Library ‘book’ value almost $1.5 million

January 16, 2020

For many years, Prosper residents have strongly held on to the belief that the presence of a public lending library was essential to the overall wellbeing of the community.

As an undeniable testament to that belief, today’s Prosper Library holds a special place in the heart of the community.  Anchored at Town Hall, 200 S. Main, the fully-accredited facility is staffed with credentialed professionals providing services to residents, students, and visitors.

Debuting an expanded schedule at the start of 2020, it is now open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Patronage has been steadily increasing.  Last year alone, the library’s 5,600 card holders performed some 107,000 check outs, either on the over 22,000 physical items or the 35,000 digital items in the library’s collections.  Many, of course, checked out items in both categories.  Taken together, the monetary value of the current collection is estimated to be $436,309.

Programs for teens, toddlers, and adults are constantly offered, last year totaling over 430.  Averaging about 36 a month, the various programs boasted an attendance of nearly 9,500.  During the highly popular summer reading challenge, students devoured almost 5,000 titles.

Because books, videos, DVDs, launchpads, audio books and computers are available for use with a membership, library patrons who avail themselves of the material avoid the direct cost of purchasing these items.

Library officials keep track of the direct monetary value of each transaction and can demonstrate the actual costs being avoided by library patronage.  These cost avoidances are further categorized by specific reading preference.

For example, during 2019, readers of non-fiction books saved almost $45,000 by avoiding the cost of purchasing their reading material and borrowing the books from the library.  In the Young Adult category, the savings to readers by borrowing rather than purchasing was about $50,000.

By far, however, the largest category for 2019 was in Juvenile offerings.  Combined, the eight subcategories of Juvenile literature represented a cost avoidance of nearly $940,000.

In all, borrowers in the 30 categories avoided spending $1,411,137.  For Prosper residents, saving close to $1.5 million by visiting and patronizing the library is enough validation for their long-held belief in the value of a public library.

Read news release here