Big value in free library card

Surrey Libraries' report shows print materials still the top items accessed at the library.

Surrey Libraries’ fourth-annual Literacy Day Report reveals that the average cardholder realizes more than $600 in value with their free library card.

The information is part of new research presented in the report which demonstrates the benefits of the library in the community.

Key facts in the 2015 Literacy Day Report include:

• the total value of benefit provided by Surrey Libraries to the community in 2014 was about $111.4 million;

• on average, Surrey Libraries cardholders realized a benefit of $610 each;

• an average cardholder visits the library 43 times and borrows 24 items;

• traditional print items like books and magazines are still the number one material accessed by cardholders at the library;

• on average, Surrey residents spend 113,500 hours per week using library resources and facilities.

“These numbers are a sign of the important place of libraries in Surrey and the role they play in providing for so many of our society’s needs,” said Surrey Libraries chief librarian Melanie Houlden. “With a wide range of reading materials in many languages… programs for kids and adults… and free Wi-Fi and access to computers, it’s no surprise that the value of a Surrey Libraries card has been calculated at $610.”

Surrey Libraries board chair Linda Stromberg said the bulk of the library’s funding – about 95 per cent – comes from public sources, totalling $16 million dollars in the past year.

“I am, therefore, particularly happy to see that for every dollar in public funding Surrey Libraries receives, our branches provide $7 in value to patrons,” she said.

The 2015 Literacy Day report was launched at the City Centre branch last Tuesday, where Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman also announced a special breakfast focusing on literacy and the business community on Sept. 16 at the Eaglequest Golf Course.

Surrey Libraries also announced that it had met and surpassed its 2014 Get Carded campaign goal of 20,000 new cardholders, with 21,112 new members joining Surrey Libraries in the past year.

 

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