The Returns to Public Library Investment

May 20, 2021

A new working paper, The Returns to Public Library Investment, examines how capital investment in public libraries affects library operations, patron usage, and local communities, with a focus on student achievement. The paper was published to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago website.

From the abstract:

[su_quote]…library capital investment increases children’s attendance at library events by 18%, children’s checkouts of items by 21%, and total library visits by 21%. Increases in library use translate into improved children’s test scores in nearby school districts: a $1,000 or greater per-student capital investment in local public libraries increases reading test scores by 0.02 standard deviations…[/su_quote]

Read the entire paper for full details.

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