$4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets (2013-14)
While numbers can't tell the whole story of why public libraries matter and deserve better funding, they can help. This project builds on Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back More (2012-13), adding graphs and commentary to make it more useful for librarians, Friends and others to understand how their library stands in comparison to others. The project will also offer a rich, detailed picture of countable American public library benefits in 2011 and how they changed from 2009.
I'm Walt Crawford; I've been doing library analysis for decades and most recently have tried to improve understanding of the diversity and vitality of America's libraries. This campaign would assure completion of this project--and would make its results available at the lowest possible prices.
Goals and Results
The basic goal is $2,500. If the campaign doesn't reach that goal, you don't owe anything (and won't get any perks). If we reach $2,500, I will:
- Complete all three parts of the project (the breakdown by library size, the state by state breakdown and the related A Library Is... book of public library mottoes and slogans)
- Offer the library size portion--the primary book--for $9.99 PDF ebook, $40 campus (or state) license ebook and somewhere in the middle for the paperback
- Offer the state-by-state portion for $14.99 PDF ebook, $50 campus or state license ebook and somewhere in the middle for the paperback.
- Send A Library Is... and other books as explained in perks.
Stretch Goal 1: $3,500
At this level, the primary book ($4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets (2013-14): Libraries by Size) will be $4.99 PDF, $30 PDF with campus or state license, and $5 cheaper than it would otherwise be for paperback.
The state-by-state book will be $9.99 PDF ebook, $40 campus or state license and $5 cheaper than it would otherwise be for paperback.
Stretch Goal 2: $4,500
At this level, the primary (libraries by size) book will be free in non-DRM PDF ebook form, the state-by-state book will be $4.99 PDF ebook and $30 campus or state license, and hardcover versions of both books will be available.
I believe the first two books can be valuable tools for librarians and Friends of Libraries advocating for improved library funding. While the individual anecdotes of how public libraries improve patrons' lives are the flesh and blood of public library value, reported countable benefits--hours open, circulation, patron visits, reference transactions, program attendance, computer use--are the bones. You need both.
I believe the first two books also offer a rich picture of America's public libraries, their diversity and sheer value. "$4 to $1" is a conservative figure: in 2010, three-quarters of America's libraries did at least that well, not even including all the unreported or uncountable benefits.
Several dozen libraries and librarians purchased the 2012-13 Give Us a Dollar... (more than 75, fewer than 100 at this writing). That project suffered from too many tables and not enough commentary (and no graphs). I believe the new version will be much more accessible and helpful to libraries and their supporters.
A Few Words about A Library Is...
This related project is largely for inspiration. It will be a book of mottoes and slogans gathered from America's public libraries--several hundred of them, possibly more than a thousand. Libraries have remarkably varied slogans and mottoes!
This book will never be available for sale on its own. It will only be available as a perk in this and other projects--or as a thank-you for donations to Cites & Insights, my free ejournal.