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There’s a tool called the Library Value Calculator that libraries all over the country use to demonstrate to people the value of their services. They enter their library’s usage statistics into the calculator and it shows how much money their services are worth if people had to pay for them at a business. For example, if the average price of an adult hardcover book on is worth $17 and the Library checks out an adult hardcover book 10 times, the book has given the public $170 of value. The calculator includes every type of service from music CDs ($10 average price on iTunes) and DVDs ($4 average price through Netflix) to an hour of computer use ($12 average price at FedEx or Kinko’s) and children’s program ($7 average admission fee to a children’s program).

Last year, the Library’s budget was a little over $2 million, with $1.9 million coming from local property taxes. According to the Library Value Calculator, Scenic Regional provided the public with an incredible $13,267,334 worth of library services. You can find all the details at the link below. Most government entities can’t provide a spreadsheet showing people that they’re giving them a 700% return on their tax money in the form of services.