When people think of ways libraries save them money, they typically default to the traditional practice of checking out the latest bestsellers vs. having to pay hardcover book prices. While borrowing hard-copy books, CDs, and DVDs and using such digital services as eBooks, digital audiobooks, and streaming music and films does, indeed, save you cash, there are other ways the Library provides value to you – and to countless others in the community.
How much would you spend on those materials, classes, speaking and cultural events, and other resources without the Library providing access for free? Try out our Library Value Calculator and see how much money we help you keep in your pocket.
TRY THE LIBRARY VALUE CALCULATOR
Personal savings plus civic valueWhile the calculator shows your personal savings courtesy of the Library, it doesn’t fully capture the importance and value of libraries to society.
The Kansas City Public Library is many things to many people, delivering an array of vital services and resources – every day, for free. Beyond books, here are just a few ways it betters lives in our community:
Outreach and inclusion | Family- (and wallet-) friendly activities | Connecting youth with skill-developing opportunities and resources | Education and lifelong learning | Bridging the digital divide | Providing a pathway to jobs and career development | Mind your money | Tear down this paywall | Healthy bodies, healthy budget | Free events featuring varying viewpoints
Lobby stops bring library materials to seniors at residential housing sites.
More Outreach services story times, game nights, Friday Night Family Fun events, film screenings, and age-appropriate book recommendations from our children’s librarians are just a few of the ways that families can save money while learning, playing, and growing.
More kids and family Digital Media Lab offer access to – and instruction on – using equipment that is prohibitively expensive for the average household; plus it connects them to learning opportunities that help them hone their creative abilities and build technical skills in areas such as video and audio production, robotics, and more.
More teens free homework help with live online tutoring and other resources. Need a place to focus on schoolwork or group projects? Reserve a study room at no cost. Prefer to learn on your laptop? Video courses and tutorials from top providers like Lynda.com are accessible for free with your library card. And programs like Career Online High School offer a path for people to earn accredited high school diplomas or certification in selected career areas.
Online learning free access to public computers and internet has become a key function of libraries in the modern age. And for individuals who need help learning how to use a computer, smartphone, or other digital device, the Library is there to assist. Our Tech Access program provides a suite of services including coaching sessions, classes, and connection to other resources.
Tech Coaches provide free, one-on-one tutorials and lessons to patrons who need assistance with a variety of computer or technology questions.
Business and career resources Budgeting resources, financial coaching, consumer protection guidance, and other money management tools are offered by us and through our various community partnership programs.
Money matters Kansas City Star and Kansas City Business Journal, plus digital microfilm archives of the Wall Street Journal. You can also read newspapers from across the world and get transcripts from select TV and radio news programs through the Newspaper Source database.
Free fitness classes are among the opportunities the Library provides for patrons to pursue their health and wellness goals.
Health & wellness classes signature events offer Kansas City audiences unique opportunities to hear ideas and voices that help us better understand our world and get us thinking about our past, present, and future. Local historians, best-selling authors, global leaders, and other expert speakers visit the Library to share information and stories – with no charge for admission.
Ensuring free and open access for all
The Kansas City Public Library gives much to the people of Kansas City through its taxpayer-funded services and programs. To keep meeting public demand and continue serving the community at current levels, the Library Question on the November 6 ballot is asking voters for the first increase in the Library's property tax -based operating levy in 22 years. With levy approval, we can remain an essential resource for all who rely on us.
Learn more about the Library Question at kclibrary.org/election.
• About the Library Question >
• Frequently asked questions >
• How the Library Question would impact each neighborhood location >