Research studies and modelling of the value of public libraries

SGS was commissioned by the State Library of Victoria to report on the value of public libraries to the Victorian community. Numerous case studies and detailed market research were pursued in order to estimate community willingness to pay for library services. This was contrasted against provisioning costs to estimate net value. An assessment of the local economic stimulus provided by public libraries, i.e. to their host municipalities, was also prepared.

A significant part of the work was to prepare an interactive model or tool enabling each library service in Victoria to easily estimate their own contributions to their catchment communities, significantly improving their advocacy efforts.

SGS was later commissioned to update the excel based tool, incorporating recently released input output data by the ABS, findings of the 2009-10 DPCD libraries survey and updating default valuation rates to reflect 2011 values.

The 'Dollars Sense and Public Libraries' study received the Planning Institute of Australia's 2011 National Award for Planning Excellence in Social and Community Based Planning.

SGS was also engaged by the State Library of Queensland to undertake an analysis of the economic value of Queensland public libraries. This project was based on the 'Dollars Sense and Public Libraries' study undertaken by SGS in 2009 regarding the economic value of public libraries in Victoria.

SGS undertook an analysis of the direct and indirect value of all library activities. An Economic Impact Assessment and Cost Benefit Assessment were undertaken to determine the overall economic impact and value that public libraries have across Queensland. The final report is a key advocacy tool for public library services across Queensland when developing their operating and growth strategies in the future.

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