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Library Development : Return on Investment Study : 2004 ROI Study

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Overview of 2004 Project

In 2004, the State Library and Archives of Florida contracted with a research team to measure taxpayer return on investment in Florida's libraries. In September 2004, the research team presented a summary report titled Taxpayer Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries (7.18MB PDF), which detailed the results of the study. This study and publication were funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State, State Library and Archives of Florida.

The study was led by project director José-Marie Griffiths, Ph.D., who is now Dean and Professor for the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Other team members included Donald King, Research Professor at University of Pittsburgh, and Christinger Tomer, Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh. Economists, including Thomas Lynch, Ph.D., director of the Center for Economic Forecasting at Florida State University, also contributed to the project.

This landmark study was the first of its kind devoted to Florida's public libraries. The project placed Florida libraries into an evaluative framework that allowed their economic impact to be compared with that of other types of organizations. It used standard models of economic values, most notably the model developed by Regional Economic Models, Inc., and the Contingent Valuation Method. The results of this study show that when Florida's state and local governments invest in libraries, it enhances the quality of life in communities and helps build a stronger state economy.

The State Library and Archives of Florida is investigating additional methodologies to update the applicability of this study and to further ensure that Florida's citizen stakeholders continue to receive a high return on investment in their public libraries.

Studies of Return on Investment in Other States

Indiana (2007) - Return on Investment of $2.38 (PDF, 91 pages, 736KB)

South Carolina (2005) - Return on Investment of $4.48 (PDF, 4 pages, 94KB)

Vermont (2007) - Return on Investment of $6.96 (PDF, 6 pages, 34KB)

Wisconsin (2008) - Return on Investment of $4.06 (PDF, 86 pages, 603 KB)

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