The Essex Library: The Best Deal In Town

January 2, 2009

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We know that you’ve been hearing a lot lately about how much the Library needs your financial help during these difficult times. Here’s one way to look at the value you receive in return when you use the Essex Library:

A family of four makes their weekly visit to the Library. Dad takes a look at the latest financial market information in the Wall Street Journal, Value Line and Morningstar, then decides to check out three music CDs and an audio book. While the kids are enjoying a story hour, Mom browses the fiction shelves and picks out two novels and then she checks out the magazine shelves where she finds editions of The New Yorker, Real Simple and Cooking Light to borrow. After story hour ends, the kids select three DVDs and four books apiece to bring home with them. Finally, the family decides to borrow the Library’s discount pass (good for free admission for 4 people) and pay a visit to the Peabody Museum the next day.

Here’s how the value of the items used by that hypothetical family of four breaks down:

$100 – Annual subscription to the Wall Street Journal

$800 – Annual subscription to Value Line

$550 – Annual subscription to Morningstar

$45 – Three music CDs at $15 each

$50 – One audio book

$50 – Two novels at $25 each

$89 – Annual subscriptions to The New Yorker, Real Simple and Cooking Light

$120 – Eight children’s books at $15 each

$60 – Three children’s DVDs at $20 each

$24 – Normal admission for 2 adults and 2 children to the Peabody Museum

The total cost of these items, which were accessed during just one visit, adds up to $1,888. That doesn’t include the entertainment value the children received from the story hour, the time the staff put in to select and process those items, or the cost of heating, lighting and insuring the Library building. You would be hard pressed to find another resource that comes close to providing as much value for your membership investment as your Library card does.

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