The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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November 2006

What’s New · Economic Benefits of Public Libraries

“A Library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.”—Andrew Carnegie

Economic Benefit Study Released November 29, 2006: Southwestern Ohio’s Return from Investment in Public Libraries Nearly 4 to 1

A new study released November 29, 2006 shows that nine public library systems in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Southwest Ohio create an annual economic impact of nearly four times the amount invested in their operations. The report from Levin, Driscoll & Fleeter in Columbus concludes that, using a conservative measure of value, the libraries’ cumulative expenditure of about $74 million returned a quantifiable direct economic benefit of $238.6 million, or $3.81 for each dollar expended in 2005. The study also recognizes that these libraries add significant value to their users and communities that cannot be assigned a dollar value including, “improved economic prospects and an enhanced quality of life.”

This is the first collaborative effort between these nine libraries serving the Southwest Ohio region and the first of its kind in Ohio. Participating libraries are: Lane Public Library and Middletown Public Library in Butler County; Clermont County Public Library in Clermont County; Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County in Hamilton County (1/2); and Franklin-Springboro Public Library, Lebanon Public Library, Mason Public Library, Salem Township Public Library, and Mary L. Cook Public Library (Waynesville) in Warren County. Levin, Driscoll & Fleeter is a well-known firm specializing in state and local budget and tax policy.

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