Economic Value of Public Libraries

Did you know that public libraries play a key role in the economic development of a community?

 A recent study titled “Making Cities Stronger” highlights ways in which library programming in the areas of early literacy, employment services, and small business development contribute to the local economy. The  study focused on 9 American Cities and reports that:

  •  Early literacy services offered at the library contribute to long term economic success. The relationship between investments in early literacy and long term economic success is well documented
  •  Employment and career resources are preparing workers for new technologies. Access to technology in libraries is often the first point of entry for new users.
  • Public library building are a catalyst for development. Libraries attract tremendous foot traffic (over 2.6 Million people visited our nine Surrey Public Libraries in 2008) . They are open evenings and weekends, attracting people to the neighbourhood after shops and offices have closed for the day.

 The new City Centre Library in Surrey will make a similar contribution to the local economy and help to create a vibrant, liveable neighbourhood.  The new library will feature a large Children’s Library; community meeting spaces; employment, career and business resources; wireless access and computer training facilities and much more. The expanded resources and much larger building (City Centre will replace the Whalley Library) will allow the library to offer more school readiness programs, improved technology training opportunities, spaces for community groups and businesses to meet and exchange ideas and quiet study and reflection spaces for individuals.

 To read the entire Making Cities Stronger report, visit  http://www.urban.org/publications/1001075.html

 For information on the importance of early learning program for kids, view the UBC report: http://www.earlylearning.ubc.ca/

 To find about the City of Surrey’s plan for City Centre: http://www.surrey.ca/Doing+Business/Land+Development+and+Building/Current+Initiatives/Secondary+Plans+in+Progress/Surrey+City+Centre/default.htm

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2 Responses to Economic Value of Public Libraries

  1. Nancy says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that libraries can have a positive impact on economic development of a community. I’m glad they’re doing studies to back it up.

    So will City Centre Library be considerably bigger than the Guildford Library?

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