Fall 2009

The Trustee communicates issues affecting libraries and library services. Once a library and systems join LTA, all their trustees automatically receive this quarterly publication published by LTA. To learn more about membership in LTA, Click Here.

What is Your Public Library Worth to You?

Fall 2009 issue of Trustee

Westchester Library System Users Can Find Out:

New Online Calculator Estimates the Value of Library Usage

How much would you pay out-of-pocket for services you receive from your public library? The Westchester Library System is now offering a new feature on their website,, allowing library patrons to find out. The calculator estimates how much an individual or family saves every month by using their local library.

The Library Use Value Calculator assigns a monthly dollar figure for each patron’s use based on seventeen common library services. Borrowed items (books, movies, audio books, and music), materials used (magazines, newspapers, computers, and meeting rooms), and library programs are all part of the equation. The library’s research databases, interlibrary loan system, and use of reference librarians are also factored in. An explanation of the values used to calculate totals is available on the website for those interested.

“While a library’s true value is priceless, this calculator is a fun and easy way for Westchester residents to quantify monetarily how much the library services they use would otherwise cost on a monthly basis ,” says Terry Kirchner, Executive Director of the Westchester Library System. “Library cards are free. If you don’t have a card already, sign up today and start taking advantage of the vast resources available to you. In this challenging economy, every bit helps.”

How much does Westchester Library System’s Executive Director save on average per month? $300. That’s $3,600 per year.

Westchester Library System’s Library Use Value Calculator has been customized for library patrons in New York State. The calculator worksheet was originally provided by the Massachusetts Library Association and adapted for the web by Chelmsford Public Library. Maine State Library added extra accessibility coding and reformatting for ease of reading online.  For further information, call their press contact, Kelly Lee at 914-666-0066,

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