by Ross Duncan
APLIS – 1 December 2008

Increasing populations, changing demographics, ageing infrastructure, and the growing expectations of residents are all factors contributing to demands on the finances of local government councils. Now is the time for library managers to be able to translate the value of the services they provide to the community into language able to be understood by politicians and others. To successfully compete for funds with other areas of council, library managers need to develop tools and documents demonstrating the economic benefits which libraries deliver to the community. While there is no international consensus on the most appropriate methodology to apply to calculating the value of libraries, this paper applies a model used in Southwestern Ohio, to the nine libraries of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council in Queensland. The result was a return of $5.45 per dollar invested.

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