Focus on the value

Last month American Libraries Magazine ran a great article entitled “There Are No Free Libraries.” The article focuses on the need for libraries to market their value and impact instead of focusing on the fact that their services and programs are free. 

I agree.

The truth is that people don’t value the things for which they didn’t pay. In the case of libraries, I should clarify that most people don’t see the value of libraries beyond being a source for “free” reading material and (sometimes) internet access. The rest — the business resources, the research, the other services — that gets lost.

“The best messaging promotes our real-world value.” A good suggestion. So this is where we point out that the economic benefit of libraries in Texas was $2.4 billion in 2011 alone. According to an article in Library Journal, “Collectively the libraries cost less than $0.545 billion, for a return on investment of $4.42 for each dollar spent.”

About Sandra Fernandez

Sandra Fernandez is a social media and public relations consultant, tech enthusiast, book lover, and blogger. You can find her main blog at and more of her writing at

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