Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Dollars, Sense and Public Libraries

Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Dollars, Sense and Public Libraries

Article excerpt

The first article in this issue of Aplis tells the story of the methodology and outcomes of the Victorian Dollars, sense and public libraries report as the 2011 complement to the landmark 2005 Libraries building communities reports about the vital contribution made by Victoria's public libraries to strengthening local communities. Libraries building communities represented a major investment of funds and time by the Library Board of Victoria, the State Library and Victorian public libraries which resulted in world class research with universally applicable findings made freely available electronically, and handsomely published in print at a very reasonable cost.

Nothing less can be said of Dollars, sense and public libraries. Although it essentially confirms other international and Australian research about the socioeconomic return on investment in public libraries, it does so by using a more robust economic modeling than many studies, and its product is more detailed and polished. Its attractively designed and produced technical report alone runs to 240 pages--large enough, one would hope, to beat sense into the head of even the most blinkered or obdurate municipal councillor or other local library funding decision maker. It is another major piece in the public library advocacy jigsaw of which full advantage should be taken by public library advocates in Australia, New Zealand--indeed worldwide. On their achievement, congratulations are particularly due to the project management team of Debra Rosenfeldt, Kerri Sidorow, Melanie McCarten and Beata Wacek of the State Library of Victoria; the researchers from SGS Economics and Planning; Diana Wells Design; and Sue McKerracher. Access Dollars, sense and public libraries freely at www. …

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