Municipal Talking Points for Ontario Public and School Libraries

PUBLIC LIBRARIES

There are few things that provide an opportunity to engage in city-building and place-making, with high social and economic return on investment than investing in a 21st Century public library as community hub.

Broadly, the Ontario-wide trend for the past 10 years has been:

  • A 66% increase in program attendance.
  • A 83% increase in number of programs.
  • An 8% increase in circulation.
  • Over $5.00 in economic ROI for every dollar invested in public libraries
  • Even higher social ROI returns to the community.

The consequences of under-funding public libraries are a well researched area.  At the end of this executive summary are a selected long list of independent research studies that show the impact, value and outcomes from public library strategies on their communities.

In short, communities with adequate public library service experience these consequences (and in the corollary they experience the negative consequences):

  1. Higher economic impact and development:
    • The economic local impact of public libraries in Ontario average $5.41 for every dollar invested by the community. This is a very conservative calculation on economic impact alone.
    • Real estate professionals report that public library branches increase home values (and therefore property taxes) and serve as a locus point for renewed re-development. This has been experienced in, for example, case studies of Vancouver Public Library’s central branch and the TPL Fort York branch.  They also attract new businesses and students.
  1. More successful employment and business development:

A 2018 study by Nordicity of libraries of all sizes found that public library digital access services accomplished the following:

  • 26% of library users using the technologies in the public library to start, manage, or grow their business.
  • 41% of library users using the technologies in the public library made creative products.
  • 45% of library users using the technologies in the public library to develop employable skills.
  • 36% of library users using the technologies in the public library to develop job search skills.
  • 45% of library users using the technologies in the public library to improve their job skills were successful in funding a job.

3. Higher standardized testing scores:

Schools with properly resourced and staffed libraries enjoy a 12-20-point increase in standardized testing scores.  Partnerships between school and public libraries increase this by an average of 5 points.  This has been confirmed by over 100 studies in the US and Canada.

  1. Higher rates of success in social community services strategies:

A 2018 study by Nordicity of libraries of all sizes found that public library digital access services accomplished the following:

  • 26% of library users using the technologies in the public library reported an increased level of community engagement.
  • 81% of library users using the technologies in the public library reported an increased level of social engagement.
  • Each of these are correlated with low rates of poverty and cyclical poverty, decreased social isolation, decreased school bullying, and higher access to social services in a non-stigmatized environment, etc.
  1. Stronger community and downtown revitalization.

Economic Return on Investment:

The following is a list of Canadian public libraries who have conducted an economic impact study applying this cost-benefit analysis (CBA) model first used by Toronto Public Library in 2013.  CBA is a commonly used approach to estimate the economic impact of public institutions. Please read “Understanding Economic Impact and Public Libraries” for a more detailed explanation of how CBA is applied to public libraries.

This CBA model is open and available for public use. Ottawa Public Library’s spreadsheet of calculations and data is open for others to use to calculate their own economic impact.

This list is maintained by Brightsail Research partner Kimberly Silk.

Library Year Published 2011 Census Population # Branches
(at time of study)
Return on $1 Invested
Toronto Public Library 2013 2,615,060 98 $5.63
Halton Hills Public Library 2014 59,008 2 $3.96
Milton Public Library 2014 84,362 2 $5.67
Pickering Public Library 2014 88,721 3 $5.85
Stratford Public Library 2015 30,886 1 $5.63
Sault Ste.-Marie Public Library 2015 75,000 3 $2.36
Kawartha Lakes Public Library 2015 73,214 15 $7.05
London Public Library 2015 366,151 16 $6.68
Vancouver Island Regional Library 2016 430,000 38 $5.36
Ottawa Public Library 2016 883,391 33 $5.17
Newmarket Public Library 2016 79,978 1 $7.85
Edmonton Public Library 2016 812,200 22 $3.11
Burlington Public Library 2017 175,780 7 $5.64
Hamilton Public Library 2017 519,950 22 $5.59
Vaughan Public Library 2017 288,300 9 $5.57

The ROI of Investment in 21st Century Public Library Digital Innovation Hubs

Digital literacy and digital inclusion are two of the social ROI measures in the 2018 study Technology Access in Public Libraries: Outcomes and Impacts for Ontario Communities.  Key to come of these strategies is the movement towards cost-saving through e-government initiatives.  25% of Ontarians report not having internet access at home or work and this number increases when needed peripherals and assistance are included.  Some sample data include:

  • 56% of respondents reported using technology at the public library.
  • 68% of respondents reporting using technology at the public library were over age 55.
  • 63% of respondents reporting using technology at the public library identified as low income.
  • 44% of respondents reporting using technology at the public library were introduced to a new technology.
  • 52% of those introduced to a new technology were over age 55.
  • 92% of those introduced to a new technology continued to use it.
  • 84% respondents reporting using technology at the public library reported increased digital comfort with using one or more services.
  • 91% of those were identifying as a visible minority.

