So Much More: The Economic Impact of Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto


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This presentation to the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL) describes the results of the economic impact study done for Toronto Public Library by the Martin Prosperity Institute.

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So Much More: The Economic Impact of Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto

  1. 1. So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto January 15, 2014 Katherine Palmer Dr. Kevin Stolarick Kimberly Silk, MLS
  2. 2. So Much More • Funding for the study was provided through the Toronto Public Library Foundation and funds from the TD Bank Financial Group and the estate of Norman G. Hinton. • The study was begun in late May and presented to the Board in December 2013. 2
  3. 3. Public Sector Context • Greater accountability • Demonstrating value • Fiscal constraint 3
  4. 4. City and Board Context • Core service and service efficiency reviews • Public consultations on City budget 4
  5. 5. Context: Toronto Public Library Study Responds to the motions by the Library Board and City Council: Toronto Public Library Board: That the City Librarian undertake a study on the economic impacts and benefits of Toronto Public Library and the role of public libraries in economic development Toronto City Council: That the Chief Librarian prepare a cost-benefit analysis of the Open Hours Policy and the economic impact of Library services and provide a report to the City Manager for review and report prior to the 2014 budget process. 5
  6. 6. Toronto Public Library creates over $1 billion in total economic impact 6
  7. 7. Total direct benefits reach $502 per member 7
  8. 8. The average open hour at a branch generates $2,515 in direct benefits 8
  9. 9. Toronto Public Library delivers $5.63 of economic impact for every $1 spent 9
  10. 10. Return on Investment ROI is 463% The return from the City of Toronto’s investment in the Toronto Public Library is 463%, which is the midpoint of a range very conservatively estimated to be 244% and is comfortably shown to reach 681%. 10
  11. 11. Neighbourhood Branches Provide Communities Intangible Benefits “Cities that promote diversity and tolerance also tend to become places that are open to new ideas and different perspectives, promoting creativity. This in turn builds cities that are attractive to individuals and businesses involved in the creation of new ideas, products and services.” The Importance of Diversity to the Economic and Social Prosperity of Toronto, MPI, 2010 11
  12. 12. Intangible benefits deliver value Opportunities for residents to improve their literacy skills, enhance their educational and employment opportunities, and improve quality of life for themselves and their families through library collections, services and programs deliver a lifetime of value to residents and increase the economic competitiveness and prosperity of Toronto.
  13. 13. Methodology MPI followed a thorough, comprehensive approach to calculating the economic impact of TPL services. The Martin Prosperity Institute conducted the study for the Toronto Public Library using accepted valuation methodologies commonly used in the library and public sector and standard library statistics collected for international and Canadian benchmarks. The study examined the economic impact of the Toronto Public Library from a number of lenses, building on methodologies of other studies and introducing new measures to value library space. 13
  14. 14. Acknowledgements Authors Kevin Stolarick Kim Silk Martin Prosperity Institute Rotman School of Management University of Toronto 105 St. George Street, Suite 9000 Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 Editor Diane Nelles Richard Florida, Director Jamison Steeve, Executive Director Project Team Michelle Hopgood Zara Matheson Garrett Morgan Editorial contributions as well as Exhibits 2 and 3 provided by the Toronto Public Library. TPL Support Katherine Palmer Elizabeth Glass 14
  15. 15. Q&A (and, Thank You!) Katherine Palmer, Director of Planning, Policy & E-Service Delivery Kevin Stolarick, Research Director | @stolarick Kimberly Silk, Data Librarian | @kimberlysilk Martin Prosperity Institute, University of Toronto