I am delighted to announce the publication of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13), based on FY2010 IMLS public library data. If you’re in a public library, I believe you’ll find this book worthwhile. Here’s why:
Your public library is in competition with a lot of other agencies–city, county, district, even state–for money. You want your library to sustain its current services and expand them in the future. You know you get a lot of bang for your buck, but how do you show that to the people who hold the purse strings? One way is to use the data in Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four. Walt Crawford has compiled, analyzed, and organized library funding and service data from all around the United States. Give Us a Dollar will let you compare your services to those of other similar libraries at a glance and will help give you the data you need to show your funders how much you already stretch their dollars–and how much more you could provide with even a few dollars more.
The link above is for the $21.95 trade paperback (272 pages long).
The book is also available as an $11.99 PDF (no DRM: if Douglas County, Califa or anybody else desires to purchase this and mount it on a library ebook service, for the odd patron who might find it interesting, they have my blessing) and, for library schools or others who might want it that way, a $31.50 casebound hardcover.
Lulu frequently has sales during weekday periods. Check the home page at lulu.com, then search for Give Us a Dollar.
While this book is designed primarily as a tool for public libraries telling their stories to improve and retain funding, it may also be interesting for people who care about public libraries. Not a single library is named in the book, but more than 8,600 are compared in groups ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred.
There’s more information on the book in the October 2012 Cites & Insights. The book is ready to buy and use. I believe PDF will be the best format for most smaller public libraries: Despite the different “cover,” it’s exactly the same content, and at 6×9″ with margins it should be easy to read on most devices with reasonably large screens.
Click on the “$4” category in the sidebar for a growing set of posts offering comments on a few of the tables in the book.
Note added September 12, 2012: This post has been edited to remove time-sensitive information because I’ll be pointing to it for some time to come, from various other posts here and on social networks offering bits & pieces of commentary on some of the tables in the book.
That means that one comment below may not make sense. It called my attention to the vagueness of “this week” in the original post, referring to a sale that ended September 7, 2012. To avoid such vagueness while this post is in use, I’ve done an overall edit rather than a strikeout/replacement edit.