Fun Fact

"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries." ~Anne Herbert

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Karl, Retired Pastor

The West Des Moines Library has empowered retirement days for me in two ways. One, I am able to read extensively in the newspaper and magazine sections. Two, I am able to borrow books to read rather than to purchase and keep in my now limited home library. An added feature is borrowing audiobooks to savor while I drive to visit family in other states. 


Library Value Calculator

Library Use Value Calculator

What is your library worth to you?

How much would you pay out-of-pocket for your library services?

  • Enter in the left hand column the number of times per month you or your family use each service.
  • For any item calculated in Hours, enter your hours per month for that activity.
  • Estimated retail value of each service (if purchased) will be calculated on the right.
  • Total value of your library use is shown at the bottom of the worksheet.
  • Tip: Tab between entries and do not use commas.
Value of Library Services
Input Your
Library Services Value of

(Internet, Word)

For comparison, in West Des Moines, a rough average of taxes due in 2020, City tax* is $6.16 per thousand dollars of assessed property value. Of that, the Library portion is roughly $0.25 per thousand. Therefore, the owner of a $250,000 value residence, would pay about $62.00 per year for Library services, which equates to about $5.20/month (numbers in Calculator above are by month).

If you'd like to share your results with us, note your totals and send us Your Library Story!

*This is a rough estimate for comparison purposes, as tax rates can vary with factors like rollback, homestead exemption, etc.

The calculator worksheet has been adapted from original downloadable spreadsheet by the Massachusetts Library Association and then adapted for the web by Chelmsford (MA) Public Library. Maine State Library added extra accessibility coding and reformatting for ease of reading online.