Explanation and Values for Library Use Value Calculator

Updated figures, November 2019

This chart provides background for estimated or average costs for library resources and services. We used an average of the Amazon best sellers list in adult, YA, children's books, audio and eBooks. These numbers are intended to reflect what a library patron would pay on the open market not what the library pays for these materials.


Some values may vary from area to area. If you would like to supply your own values, please feel free to edit the Library Use Value Calculator and to download the spreadsheet for edits to meet your own local needs.

How to customize and use on your local library web site.

A list of estimated or average Maine library services with explanation
Item Estimated Retail Value Values Explained
Book Borrowed $22.00 Amazon average cost
Paperback Book Borrowed $12.00 Amazon average cost
Children Book Borrowed $8.00 Amazon average cost
Audiobooks Borrowed $27.00 Amazon average cost
Interlibrary Loan Requests $25.00 Average national cost for loans
eBooks/Audiobooks Downloaded $10.00 Amazon average cost
Magazine Borrowed $5.00 Average cost to purchase
Movies Borrowed $18.00 Amazon average cost
CDs Borrowed $13.00 Amazon average cost
Museum Pass Borrowed $20.00 Sample museum admission for two
Newspaper Read in Library $8.99 Average monthly subscription
Meeting Room Use per Hour $25.00 Estimate
Program/Class Attended - Adult $15.00 Average price of a movie ticket
Program Attended - Children $12.00 Average price of a movie ticket
Computer Use per Hour $10.00 Based on Bangor Public Library's Business Center price
Reference Questions Asked $19.50 Average reference librarian hourly wage

Based initially on the calculator from Massachusetts Library Association.