May 18, 2022

Ohio: New Study Looks at the Economic Value of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

Our colleague, Meredith Schwartz at Library Journal has a report coming soon about a new report on the economic value and return on investment of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in Ohio.

Until then, The Toledo Blade reports:

The study determined that for every dollar of the library’s $35.3 million in its 2011 budget, Lucas County residents derived $2.86 worth of benefits in 2011.

“We knew the library makes a tremendous impact, and we wanted to quantify that,” said Clyde Scoles, the library’s executive director. He brought the idea to the board, which commissioned the report in March. The library paid $27,992 from three of its trust funds for the assessment and used no tax dollars for it.

The report assessed the library’s services — which included 7.1 million items circulated and 1.5 million search queries — at between $118 million and $136 million in 2011. The lower figure represents economic value, which uses employment, income, and spending data to determine how much the library’s services add to the local economy. The upper estimate is the return on investment, a calculation of the market value of the circulation, reference, and personnel services at the library.

If you would like to review the complete study, it’s embedded below with links to an appendix and a slide presentation about the findings.

Toledo-Lucas County Public Library: Economic Value and Return on Investment Study 2012

See Also: Direct to Report’s Appendix (19 pages; PDF)

See Also: Direct to Slide Presentation (PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.