City of Longview News

Posted on: February 3, 2017

Public Libraries: A Smart Investment for Texas

Library entrance

(Longview, TX)  In FY 2015, Texas public libraries generated $2.628 billion in economic benefits to the state, and offered a sizable return on investment of $4.64 for every one dollar spent according to a study released by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). 

“We are proud to know that our efforts through the Longview Public Library are generating a positive economic benefit to our community, which was to the tune of more than $7.4 million according to the study methodology,” says Library Manager Jennifer Eldridge. During the FY 2015 time period considered for the study, the Longview Public Library served 57,103 active borrowers with 211,609 visits and 140,130 items available for check out.  The library hosted 276 free programs with 13,355 people in attendance, with approximately 9,000 of those being children. The Longview Public Library also provides a large amount of online resources, including access to 80 databases.

Texas public libraries produced $976 million in direct economic activity and 11,000 jobs were dependent on library expenditures. Our state also benefits from the $1.652 billion worth of services, including educational programs, Internet and computer access, electronic databases, circulation of materials, reference services, in-library use of books, volunteer opportunities, and wireless access public libraries offer. While Texas public libraries cost $566 million in FY 2015, they provided a return of investment of $4.64 for each dollar spent, a 5% increase in ROI since the last study conducted in FY 2011. 

“At a time when taxpayers want accountability as well as support for education and economic growth, libraries deliver both,” said TSLAC Director and Librarian Mark Smith. “The study quantifies what most Texans understand – our public libraries bring tremendous value and function as key engines of economic vitality in their communities.”

The report, Texas Public Libraries: Economic Benefits and Return on Investment was conducted by the University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Business Research IC2 using a data-intensive process to document and quantify economic benefits. Researchers used a conservative approach and valued public libraries purely as business and organizational entities using extensive databases from TSLAC in conjunction with input-out economic modeling software.

For more information and the full report, go to To learn more about the Longview Public Library, please visit or call 903-237-1350.

Longview Public Library
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