CLA 2014: The Economic Impact of Libraries


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The Economic Impact of Libraries, part of CLA 2014 workshop, "Driving Change for Community Impact". Presented by Kimberly Silk, University of Toronto and Elizabeth Glass, Toronto Public Library. Silk begins with a look at different types of impact studies and then introduces how the Toronto Public Library engaged the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto in 2013 to study of the economic impact and benefits of the library in its community. TPL shares the findings of the study, discusses the importance of demonstrating the economic benefits of public libraries to key stakeholders including city councils, library board members, and the local community, and provides tips for others wanting to show the impact of their libraries.

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CLA 2014: The Economic Impact of Libraries

  1. 1. So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto
  2. 2. About the Toronto Public Library • TPL is one of the world’s busiest library systems with over 18 million visits to 98 branches in 2013; 2 new branches will open in the next 18 months. • 72% of Toronto citizens use the TPL throughout the year, and over 1.3 million people are registered library card holders • In January 2013, City of Toronto Council asked the City Librarian to commission a study to determine the economic impact of Toronto Public Library to the City of Toronto, and to specifically analyze the open hours policy.
  3. 3. About the Martin Prosperity Institute • Part of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto • Positioned at the intersection of academia, business and civil society • Anchored by three of the world’s top thinkers and writers: – Roger Martin, former Dean of Rotman School of Management; author, Playing to Win – Don Tapscott, Executive Director of the Global Solution Networks; author, Wikinomics – Richard Florida, author, The Rise of the Creative Class • So Much More co-authored by Dr. Kevin Stolarick, Research Director at MPI and Kimberly Silk, Data Librarian, completed December 2013.
  4. 4. Funding of Study Estate of Norman G. Hinton
  5. 5. Step 1: Environmental Scan
  6. 6. Step 2: Methodology and Message • Valuation of library services • Valuation of direct spending • Transparent methodology • Conservative estimates • Clear message
  7. 7. Toronto Public Library creates over $1 billion in total economic impact
  8. 8. Total direct benefits reach $502 per member
  9. 9. The average open hour at a branch generates $2,515 in direct benefits
  10. 10. Intangible benefits deliver value Opportunities for residents to ✓ improve literacy skills, ✓ enhance educational and ✓ employment opportunities, ✓ and improve quality of life for themselves and their families
  11. 11. Step 3: Communicating the Results • More, deeper studies are needed – how to connect outputs to outcomes? • Value of collaborations and partnerships • Sharing and communicating the study results • Importance of library research
  12. 12. • More, deeper studies are needed – how to connect outputs to outcomes? • Value of collaborations and partnerships • Sharing and communicating the study results • Importance of library research What We Learned
  13. 13. Thank you The study can be found here: library/pdfs/board/meetings/2013/dec09/10_1.pdf For more information on the study contact: Kimberly Silk, Data Librarian Martin Prosperity Institute, University of Toronto @kimberlysilk Elizabeth Glass, Manager, Planning & Development, Planning, Policy and E-Service Delivery Toronto Public Library