Less books, more socializing at public libraries

Hawaii has 51 public libraries, which cost $35.4 million each year to operate by the Department of Education [FY 2009 Budget in Brief Supplemental Operating Budget].

What if we could cut down the costs of operating each library and actually earn money?

Step #1: Promote the online reservation system. You can already reserve a book and have it delivered to your nearest library, with email or postal mail notifications.

Step #2: Reduce the number of books at each library. Keep newly released books, children’s books, reference books, and Hawaii-related books at each library. Store older books at centralized warehouse libraries.

Step #3: Rent a portion of each library to state/local agencies, like a Satellite City Hall or DMV; to a related retail business, like a coffee or snack shop; and to small local businesses.

  • If we rent a 400 square-foot space to a coffee or snack shop, at $4 per square foot in 15 public libraries: we could generate $1,600 per month for each library and a total of $288,000 per year in new revenue.
  • If we rent a 400 square-foot space to a Satellite City Hall or DMV, at $2 per square foot in 15 public libraries: we could generate $800 per month for each library and a total of $144,000 per year in new revenue, while the City saves on rent.
  • If we rent a 400 square-foot space to start-up businesses in an “Entrepreneurs” program, at $1 per square foot in 15 libraries: we could generate $400 per month for each library and a total of $72,000 per year in new revenue.

In addition to generating revenue from renting space, public libraries could save money by sharing the costs of utilities (electricity, water, Internet access) and maintenance (building repairs, landscaping, parking). We could encourage more people to go to the library. And we could help local businesses.

Would you be willing to browse for your books online and pick them up later? Would you spend more time at the library if you could relax with hot coffee or a fresh pastry?

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Community

Tags: , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: