Library Investment Pays Off — September 9, 2011
What if you had membership in an organization that provided access to all the information in the world, or help to find job resources or work on a resume, or could replace all your magazine subscriptions, or provide you with all the new music you’re craving and entertain the family with movies for the whole weekend? What would that membership be worth to you? Would it be worth a monthly fee like the YMCA or a season pass like the Hastings Aquacourt?
I’ll let you in on a secret that’s worth sharing; many of your neighbors and friends already have this membership. You probably already have access to this membership and if you’re not taking advantage of if, you’re missing out on a great investment and a great opportunity to save money for your family budget.
In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, Hastings and Adams County residents provided $1,042,472 to support the Library. That’s a little over $30 a year for each resident. Members of the library checked out over 250,000 books, movies, magazines and CD’s. Members used 22,150 hours of internet access and 543 hours of meeting rooms and more than 14,000 members attended classes at the library. If members had to buy all of those books and movies, or pay for internet access or pay for classes, the total cost would be over $5.5 million. That’s a return of more than 530% on residents’ investment in the library.
For my family, our regular library use is probably equivalent to $200 per month. I check out a lot of books I don’t necessarily wish to own and my daughter is working on her list of 100 Best Books to Read in Kindergarten. Plus we check out at least 10 movies per month and the occasional magazine or music CD. My family budget certainly isn’t capable of purchasing all of these things individually, and the best part is, we can choose from a continually changing collection of materials. There is always something new to try, or something old we may have missed on another visit.
September is Library Card Sign-up Month and I strongly encourage everyone to be a part of our membership. If you are new to Hastings or Adams County or just never got around to seeing what the library has for you, come sign up for your card and start realizing the return on your investment. If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited, dust off your card and come see the new ways we are serving our community. The library is for everyone, and your membership to the world of ideas and exploration is just waiting for you. Let’s make the most of our investment and our community.