Public library value ratios: More information

I’ve received great feedback–both in comments and in email–based on the second post on my possible public library value ratios book project.

Michael Golrick pointed me to a Wisconsin page with a much larger list of state, local and regional library ROI studies than I’d encountered previously. I’ve now read (or at least skimmed) all of those and checked a couple of other sources.

As a result, I’ve added a new section to the May 9th post explaining the actual model I’ll use for the Value Ratio–if I do this project at all. I think it’s a defensible model that’s also wildly incomplete (it’s a baseline, representing a countable portion of a library’s value, but nowhere near the totality), and could possibly be a valuable complement to some excellent state and local studies. But I’m still not sure.

I invite you to take another look–the new information is at the bottom of the post, under the line–and offer additional comments from now through Sunday, May 13, 2012. That’s when I’ll make a decision on whether or not to proceed. (You may also want to read the original post.)

2 Responses to “Public library value ratios: More information”

  1. Susan Mark Says:

    I’ve got a note to myself to come back to these posts, read them more thoroughly and check out all the resources and details when I have a bit more time & focus than I have this morning.

    I want to say, Walt, that I am pleased you are looking at this and raising this conversation. I’ve seen a lot on library ROI in the past few years since becoming a data coordinator, but little that seems standardized and that doesn’t take a consultant to pull it off. Colorado did a great study showing value relying on (I believe, vaguely recalling it) factors such as how much patrons felt their local library was worth to them in monetary terms. Great study, but something tough to do on a widespread basis and something that needs some serious expertise (and $$$) to pull off.

  2. waltcrawford Says:

    In fact, if I do it, part of the first chapter will be a recommendation to read the Colorado report, for a variety of reasons.


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