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City of Pocatello News

Posted on: August 10, 2020

Marshall Public Library Patrons Save $4+ Million Borrowing vs. Purchasing

A receipt from the Marshall Public Library that shows how much money the patron saved.

The amount of money saved by patrons checking out books at the Marshall Public Library isn’t being counted by the hundreds or thousands. It’s in the millions. 


Back in May 2019, library staff activated a fun feature of the library’s operating system. This feature lists on a patron’s receipt how much a patron saves by checking out their book at the Marshall Public Library versus buying the book at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. When librarians pulled the data recently, they found that since then, patrons have checked out 251,420 items resulting in a savings of $4,066,425.99. Put another way, that’s an average savings of $220 for every active library cardholder. 


“We were pleasantly surprised when we looked at how much money the library has been able to save our patrons,” said Trina Bonman, Associate Director. “We know that we’re busy checking items out to our patrons but when you see things in a different light like this, it really shows what a valuable contribution we make to our community.”


The number could be even higher, however. The software doesn’t account for checkouts on the library’s digital offerings of ebooks and e-audiobooks. During the same timeframe, patrons have checked out 28,956 digital items.


“The library has focused on developing our digital collection over the last few years and we’re happy to be able to offer patrons access to materials in whatever format they prefer,” Bonman said. “This turned out to be a fantastic benefit to our patrons when we were shut down and unable to check out physical materials. During those two months, they were still able to access thousands of titles.”


For more information on the programs and services available at the Marshall Public Library, visit marshallpl.org or like the library’s Facebook page at facebook.com/marshallpl.


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