The Library Dividend: a study of the socio-economic value of Queensland public libraries
The Library Dividend is a major independent study of the socio-economic contribution of Queensland’s public libraries. The study was commissioned by State Library of Queensland in 2011 and was funded by the Expanding Horizons Public Library Grant as a state-wide research project.
The aim of the study was to expand the understanding of the value of public libraries to the community, prove that public libraries contribute economic benefit to the community, and provide Queensland public libraries with data to build a stronger case in securing their future funding.
- The Library Dividend: summary report [PDF 1.1MB]
- The Library Dividend: technical report [PDF 3.2MB]
- The Library Dividend: key findings [PDF 639.3KB]
A range of materials has been produced to support the library sector to clearly and powerfully articulate the benefits of Queensland public libraries:
- Library Value Calculator (Excel 2003) [XLS 819.0KB] - a tool to estimate the dividend the library service generates for the local community and economy.
If the Excel 2003 spreadsheet Output tab does not provide a result, users need to enable a Visual Basic tool embedded in Excel 2003. The instructions to do this are as follows:
If using Excel 2002/2003, please enable the Analysis Toolpak and Analysis ToolPak - VBA Add-ins. Do this by:
Click on Tools -> Add Ins and check the boxes next to these add-ins.
- Library Value Calculator (Excel 2007) [XLSX 709KB]
- Advocacy Action Planning Workbook [PDF 102KB] – a workbook to help Queensland public library teams plan their own advocacy campaigns, using the findings from The Library Dividend and other library metrics a to produce a local Library Advocacy Plan.
- The Library Dividend PowerPoint presentation template [PPTX 396KB] – This presentation is available for you to edit with your own graphics, quotations and results from The Library Dividend Calculator for use in demonstrating your library’s value to a variety of audiences. Notes on using and adapting the presentation are included [DOC 331KB].
- Media release shell for The Library Dividend [DOC 45KB] - this media release template can be used to promote public libraries through The Library Dividend. It can be easily edited and modified according to local needs.
Webcasts and slides of the presentations covering The Library Dividend at Libraries….the fourth ‘R’, a professional development event presented by the Queensland Public Libraries Association and State Library of Queensland at which The Library Dividend was launched, are provided below.
|The Library Dividend: overview of research report|
Andrew McDougall, Director, SGS Economics and Planning
|Presentation [PPT 1.6MB]||Webcast|
|The Library Dividend: the Library Value Calculator tool|
Mark Donaldson, Consultant, SGS Economics and Planning
|Presentation [PPT 753KB]||Webcast|
|Using The Library Dividend for advocacy purposes|
Sue McKerracher, Executive Director, ALIA
|Presentation [PPT 134KB]||Webcast|
Other public library socio-economic value studies
- Access and opportunity for all: How libraries contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda (2016) compiles examples and recommendations demonstrating the contribution of libraries to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Putting a value on priceless: An independent assessment of the return on investment of special libraries in Australia (2014) suggests law firms, government departments, associations and other organisations involved with special libraries gain over $5 in return for every $1 they invest in special libraries.
- Libraries: A Better Investment than Gold (2013) is an ALIA advocacy campaign conducted on behalf of a consortium of state and territory libraries. The report [PDF 1MB] shows that for every $1 invested in Australian public libraries, there was a return of $2.90 and the main findings are summarised in an infographic. A media release [PDF 193KB] was an integral part of the advocacy campaign.
- So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto [PDF 8.3MB] (2013) demonstrates that Toronto Public Library delivers $5.63 of economic impact for every $1 spent.
- Draft Queensland Drive Tourism Strategy, State Library of Queensland’s Response (2012). The Queensland Government invited responses to its Draft Drive Tourism Strategy, supporting an industry seen as a key component of the economy, particularly in regional Queensland. Public libraries have played an integral role in supporting drive tourism by providing information, access to local heritage and to communications and IT. This response to the draft strategy outlines these roles and suggests that public libraries be seen as key drive tourism infrastructure.
- The Economic Value of Library Services [PDF 1.5MB] (2012), a report by Archives, Library and Museum Alliance UK (ALMAUK), is based on results from just over 4,000 surveys of public library users and puts a theoretical value of between 24-27 pounds for each visit – this works out between 5.5 and 7.5 times greater than the actual cost of provision. The accompanying toolkit provides public libraries with a means of assessing their economic impact or value to users.
- Mapping, measuring & valuing the social & economic benefit of Christchurch City Libraries - post earthquake [PDF 1.5MB] (2012) by Mansell, Janet; Cruickshank, Alice; Rodgers, Jane & Daly, Dan for Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand, has drawn on the Victorian, NSW and Sunshine Coast studies.
- Dollars, sense and public libraries: a landmark study of the socio-economic value of Victorian Public Libraries (2011) was produced for the State Library of Victoria and the Public Libraries Victoria Network. The report analysed the socio-economic value of Victoria’s public libraries and found that the benefits contributed by public libraries significantly outweigh the costs and represent a sound return on community investment.
- Best bang for the buck: the economic benefits of Sunshine Coast libraries Queensland by Ross Duncan (APLIS: 01/12/2008, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p140-153). Abstract: 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.
- Enriching Communities: The value of public libraries in New South Wales [PDF 1.8MB] (2008) was produced by J.L Management Services for the Library Council of New South Wales.
- Sustaining Communities - Phase One: A review of research approaches measuring the value of public libraries [PDF 702KB] (2005), State Library of New South Wales.
If you have any comments or wish to contribute, please contact us at RegionalPartnerships@slq.qld.gov.au.