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Library Use Value Calculator

What is your library worth to you?

How much would you pay out-of-pocket for your library services?

  • Enter in the left hand column the number of times per month you or your family use each service.
  • Estimated retail value of each service will be calculated on the right.
  • Total value of your library use is shown at the bottom of the worksheet.
  • Tip: Tab between entries and do not use commas.
Value of Library Services
Input Your
Use
Library Services Value of
Services
Adult Paperbacks (fiction and nonfiction) Borrowed
Children Books Borrowed
Young Adult Books Borrowed
eBooks/eAudiobooks Downloaded

 

The calculator worksheet has been adapted from the downloadable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet originally provided by the Massachusetts Library Association and then adapted for the web by Chelmsford Public Library. Maine State Library added extra accessibility coding and reformatting for ease of reading online.


Library Use Value Calculator Explanations of Values

Updated figures, September 2017

This chart provides background for estimated or average costs for library resources and services.
For example, we used the Average Book Prices 2017 published by School Library Journal in March 2017. Their numbers are produced in partnership with Follett. Also used, the American Library Association Library Value Calculator.

While the cost of many library resources has remained flat or decreased slightly since 2009, the cost of magazines and newspapers has increased substantially.

Customization

Some values may vary from area to area. If you would like to supply your own values, please feel free to download the spreadsheet for edits to meet your own needs.

A list of estimated or average library services with explanation
Item Estimated Retail Value Values Explained
Adult Books (fiction and nonfiction) Borrowed $26.94 School Library Journal's Average Book Prices for 2017
Adult Paperbacks (trade and mass-market) Borrowed $15.15 School Library Journal's Average Book Prices for 2017
Children Books Borrowed $12.34 School Library Journal's Average Book Prices for 2017
Young Adult Books Borrowed $15.19 School Library Journal's Average Book Prices for 2017
eBooks/eAudiobooks Downloaded $15.00 Estimated B&N/Amazon average
Movies Borrowed $4.00 Estimated Netflix average
Audiobooks Borrowed $9.95 Audible.com download average
Music CDs Borrowed $9.95 iTunes download album average
Video Games Borrowed $50.00 Average cost to purchase a video game.
Magazines/Newspapers Borrowed or Used in the Library $5.00 Estimated purchase price average
Interlibrary Loan Requests $25.00 Amazon.com average price plus shipping
Meeting Room Use per Hour $25.00 Estimate
Adult Programs, Events or Classes attended $15.00 Entertainment/program admission fee - estimated average per adult
Teen Programs, Events or Classes attended $12.00 Entertainment/program admission fee - estimated average per youth
Children's Programs, Events or Classes attended $7.00 Entertainment/program admission fee - estimated average per child
Computer Use per hour (i.e. Internet, MS Office, etc.) $12.00 FedEx/Kinkos price
Usage of Library Databases $20.00 Average cost for online article search
Reference Questions Asked - In Person or Online $7.00 Average library cost

Based initially on the calculator from Massachusetts Library Association.

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