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Evidence review of the economic contribution of libraries

Date:4 June 2014

The publication of this evidence review marks an important first step in our understanding of the contribution public libraries can make at an economic level, whilst also assessing the scale of contribution a library can make to individuals and communities via the social and educational benefits they provide.

In a climate where local authorities face significant financial challenges, and libraries have historically been a ‘soft target’, understanding the economic contribution of libraries is particularly important to the library sector. It is a question of some complexity and this report summarises both the available evidence available on the subject, and the ways in which others have approached the question, including the advantages and potential pitfalls of the different methodologies.