Ritchie Bill Seeks To ID Economic Impact Of Public Libraries

Senate Select Committee on Libraries Chair Senator Patty Ritchie announced that she has introduced legislation that calls for a study to identify the economic impact public libraries have on communities where they are located.

“Libraries play such a vital role in the educational, economic, and cultural development of our local communities,” said Senator Ritchie. “And, they are especially important for things like accessing business information, computer training courses, workforce development and more. Through this legislation, the state will take a look at the positive economic impact created by libraries, as well as to explore new ways our public libraries and library systems can further boost the vitality of New York State.”

The bill (S.3010) authorizes the Empire State Development Corporation and State Education Department to conduct a study on the economic impact of public libraries and public library systems in New York State, at least once every five years.

The study would include details on the return on investment that state and local governments receive from public libraries and library systems, as well as the economic impact public library expenditures have on local and state economies. In addition, the study would also look at the resources, programs and services provided to current and prospective business owners and other library patrons, in addition to an overall analysis of public library systems and the value they provide to libraries.

There are more than 7,000 libraries throughout New York State, including more than 50 public libraries in the region Senator Ritchie represents, one of the largest concentrations of libraries in any Senate district in the state.