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Libraries provide a strong economic benefit to their communities, according to a report OLC-ROI-FINALreleased last week in Columbus.

For every dollar spent by Ohio public libraries in 2014, Ohioans received $5.48 in total economic value, according to a report issued by the Ohio Library Council at the statehouse in Columbus.

Public library services in Ohio are worth nearly $2.7 billion. “Based on every measure in the report, Ohio’s investment in public libraries is both cost effective and of high value to Ohio residents,” said Dr. Howard Fleeter, an economist and public policy researcher based in Columbus. “Today’s findings confirm Ohio’s status as the nation’s premier provider of library services.”

The report shows that Ohio’s public libraries save Ohioans money and also directly benefit the state economy. Ohioans take advantage of the benefits and visit their local libraries often. According to the report, Ohio has the highest library use per capita in the nation. Compared to other states, Ohio libraries are also more cost efficient with one of the lowest cost per transaction rates in the country. Ohio’s figure of $2.88 is well below the national average.

“We know Ohioans value their public libraries,” said Doug Evans, executive director of the Ohio Library Council. “This report gives us measurable evidence that Ohio’s public libraries provide a significant economic benefit to Ohio and its residents.”

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