Knowledge is a valuable commodity, especially since we live in the Information Era. Access to information is one of the most powerful economic development resources we have. Nationwide studies have shown that public libraries provide a great Return on Investment typically four times as much is received than is expended by the average library patron.
"Our founding fathers believed that "public libraries provided a place for regular folks to educate themselves." (Thomas Jefferson) They believed that without equal and free access to books and information, we could not have informed citizenry, capable of making good individual and community decisions. The need for that equity of access has not passed over time, despite some people's questioning of the need for public libraries today. In fact, library usage typically spikes during economic downturns.