Library ROI Calculator

In the 'usage' column, click the checkboxes if you've borrowed books or movies, and put the number of times you've used the other resources in the last year. The total will automatically update when you click out of a field (or into the next field).

Market Value of Library Services
UsageLibrary ServicesValue of Services

Borrowing a library book is not the same value as buying a new book. As such, we base the savings on the approximate annual cost of services like Booksfree and BookSwim, which work like Netflix but for books.

Netflix DVDs by mail (rounded to $8/month) is the closest 'competitor' to our DVD lending service.

Our calculation of $30 per class is approximated on the average 1.5 hour cost for one-time computer [personal enrichment] classes at local Universities and Community Colleges.

Given the ephemeral nature of Magazines and Newspapers, it is fair to approximate reading and/or borrowing periodicals as the same as newsstand price, or $2 each.

The $7 approximation is based on the purchase price of an album on iTunes, and the per-album queue price for the Yourmusic service.

Storytimes and programs for children and adults. $10 per program is based on similar local offerings.

Tutoring Value based on estimated per-hour cost of similar commercial services.

It's tough to estimate a fixed value for Reference. A question of fact, like those asked through ChaCha, is free on the open market. An hour of professional research through many libraries (including New York Public Library) routinely costs $60 or more.

If you don't have access to a computer, the most viable option beside the library is Fedex Office. They charge $12 per hour of computer use.

Renting a room at other local attractions averages $50 per hour.

Like reference questions, accessing databases has a varying and subjective value. The $20 estimate is approximate, based on short-period personal access costs to various databases.

The $9 estimate is an average of ticket prices to local museums, parks, and other attractions.

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