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What is your local library worth to you?

Andrew Norton

I love this new calculator from the Library of Michigan. You enter some basic information and hit the 'calculate' button for an instant dollar figure of what the services you use in a typical month are worth.

Here is what you can enter into the calculation:

  • Books borrowed per month
  • Magazines borrowed per month
  • Movies borrowed per month
  • Music recordings borrowed per month
  • Audio books borrowed per month
  • Children's Program(s) attended per month
  • Program(s) for Adults attended
  • Computer use (hours per month)
  • Reference questions asked per month
  • Number of full-text articles accessed from a library's Web site or the Michigan eLibrary
  • Number of hours utilizing library resources in-house
  • Museum Adventure Pass(es) Checked Out

The calculator assigns various values to each of the above library uses. For example, the value of a checked out book is figured to be $30 and a magazine is $4.

While the dollar figures assigned to the various uses can be debated it is a nice way to put a dollar amount on the savings you get against the tax burden you pay. Mine calculated out to be $128.05 of value for each $1 of tax. That's a pretty good return on investment.

Calculate your ROI (Return On Investment) at