Public Library is fifth busiest in U.S., proven cost benefit to the community

Hamilton County boasts one of the busiest and most cost-effective libraries in the United States, according to two reports recently released to the Library community.

According to the 2016 Public Library Data Service (PLDS) statistical report, cardholders of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County checked out more than 18.7 million items in 2015. The Library is again ranked as the fifth busiest Library system in the United States.* The report is published each year by the Public Library Association, the largest division of the American Library Association. The 2016 PLDS report is based on survey responses collected from more than 2300 public libraries in the United States and Canada for the fiscal year 2015.  

In addition, a report from the Ohio Library Council comparing the service and cost-effectiveness of libraries across the country shows Ohioans received $5.48 for every $1.00 they invest in their public libraries, the highest in the country. The value of the Library for Hamilton County residents is even greater, as local data shows Hamilton County residents get back $6.73 in benefits for every $1.00 they invest in the Library.

It isn’t just a return on investment where Hamilton County residents benefit over the rest of the country.  The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s cost per transaction is only $2.30, well below the national average of $3.56. This, despite the high amount of traffic at the Library. The Library’s transaction rate for reference, circulation, program attendance, and computer sessions is 28, nearly triple the national average of 9.81.

“Every day, the Library works to keep pace with the high demand for Library services from Hamilton County residents while keeping costs at a minimum,” says Kimber L. Fender, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Library.” We take our stewardship responsibility seriously and work to give residents the most value for their investment.”

*The PLDS does not rank libraries.  Rankings were calculated locally based on data from the survey.