Op-Ed: The Immeasurable Value of Texas Libraries

The report recently released by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission shows a return of investment of $4.64 for every dollar spent. Even so, advocates of Texas libraries know that investing in these organizations brings value beyond what can be measured in dollars and cents.  

Libraries of today are forward-thinking institutions that embrace technology and contribute enormous value to their thriving communities. As gathering places for people to interact and share ideas, libraries connect their patrons with the information and resources that they need in order to live full and satisfying lives. They demonstrate that libraries have evolved beyond books alone by providing resources to job seekers, supporting small businesses, building technology skills, and offering a wide range of cutting edge programs, including 3D printing, robotics, circuitry, and more.

People served by well-funded public libraries in their area enjoy access to much-needed physical and digital materials as well as critical services like Wi-Fi and computer access. School districts dedicated to their libraries boast strong curriculums and test scores while positively influencing student success.

Without a doubt, it pays to support Texas libraries. The future of libraries is bright, and for those communities that back them, the benefits are endless.

Melissa Baker, Marketing and Program Coordinator of Montgomery County Memorial Library System, is the Chair of Texas Library Association’s PR and Marketing Committee, which spearheaded the statewide ‘Powered Libraries’ campaign: www.poweredlibraries.org.


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