximately $24,000!
Thousands of Natrona County citizens are already enriching their lives with the wealth of materials and services offered by your library. You, too, can have free access to check out books, magazines, audio books and movies, enjoy classes, family programs, book discussions and more. These are all available, for free, at your library.
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