The final report has more details: http://fopl.ca/news/pleased-to-share-with-you-the-results-of-a-two-year-study-to-assess-the-impact-of-technology-services-offered-in-ontario-libraries/

The ROI of investment in 21st Century Public Library Community Hubs

A 2018 Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport funded study by the Nordik Institute and Algoma University created a toolkit for measuring the social return on investment of public libraries.  These tools have now been released to all public libraries.  This toolkit is designed to measure the value of public libraries and their role as community hubs, building capacity for healthy, resilient people and places, especially in rural, Northern, First Nation and francophone communities. The toolkit provides a step-by-step process to assess libraries’ social return on investment (SROI) within a holistic, cross-sectoral framework.  Combined with economic ROI studies this represents what a properly resourced public library can accomplish for their communities.

Valuing Northern Libraries Toolkit

http://home.olsn.ca/resources/valuing-northern-libraries-toolkit

Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a term “originating from return on investment (ROI), as used by traditional investors. It describes the social impact of a business or non-profit’s operations in dollar terms, relative to the investment required to create that impact and exclusive of its financial return to investors” (Lingane, 2004). The social return on investment assesses three main areas:

SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT (SROI): direct spending, direct benefits, and indirect benefits.

SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT (SROI)

DIRECT SPENDING

  • Money allocated to the institution
  • Money flows through the institution

DIRECT BENEFITS

  • Benefits that can be estimated

INDIRECT BENEFITS

  • The result of direct spending
  • The dollar re-spent into the community.

Social Return on Investment of Public Libraries is huge.

Libraries that have already done a study based on the Nordik Algoma University toolkit are reporting extremely large SROI – in multiples of 100’s and thousands of per cents per dollar for their community and their residents including First Nations.

Why 0.7 square feet per capita is the minimum for library services:

The 0.7 square feet per resident guideline that the profession uses for planning purposes comes from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (as well as national) guidelines as an urban planning standard.  This approaches 1 square foot per capita in a highly centralized system.  While some people think, wrongly, that e-content and digital services have reduced the need for more space, the opposite has, in fact, proved true for the following reasons:

  • Digital content requires more space.
  • 25% of Ontarians do not have access to the internet at home or work. Many only have access to the internet through more expensive digital plans on mobile devices.  Other Wi-Fi options lack peripheral access and assistance.
  • While everyone is taught to read in school, every generation did not have the training needed for digital literacies – especially in the context of e-learning, e-government, and other issue like online elections. Libraries have been providing space for these activities in digital classrooms to encourage the skills needed for access, learning, small business and entrepreneur support, employment and use of government services, etc.

All of these issues and strategies militate towards larger spaces for public libraries in the 21st Century context. 

Again, the Public Library as Place or Community Hub strategies is an opportunity to engage in visionary city-building exercise that assures a great ROI and success.  The decisions you make here will pay out for generations.  Ensure that your impact has a positive swing.

Research Support Background links

Decades of research by independent universities, research institutes, and consultants has delivered hundreds of reports and studies on the economic and social impacts of public libraries.  There are too many to pepper through the report as the source of our recommendations but we have read and absorbed all of these.

The following is a list of Canadian public libraries who have conducted an economic impact study applying the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) model first used by Toronto Public Library in 2013. CBA is a commonly used approach to estimate the economic impact of public institutions. Please read “Understanding Economic Impact and Public Libraries” for a more detailed explanation of how CBA is applied to public libraries.

This CBA model is open and available for public use. Ottawa Public Library’s spreadsheet of calculations and data is open for others to use to calculate their own economic impact.

This list is maintained by Brightsail Research and Kimberly Silk, MLS.

