Public Value

Extension Helps Organizations Understand Public Value

What? Why? and Who?

This website is for you if:

  • You are a librarian or an Extension educator who wants to communicate the value of your services to both your patrons and to the rest of the community.
  • You are an elected public official who wants public services to be as effective and efficient as possible and taxes as low as possible.

Tips on Using this Website

New or Casual Users: Use this page to guide your exploration of the topic and go to this page via: Back to Public Value

In-depth Users: The “Contents” at the bottom of this page and the “Search Community Development” found on the right under the list of programs is another option for finding things.

Effective and Memorable Public Value Narratives: Examples for Public Libraries —
Public Value Narrative: Curt’s Story: Reading to a Dog

Look at this eye-opening story about Curt, an 8-year old, reading to Winston, a therapy dog. It’s an example of what public value messaging is all about.

Public Value Narratives: Libraries — Creating Public Value Narratives

Fogler LibraryWhat are some community-friendly tools that libraries can use to describe their public value? How can libraries adapt these tools to fit their unique library’s needs? How have some libraries used these public value narratives?

Educational Resources for Public Value of Libraries

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with the Maine State Library, developed a number of educational opportunities about public value for.


Extension Helps Organizations Understand Public Value

Understanding Public Value: What? Why? Who?

What is Private vs. Public Value?

Spillovers: An Example
Examples of public value statement

What is a public value narrative?

Why is the Public Value identification important?

Who will benefit from this website?

  • Librarians and Library Advocates:
  • Cooperative Extension Program Leaders and Advocates:
  • Public Officials and Taxpayers:

Discussion: Is the Content of This Website Fair or Biased?

Public Value Narrative: Curt’s Story: Reading to a Dog

  • Curt’s Story
  • The Statistic
  • Research on Program
  • Public Value Statement

Additional Examples of Public Value Narratives

  • All the Books are Checked Out!
  • Forest Gump: My First Book
  • Library Search Solves Medication Side Effects
  • La Mesa Public Library Changed My Life
  • The Library: Gateway to America
  • The Best Library
  • Planet of the Apes Made Me a Librarian
  • Saving My Butt in Seattle

Creating Public Value Narratives

Educational Resources on Public Value of Libraries

Research on the Economic Value of Public Libraries

Private Value of Libraries (i.e. Direct Benefits to Library Patrons)

  • Taxpayer Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries (2004)
  • Libraries and economic value: a review of recent studies (2005)
  • Measuring Your Library’s Value: How to Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis for Your Public Library (2008)
  • The economic value of the free library in Philadelphia (2010)
  • Library Use Value Calculators: estimate the value for your library or your family

Public Value of Libraries (Indirect Benefits to Non-users of the Library)

 Library Trends Relevant to Public Value

  • Libraries and Information, Maine Policy Review. (2013)
  • 2014 State of American’s Libraries,
  • “Pew Research Center: Libraries”
  • “From Awareness to Funding”
  • “The Future Of Libraries: Beginning the Great Transformation”
  • What to expect from libraries in the 21st century

Educational Resources for Extension Programs

Contacts for More Information, Authors and the Team