|Aldermen and mayors in political |
debate March 2015 in Aarhus
The traditionel role of public libraries is changing, and therefore libraries are finding it increasingly difficult to defend their economic justification and have an ever-increasing need to demonstrate their impact on and value for society. User satisfaction and number of book loans are far from adequate if we are to learn more about how to assess the role and impact of libraries. Activity – which can be measured – is one thing; value is quite another.
The understanding of the total value created by libraries has been relatively limited. Therefore, the Danish Think Tank initiated the first analysis of its kind: “The Economic Impact of Public Libraires in Denmark”.
Download the first Danish study on the economic impact of the Danish public library: The Economic Impact of Public Libraries
|The analysis is conducted by Copenhagen Econocmics and supported by the Danish Agency for Culture’s development funds. Hent undersøgelsen i lang udgave eller kort udgave|
From input to impact
CULTURAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT = DKK 4 BN (USD 600 MIO)
Danes put a value on libraries corresponding to a total level of willingness to pay up to DKK 4 bn (USD 600 mio) a year. Significantly, more than the DKK 2.5 bn (USD 370 mio) they currently pay for libraries via taxes. This high willingness to pay is that libraries fulfil a crucial role as a cultural, social and educational institution – for both users and non-users.
VALUE THROUGH DIGITAL TRANSITION = DKK 200 MI0 (USD 30 MIO)
50,000 Danes get their computer skills upgraded at libraries every year. This accelerates and eases the transition to a digital society and creates value in the form of savings in the public and private sectors in four effects: the transition to email, digital self-service, increased use of online banking and time savings associated.
VALUE THROUGH READING = DKK 2 BN (USD 300 MIO)
Libraries contribute with DKK 2 bn (USD 300 mio) annually through higher education productivity gains through three interrelated effects:
1. Libraries improve children’s reading skills
2. Better reading skills directly affect educational level
3. A high level of education produces greater economic benefit
The quantitative impact is 0,1% of GDP.
REFLECTIONS & REACTIONS
The analysis is the first analysis of its kind in Denmark and object to intensive publicity and discussions about the role and impact of public libraries and ways of measuring cultural institutions.
The report has lead to:
A strengthened debate about public libraries and their contribution to society
Qualified debate about the future role and primary tasks of public libraries
Increased political awareness of the impact of public libraries on society
Discussions on how libraries exploit their competences better
Provided competitive’ arguments and improve library advocacy
Introduced new ways of measuring cultural institutions
Se DBs programanbefalinger til danske deltagere på konferencen i Cape Town
Se hele konferenceprogrammet
Hent IFLA 2015-app'en