What is Your Library Worth?

How much would the services of your public library cost if you had to pay for them directly? Use this simple calculator to estimate the value of your Library use.

  • Enter in the left hand column the number of times per year you or your family use each service.
  • Estimated retail value of each service will be calculated on the right.
  • Total annual value of your Library use is shown at the bottom of the worksheet.
  • Tip: Tab between entries and do not use commas.


  • Use/Service
  • Value

  • $

Value of Your Library Use:  

How These Values Were Calculated

Estimated or Average Illinois Values with Explanation

Item Estimated
Values Explained
Book borrowed $15.00 Estimated average discount cost of hardcover and paperback books
Audiobook borrowed $40.00 Estimated average purchase cost
eBook borrowed $10.00 Estimated average purchase cost
Movie borrowed $4.00 Sample rental cost of DVD at national chain store

Music CD borrowed $10.00 Estimated purchase cost of popular music CD
Magazine read $2.00 Estimated purchase cost of popular magazine issue
Newspaper read $0.50 Estimated purchase cost of newspaper issue

Museum Adventure Passes borrowed $16.00 Average admissions for groups of 2 to 4 to participating museums or Brookfield Zoo
Interlibrary Loan request $25.00 Average cost for loans in Illinois
Adult program or class attended $10.00 Estimate

Teen program attended $6.00 Estimate
Children program attended $6.00 Estimate
Group Study Room use per hour $10.00 Estimate

Computer use per hour $12.00 Sample hourly rate at copy center
Online Tool used $20.00 Minimum cost for monthly access to sample online tool
Information and Reference Question asked $7.00 Estimated cost per question

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