The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Research Databases Provide Information and Entertainment for a Great Value

Many of the 2 million visitors to the library branches each year come for the print resources, DVDs and CDs. Some of them also drop by or visit remotely 24/7 for the authoritative electronic resources.

These “research databases,” available through, let you read daily newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, financial investment sites, business research, genealogical collections and even librarian-recommended homework help sites for all ages.

The portion of your property tax bill that supports the library district also provides funds for these electronic gems. About $65 of the average Greene County household’s property tax bill goes to support the Library District – also what out-of-county residents pay annually for a library card.

It got us to thinking: What would it cost an individual for an annual subscription to just one of these? Turns out, a lot more than $65 a year you pay to support all the library’s services.

Electronic Resources Librarian Renee Brumett helped provide the cost comparisons for a sampling of databases. The one caveat, she says: Some private subscriptions come with different content – less or more, with full-page images, – than a library subscription, or offer discounts if bundled with other products, but you get the idea.

Here’s what it would cost annually for a personal subscription:

Here’s another fun return-on-investment exercise: the Library Use Value Calculator at shows how much you would pay out of pocket for library services and the value of your tax dollar.

Find this article at