Great Advocacy Tool: OCLC's How Libraries Stack Up Report

This report has been out a few months, but I finally got a chance to look at it. I was surprised that it is only 2 pages (could have read it sooner!). But it is full of great stats about the varied roles libraries play in our communities (economic, social and cultural). This report is great for distribution at community meetings, and it could also be emailed to appropriate leaders and shared with all library staff. The technology training statistics caught my eye:

"More libraries—5,400—offer technology training classes than there are computer training businesses in the U.S. Every day, 14,700 people attend free library computer classes—a retail value of $2.2 million. That’s $629 million worth of computer classes annually (based on 286 business days per year). "

Lots of great data for giving speeches or defending public library budgets as well, since it includes information on:

  • Americans receiving job-seeking help and career assistance at public libraries
  • Libraries as a resource for small businesses
  • The prevalence and scope of library activity in the United States
  • Libraries as providers of free services to the community such as Wi-Fi access, technology training and meeting rooms
  • Comparisons of library activities to various retail and entertainment businesses

I REALLY love the fact that they provide two PowerPoint versions of the report; one with all the information from the printed report, and one that has many of the graphics from the report along with blank spaces for you to customize for your library. Wow, how user-friendly is that?! An advocacy tool that you can implement immediately.