Report: Free Library Created More Than $30 Million In 2010

freelibrary1The first ever economic impact study of Philadelphia’s libraries, The Economic Value of the Free Library of Philadelphia, found the free libraries created over $30 million worth of economic value to the city. Expect it to be cited during the next quote-unquote, city budget crisis.

The study, conducted by the UPenn’s Fels Institute of Government, looked into various ways the Philadelphia library system effects our local economy and came up with the following:

•    Survey respondents reported they couldn’t have started or grown 8,600 small business without resources obtained at the Free Library. (With a direct economic impact of $4 million.)
•    1,000 respondents said they found work thanks to Free Library resources. (The report estimates this pumped about $30 million into the economy.)
•    Homes located within a quarter-mile of a Free Library branch are worth an average of $9,630 more than those outside the radius.
•    It’s OK to gloat. FLP President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon: “Through this groundbreaking study we put a figure to our services, providing hard evidence that we are more than a nice community resource—we’re an integral economic engine for the city of Philadelphia.”

Now if they could only get those books out of the stacks in under 45 minutes.

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