Do Vt. towns spend more on police or libraries? Research finds it depends

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - On this National Library Week, new research is out from the University of Vermont on how towns invest in their books and their public safety.

Of the roughly 180 libraries here, the UVM Center for Research in Vermont surveyed 54 of them.

They found 29 towns spend more money on their libraries than they do on policing and 24 spent more on police.

But overall, police spending topped library spending by more than $100,000 on average in the 54 towns surveyed.

Researchers say part of the differences in investment might be because some smaller towns contract out their policing services to state police or sheriffs departments.

But they say the number that spent more on their libraries tells us a lot about Vermont values.

“I think it shows a lot about what our state values that so many towns do spend more on their libraries. I think it shows that Vermont values things like education and community,” said Maggie Adams, a UVM researcher.

They say they think people would be interested in seeing more comparisons like that information easily accessible on Town Meeting Day.

Watch the video to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full interview with UVM student researchers Maggie Adams and Andrew Langdon.

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