Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{February 7, 2011}   The Cost of Libraries…

This came across my email from my list serve on libraries today from a librarian on the speaking circuit;

“Last year I gave a series of talks. They all started with questions. How many people had internet access at home? Nearly everyone did. Then I asked how much people spent per month, per household, for the service. The answers started at a low of $30 a month, up to about $80. Then I asked the kicker: So what do you think the average American household spends per month for public libraries?
The answer, based on national data, is this: Households pay an average
of $2.68 per month for their public libraries.”…

I had to read that at least twice. That’s .08 cents a day. As an employee of a public library, this can be read in two different ways with two different tones. The Diva is working her butt off to provide excellent service for .08 cents a day or The Diva is working her butt off to provide excellent service for .08 cents a day (I give you creative license to imagine the tone..)

A big part of my job is to seek out volunteers to help us save on resources and bring in help when we are already stretched over a barrel. Back in the day, for a price of a cup of coffee we used to be able to adopt a child in a 3rd world country. Wasn’t it like .50 cents a day back then? Now a cup of coffee costs in the $2-4 dollar range depending on where you get it from and in most places it’s free refills…

But what can you get for .08 cents a day anymore? The public library…it looks like. Call me crazy, but I’m still in shock on how cheap we are…


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