Taxpayer Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries (2010)

This study was conducted by the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development at the University of West Florida in 2010. It was funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services.


This report describes a comprehensive study to assess taxpayer return on investment in Florida’s public libraries. The present study was commissioned to provide an update to the original study performed in 2004. In order to perform a comparable analysis, a statewide telephone survey of adult library users, with some minor changes to the original survey, was re-administered. Additionally, in lieu of the in‐house printed survey originally performed, an online Internet‐based survey was conducted, with links to the survey instrument provided to the public libraries and the State Library and Archives. Organizations were also surveyed using an online instrument, with a link to the survey sent via e‐mail. The organizations contacted included public and private K‐12 schools, universities and colleges, businesses and special libraries. A follow‐up survey to the libraries themselves was also re‐administered to collect information on use by tourists and school‐age children and additional information on businesslike operations run by the libraries.