"Bang for Your Buck" - What's That Library Card Really Worth?

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. 


And while libraries continue to provide books - other items like audiovisual materials for those with sight issues, as well as, access to high speed computers, databases and Wi-Fi are also available for those individuals who cannot afford these necessities.  And I call them necessities because whether it's for educational support, or to create resumes and do job searches, to communicate with family and friends or for personal enrichment and entertainment, these things are necessary in today's society.

The Library's role is changing.  We are "not your parents' library" of quiet spaces and just books anymore.  Today's public libraries have so much more within their walls.  Public libraries support schools and colleges by making homework and research resources available when the school is closed.  They grow the economy by providing resources for job seekers and small business entrepreneurs.  They enhance our quality of life through diverse programs for the entire family.  In many communities, public libraries are now the "village green" of yesteryear - an open, gracious space where groups meet, where discussions and forums are held, where ideas and issues are exchanged, where knowledge does more than exist in those books, but it grows outside the Library's walls into the whole community.  Libraries are the Third Space - that place you go besides work and home.

The following is a list of materials and library usage statistics which outlines how much "bang you are getting for your buck" when it comes to your Superior District Library Return on Investment.

Item                                         Average Value of Item

Books                                       $15/book

Magazines                                $5/magazine

Movies                                     $4/movie

Audiobooks                               $10/audiobook

Music                                       $15/CD

Interlibrary Loan                       $25/cost for item and transport

Programs (Adult)                      $15/hour of program

Programs(Children)                   $7/hour of program

Computer Usage                       $12/hour of computer time

Reference Questions                 $7/staff time per question

Meeting Room use                    $50/hour of meeting room usage

Total value of items                               $165.00

The average taxpayer in the Superior District Library pays around $80 per year to the library for unlimited services.  If you use just one of each of these materials and services per year, you have already more than doubled your Return on Investment.  A typical library patron will utilize approximately $737.19 worth of library services and materials per year.  This means for every $1 spent, the patron is receiving about $4.47 in return.  This is better than the interest rate at any bank or credit union around, which is why Benjamin Franklin is still correct 200 years later, when he said "an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."

Contact Us

W. 1941 Church St.
P.O. Box 30
Moran, MI   49760


Library Manager:
Bernice Peterson


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Sunday -- Closed

Monday -- 9 am - 2 pm

Tuesday -- 3 pm - 8 pm

Wednesday -- 9 am - 2 pm

Thursday -- 3 pm - 8 pm

Friday -- Closed

Saturday -- Closed