Libraries in Duval County were visited nearly 3.5 million times last year and more than 6.5 million items were checked out by customers. Our libraries provide those products and services at a great value: In Duval County, residents received $6.29 for every $1 of taxpayer revenue invested. The City of Jacksonville invests less than $46 per year per resident to support library services, yet residents receive more than $252 billion in value.
That’s according to a new study, “Taxpayer Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries (2013) by the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, University of West Florida,” commissioned by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services.
But what if libraries didn’t exist? In short, it would cost you a lot in terms of time and money.
If Duval County did not have libraries, residents would have to spend nearly $3 billion to access alternative sources, including buying books, DVDs, CDs and magazines online or in stores, paying for meeting space for their community organizations, and being charged to use WiFi or Internet services.