Public Libraries Make People’s Lives Better

Public Libraries Make People’s Lives Better

Despite the obvious missions of public libraries, the unmeasured and often unmentioned return-on-investment with regards to them is the affect they have on the quality-of-life of the population they serve. Individual and group happiness are only recently becoming viewed as valid economic indicators, though positive psychology, the study of happiness and the causes of positive life experiences, has been a growing movement within psychological research for over a decade (see the Positive Psychology Center’s list of readings). With all the news about depression and stress rates in the United States soaring, it makes sense that a counterbalance is offered. To that, and into the general fracas I am throwing my unscientific opinion that public libraries have an important role to play in both the physical and mental health of communities.

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