PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Penn’s Fels Institute of Government recently produced a report on the economic value of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s services, using responses of almost 4,000 patrons and 85 librarians plus data from over 100,000 who circulate children’s materials.

Findings showed that the Library attributed 1.75 million volumes to literacy—children’s books costing more than $18 million plus $3 million for programs and databases— all to motivate readers and increase skills.

One third of the respondents reported using computers for finding jobs with databases and programs such as resume writing and interviewing totaling $6 million devoted to workforce development. It’s estimated that 10% of 10% of new jobs and new hires in Philly were attributable to the Library.

Between book lending, computer usage and programs, $3.8 million was spent on business development estimating that more than 8600 businesses benefiting from the Library’s services.

Data showed that houses near libraries are worth more; immigrants believed that libraries helped them start American lives; and families talked of safety – libraries being a stable presence in communities.

Libraries are much more than just books!

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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