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Florida’s Public Libraries: Economic Impact Study

Why is it important to keep budgets for Florida public libraries healthy?

Florida’s public libraries not only provide valuable services (and materials) to residents, but they also affect the economy of the state through purchasing goods and services from Florida suppliers.

How much of Florida’s economy is supported by the annual spending of its public libraries?

Our economic impact study (PDF) found that Florida public library purchases have a sizable impact on employment and economic activity in the state.

Florida’s libraries have such a powerful economic impact because:

  • Public libraries acquire material and services from other industries or sectors of the state’s economy.
  • Workers in those industries spend some of their paychecks in Florida.
  • Library staff spent part of their earnings in Florida.

Economic contributions in 2019-2020 included:

  • Libraries supported 4,353 jobs beyond filling their own staff positions.
  • Libraries contributed $346.7 million to the gross domestic product of Florida.
  • Library spending in the state led to $179.6 million in earnings being paid to local workers.

This economic impact study evaluated the library-supplied data for fiscal years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. The findings were very similar for each year.

During FY2023-24, the percentage of total costs for the Library Data and Statistics program financed with federal money is 67%; the federal dollar amount to be spent on the program is $155,485. This program does not receive any non-governmental funding. 

imls180.for.panel.jpgMany of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida's LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.