How Public Value Statements Have Been Used in Maine

What are library public value statements?

Public value statements are short narratives that show how the private value to a library patron creates public value for non-patrons. Private value is the direct benefit that a library user gets when using a particular library collection, service or program. The public value of a library is the indirect benefit that library non-users get as a result of a library patron using the service.

Results from a follow-up survey of pilot workshop participants

Nearly three quarters of the respondents have used the public value statements about their library in discussions with neighbors or friends. Almost as many spoke to one of the library groups (trustees, friends, or foundation members). Over half had spoken to city officials and over a third had spoken to other groups.

Methods Individuals Used to Spread Library Awareness through Public Value Messages*

Methods of Sharing Public Value Messages Have Not Explained Haven’t Used but Will Soon Have Used 1 to 3 Times Have Used 4 or More Times
Discussed with a neighbor or friend 16% 11% 61% 13%
Spoke to the library trustees, friends, or foundation 24% 5% 58% 13%
Spoke to a city official 43% 5% 45% 8%
Spoke to other organization 50% 16% 32% 3%
Wrote a letter to the local paper 82% 8% 8% 3%
* Source: Follow-up online survey to participants administered six to nine months after workshops. N=39. Non-response to one of these items was included under “have not explained.” Percentages in rows may exceed 100% due to rounding.

Source: Table 4 from Haskell, Jane E., and Morse, George W. (2015). “What Is Your Library Worth? Extension Uses Public Value Workshops in Communities,”  Journal of Extension (On-line), 53(2) Article 2FEA1.