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The Value of Libraries

Strong Wisconsin libraries keep us all in a better state! Strong libraries are essential:

  • in a democratic society, providing the information that allows citizens to make informed decisions
  • to education, supporting curricula, teaching information literacy, and fostering critical thinking skills
  • because they provide opportunities for self-education, life-long learning, and self-improvement
  • because they provide a sense of community to their users.

Research and Links

There’s lots of information available about the value and importance of libraries. Here are a few good places to start.

Libraries: How They Stack Up [pdf], released by OCLC in 2010, provides a snapshot of the impact of libraries worldwide.

Articles and Studies Related to Library Value compiled by the American Library Association.

Statistics About Libraries from the American Library Association Office of Research and Statistics

The Value of Libraries. This article appeared in the Winter 2003 edition of TrusteeTales, a publication for library trustees from Winnefox Library System and Outagamie Waupaca Library System.

The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.

Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation

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