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Your tax dollars at work

Posted March 12, 2014 in Community Featured, Greene County

Someone once said “The best things in life are free — plus tax, of course!” At this time of the year, you may be wondering what happens to all those tax dollars. Did you know that your library is funded by tax dollars?

Most public libraries are funded primarily by a small percentage of property tax dollars. State Library of Iowa figures show that libraries provide a full range of services at an average cost of $35.93 per Iowan each year. So what do you get for $35.93 at your library?

Let’s calculate the value of using the library resources for a year. If you purchase one hardcover book ($17) and rent one movie ($4) each month for a year, you would spend $252. If you borrow those items from the library instead of purchasing them, you will have increased the value of your investment by $216.07.

This simple calculation illustrates that public libraries are a great value. If you’d like to calculate the value of your personal use of the library, go to the library’s website ( and click on the link called “Library Value Calculator.” Fill in the blanks by estimating how many library resources you use each year, and the value of your library usage will be automatically calculated. I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was. I calculated my own use of the library last year to be worth $2,034.

Check out the resources the library has for you to use: books, movies, eBooks, Internet access and computers, magazines, audiobooks, puppets, games, newspapers, fax and copy machine and so much more. Did you know the library offers a variety of freeprograms for children, teens and adults? Now that’s a great bargain!

Public libraries are funded through a combination of sources, mainly city and county funds, state aid, grants and generous donations. Library “Friends” groups also supplement government funding through such activities as used book sales. Overdue fines and fees for copies and faxes may help offset the cost of providing some library services.

Every day, 53,106 people go to their libraries in Iowa. Libraries are a wonderful example of your tax dollars at work. If you want to see just how hard those tax dollars are working, visit your public library today.

Jefferson Public Library
200 West Lincoln Way
386-2835 Adult Dept.
386-4415  Children’s Dept.
Winter hours:
Mon. and Wed.: 1 – 8 p.m.
Tues. and Thurs.:
11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 1 – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

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