Study: Public libraries valued at $13.5M in Wico. County

SALISBURY, Md. – In Wicomico County, the community is learning just how valuable their local libraries actually are.

“The library is a great hub for resources for learning, helping out the kids, helping out the adult population,” explains Sam Gibson, of Wicomico County Public Libraries.

And now it’s place that has a price tag on the value it brings to the community thanks to a study done by the Business, Economic, and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) at Salisbury University.

“For every dollar invested in the Wicomico County Public Libraries the return on investment is $5.40, so that’s just phenomenal to be able to put a dollar value on the resources and services we provide.”

To put it, differently that’s a 442 percent return on investment.  It’s a number that may come as a shock to some, but not for the educators here in the county.

“Our county students go their for homework help in the evenings, so that’s another valuable resource that’s provided free of charge to the students within our county right there at the county library,” explains Jason Miller, principal at Prince Street Elementary.

It’s a place that provides free services that many families, kids and adults need like workplace development, literacy, cultural benefits, rather than a place to just check out books.

and as Beacon calculates, those services provide significant economic value to their communities, hence how they got their number.
It shows why libraries are so important to the community.

Miller says, “I know that our students who are English language learners find it very beneficial and especially their families in utilizing those resources here within the community.”

“We would like to hope to show that the value of the library is worth keeping the value you there keeping the budget and if possible increasing it so we can increase our services for the community,” explains Gibson.

Just last year, Wicomico Public Libraries had over 224,000 visitors, which is about double the population they serve.

Categories: Check It Out, Education, Local News, Maryland