NNwspapers often have difficulty communicating value to consumers. We have paid newspapers, free newspapers, and now our free web sites are flirting with paid models.

I just ran across a personal savings calculator from the State Library and Archives of Florida, attempting to show library users the commercial value of their services. Titled “What Is Your Library Worth To You,” it's a graphical interface asking how many books borrowed, magazines borrowed, museum passes borrowed, how often you use a meeting room, and so on.

It seems like this is a simple idea for newspapers. How often do you read a newspaper left on a table? How often do you view a newspaper web site? How often do you call the newspaper for a question? And I'm sure there are more. It would be fascinating to generate a dollar value for the “free” stuff newspapers provide. It would be fascinating to calculate that over the course of those “free”' experiences.

In any event, click here to view the Personal Savings Calculator in Florida. Let me know how this could be applied to newspapers.