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Studies have shown that residents of Kalkaska can expect a return of $4.00 to $5.00 on each dollar spent on libraries.

  • Employment & Expenditures: Employee salaries + local purchases for goods and services
  • Number of registered users: 5,904 in 2021
  • 2,430 patrons attended programs, and there were 23,199 visits to the library
  • Total Collection Use: 59,017 items in 2022
  • Wireless Log-ins: Fiber-optic network serving all of downtown Kalkaska’s Railroad Square, over 27,000 logins in 2022
  • Since 2020 the library has operated Kalkaska Public Schools’ libraries

Libraries have value to neighborhoods

People prefer to live near a public library if they have a choice, and often perceive library access as part of an enhanced quality of life.

Proximity to a library has value

In 2022, there were about 23,000 visits to the library. Patrons who stop at the library while completing a longer list of errands report “halo” spending at firms and establishments close to the library.

Economic value of libraries enhances business development

Business related services offered by the library, including: computer/database access; related programming; employment skills assistance; and access to print and online reference materials positively impacts the small businesses of our community. 

Employment and entrepreneurship

Results show that libraries are serving as an important supplement to local and federal agencies focused on employment activities, by providing access to needed services in a setting that can offer support and access to all members of a community. In the current economy, these services are making a difference in the lives of individuals and their families across the nation. In addition to finding actual jobs, people reported using the library’s online resources for preparatory steps such as creating resumes, researching job information, submitting applications online, and receiving training for job-related skills. Those who are employed use the library to conduct work, and entrepreneurs and small business owners use the library’s computer resources for writing business plans, finding investors, marketing, and business administration.

Social return-on-investment in public libraries

The social return-on-investment from public libraries is greater than simply the measurable economic ROI. Other benefits of significant value include the collection of materials itself, and the many services of the library; the educational programs, as well as the educational benefits of the library’s mission including literacy of the citizenry; technology for use in the library; the expertise of the library staff; the library facility as a community gathering place; the “halo” spending by library patrons at establishments close to the library; and the value of a library’s enhancement to neighborhood real estate and community partnerships.