High Value of Libraries In Wisconsin

It’s official: there’s a high value of libraries in Wisconsin. According to a report released by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin’s public libraries received the highest scores in a survey of how residents view their community services. The 2017 State of Wisconsin’s Cities and Villages annual study assesses the financial health of Wisconsin’s municipalities, with the goal of identifying successes and challenges as well as documenting changes in finances and services. To do this, the League of Municipalities reviews data on economic development and finances, in addition to surveying local officials.

Value of Libraries Is Positive In Wisconsin Communities

This year, officials were “asked to think about three…areas: public perceptions, public engagement, and community-wide employment prospects.” In particular, the study asked local officials, “How did residents view local services in 2016 as opposed to 2015?” Of the eight services listed, “libraries received the highest scores with 34.6% responding more favorable and 3.9% less favorable, for a net difference of 30.7 points.”The public perception of libraries, the study shows, is overwhelmingly positive.

This finding confirms what we, as librarians and library advocates, have known for a while: our citizens have a great need for libraries and value the services they provide to their communities. Having the data to prove this is just icing on the cake.

Do you value your library? Email Jill at jfuller@bridgeslibrarysystem.org to share your library story!