Top Reasons Why Cutting State Library Funding in North Carolina is Not a Good Idea (PDF)

1. 6:1 Return on Investment. North Carolina public libraries had an approximate $5.92 return-on-investment per every $1.00 spent in 2012-2013 ; this means the proposed budget cut of $284,000 will cost taxpayers in 2013 dollars a total of $1,681,074.86 in lost value.

2. Increasing Population, Decreasing Library Funding. A 9% cut in state library funding since 2008-2009 ; 11% if proposed 2% cut is made while the NC population grew by 5% or 426,556 residents during the same time period. Between 2000 and 2010, North Carolina was the sixth fastest growing state in the nation. Its growth rate was 18.5%, nearly double the national rate of 9.7%.

3. Americans Like Libraries More than College Football. Five times more people visit U.S. public libraries each year than attend U.S. professional and college football, baseball and hockey games combined5.

4. Minorities Value and Need Libraries More. African Americans and Hispanics are twice as likely to use library computers as Asian Americans and whites5; 30.7% of North Carolina’s population is black or African American or Hispanic or Latino.

5. Those in Poverty Value and Need Libraries More. Families making less than $15,000 annually are two to three times more likely to rely on library computers than those earning more than $75,0005.

6. Children who Read Score Higher on Tests. Research has found that children who participated in a public library summer reading program had better reading skills at the end of the third grade and scored higher on standard tests than the students who did not participate.

7. Almost Last in the Nation. North Carolina ranks 45th of 50 states in per capita state library funding5.

8. Library Usage Increasing, Library Funding Decreasing. In the past decade nationally, visits have more than doubled to 1.2 billion per year— with 1.7 billion items borrowed per year.

9. Libraries are ALWAYS a Great Investment. Nationally, for every tax dollar invested in public libraries, there was a national average return of more than $4 in benefits to patrons, the community and the economy5.

10. NC Continues to Cut Library Funding. Over the past 7 years (from FY 07-08) we’ve experienced a 16% drop and over 5 years (from FY 09-10) it’s been a 9% drop.

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