Do You Know the Value of Your Public Library?

“After 16 years of working for the same company, my husband lost his job in May 2009.  Four months into the job search, without much luck, we realized that we weren’t going to be able to pay the mortgage, if we didn’t start cutting back on other expenses.  The next morning I called the library and learned they had four computers with internet access and were open pretty much all week, with some evening hours.  That settled it.  I then called Comcast and cancelled our internet service.  It was fortunate that my husband didn’t have to waste time and gas on driving to Laconia for his job searching.” -Nancy, Hill, NH

“As a new stay-at-home mom, I found that my habit of picking up a book or two at Target was no longer in my budget.  My local library came to my rescue, with new release books, a quiet place to peruse the aisles, and best of all, a librarian who gave me suggestions and a friendly break during my day!  The Hill Library was and is a great resource for me.” -Melanie, Hill, NH

Do you have a story of how the economy has affected you?  Many of us do, and even more frequently these days, many of our most important local resources, such as our libraries, do!  There is research to support what librarians have always said:  libraries are busier during hard economic times.  In the past two years, HPL has seen a 30% increase in patron visits. Unfortunately, not everyone understands or appreciates the value and importance of libraries.  At the annual Hill Town Meeting in March, the library’s appropriation for 2010 was cut 25%  from the prior year.

The Value of Library Service Calculator is a great tool for putting a dollar value on library usage.  Although this application was created by the MLA Legislative Committee two years ago, it still demonstrates how using the resources available at your local library can save you money.  So check out the Hill Public Library, sign-up for a library card, and let the savings begin!

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