Did you know public libraries contribute to economic development and strengthen their community’s quality of life? There are 544 libraries in Iowa that serve a municipal population of 2,340,220.
In honor of Library Lovers Day, we wanted to highlight the benefits public libraries offer to their communities. Beyond providing books, public libraries create a sense of community, as well as provide access to technology, and are an important and dynamic part of the community’s learning infrastructure.
With the accessibility to public computers, Internet, and media products in public libraries, people can more easily run a small business, do research online, or search for and apply to jobs.
Public libraries across the state offer resources to better the community and in turn, often make an economic impact. Small business resources and training and technology programs at the library are lowering the barriers to learning. Researchers found that when libraries work with local and state agencies to provide business development workshops and research, market entry costs to prospective and existing small businesses are reduced and new jobs are created.
Locally, the Burlington Public Library offers a variety of resources to benefit the community. For example, the library offers free resources and services, including a job center and research tools for job seekers, employers, and small business owners. With one-on-one assistance, the library is able to provide individuals with the technology and skills needed to compete in today’s job market.
Many public libraries also benefit from partnering with local businesses. In the fall of 2012, local musician William Elliot Whitmore and the Donnellson Public Library teamed up on a match-donation program. The donations from the event went to the library to fund renovations to the building. In coordination with this program, Iowa Fertilizer made a match donation for the ticket sales. This event was a huge success for the community, with more that $380,000 raised for the project to date.
Southeast Iowa is lucky to have multiple public libraries in the area working to better the community by providing resources to enhance the economy and job growth in the area. Click here to find a public library in your area.
Until Next Time!
The Restoring Iowa Jobs Team