Home > Funding, How you can help, Value of a library > Why do you Support Your Public Library? Some Reasons to Think About

Why do you Support Your Public Library? Some Reasons to Think About

In her new book, Saving Our Public Libraries: Why We Should. How We Can, janet jai details two traditional roles libraries have always played in their communities–plus 19 others–in what she calls “a partial list” of reasons public libraries are worth supporting. With thanks to everyone currently working on some aspect of promoting the well being and growth of Mendon Public Library, here are a few of jai’s reasons to support public libraries (the book, of course, includes more details to back these up). What are some other reasons to support public libraries? What are your reasons for supporting Mendon Public Library?

If you walk to the new library from Monroe Street, you will enter here. (Photo taken Feb. 16, 2011.)

  1. Libraries are a cornerstone of literacy in the United States.
  2. Libraries are the centers for lifelong learning in the United States.
  3. Libraries support the workforce, especially now.
  4. Libraries are essential in bridging the digital divide (in providing computer and Internet access to those who don’t have it).
  5. Libraries are a foundation of democracy, defending first amendment rights.
  6. Let’s not forget the wonder of the children’s room.
  7. Libraries provide homebound books for those who are ill long term or temporarily.
  8. Libraries are a positive economic force in the community with great return on investment. (One Wisconsin study found that for every $1 the state spent on the library, $4 was generated back into the economy by spending on operations, buildings and by staff and patrons.)


  1. A. Gordon
    March 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I support public libraries because…
    –I can choose from thousands and thousands of books, more than I can read in a lifetime. With the cost of even a paperback book hovering around $10, this is quite a bargain.
    –I can download audiobooks right to my iPod from the Library website. When I buy audiobooks, I pay $15 each–but I can listen to as many as I like, free, from the public library. I can download eBooks right to my laptop, too.
    –the library website provides access to all the NOVEL NY databases–reliable sources of good information. Health databases, Grolier online, business information, magazine and newspaper archives, and much, much more! This is stuff you can’t get in a casual Google search; it’s hidden behind a paywall. But we get it free through our public library.
    –the Mendon Public Library is open evenings and weekends when my kids don’t have access to their school libraries. And parents who homeschool have the rich resources of the library to draw upon.
    –I know that people in my community who need internet access for job searches, resume writing, and unemployment benefits have the public library’s computers to use.

    Public libraries are one of the best deals around.

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