Library Year Published 2011 Census Population # Branches
(at time of study)
Return on $1 Invested
Toronto Public Library 2013 2,615,060 98 $5.63
Halton Hills Public Library 2014 59,008 2 $3.96
Milton Public Library 2014 84,362 2 $5.67
Pickering Public Library 2014 88,721 3 $5.85
Stratford Public Library 2015 30,886 1 $5.63
Sault Ste.-Marie Public Library 2015 75,000 3 $2.36
Kawartha Lakes Public Library 2015 73,214 15 $7.05
London Public Library 2015 366,151 16 $6.68
Vancouver Island Regional Library 2016 430,000 38 $5.36
Ottawa Public Library 2016 883,391 33 $5.17
Newmarket Public Library 2016 79,978 1 $7.85
Edmonton Public Library 2016 812,200 22 $3.11
Burlington Public Library 2017 175,780 7 $5.64
Hamilton Public Library 2017 519,950 22 $5.59
Vaughan Public Library 2017 288,300 9 $5.57

Source: Creating a Culture of Evaluation: Taking Your Library From Talk to Action, edited by Bill Irwin and Kimberly Silk, OLA Press, 2017

Here’s what FOPL, OLA, SOLS, OLS-North and our members been doing in Ontario for the last five years:

  1. We re-analyzed the official Ontario public library data collection data on a per capita data in order to make valid peer comparisons.  You can see the report at:

2018 Federation of Ontario Public Libraries Ontario Public Library Operating Data 2008-2017 Overview, Primer on Library Statistics, and Collected Tables

http://fopl.ca/news/2018-federation-of-ontario-public-libraries-ontario-public-library-operating-data-2008-2017-overview-primer-on-library-statistics-and-collected-tables/

2017 FOPL All Ontario Public Library Statistics, Measurements and Rankings

http://fopl.ca/news/2017-ontario-public-library-statistics/

2017 FOPL First Nation Public Libraries Statistics and Peer Analyses

http://fopl.ca/news/released-oct-3-2018-first-nations-public-libraries-a-peer-study-2014-2017/

2017 Ontario Public Library Statistics Special Textual Data Reports

Technology projects in the next two years, reported in the 2017 Annual Survey

Significant Achievements reported in the 2017 Annual Survey of Public Libraries

 2017 Ontario Public Library Statistics

Significant Achievements reported in 2017 Ontario Public Library Statistics – text field Aug 2018

Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements and Policies where there are no Non-Resident User Fees

Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements from 2017 Annual Survey, Aug 2018 report

Non-traditional circulating library collections

http://fopl.ca/news/non-traditional-circulating-library-collections/

Public Library and First Nation Public Library approved Capital Project Plans for completion in next two years reported for 2017 Ontario Public Library Statistics

Capital projects in the next two years, reported in 2017 Annual Survey Aug 2018

 

Our basic data measurements (limited by the data collected but we’ve gotten the government to improve what they collect!) fall into these buckets:

The data presented in these reports are in several forms and with varying levels of detail depending on the detail needed for different views.

Variables and Dimensions

Now we will outline the variables and dimensions. This discussion of variables is brief and the reader is cautioned to realize that in each case where the variable is described as a higher ratio or lower ratio is ranked better that what is left unsaid is: “all other things being equal.” They are not and that is why we have more than one variable to give you the context to understand your library and its peers as the data describe them.

The first dimension is SERVICE and it has four variables:

Collection units per capita. “Units” is defined broadly. This is a measure of how big the collections are for the size of the libraries’ resident populations. Higher is better.

Employees per capita times 1,000. This measure tells us how big the staff is to service the population. Higher is better. The calculation gives a small number and to make it easier to understand, we multiplied by 1,000. It can be thought of as so many people for each 1,000 in the resident population.

Population per workstation. This measure tells us how many workstations the library has. By dividing the population by the count of workstations, we have a number which indicates, how likely a library user is to find an empty workstation. Here, a lower ratio is better. Consider: is it better to have 10,000 people per workstation or 100?

Population per service point. Service points are broadly defined to include places where people will have physical access to the library. They can include bookmobiles, branches, and deposit stations. Again, a lower ratio is better. Is it better to have 10,000 users per service point or 100?

USAGE

This dimension has three variables related to the actual use of the library.

Stock turnover is a traditional measure: how many times is each item (on average) checked out? Here total annual circulations are divided by a count of circulating items held. Higher is generally better.

Circulations per capita is another well-known calculation. Annual circulations divided by resident population. Higher is better.

Program attendance per registered borrower. How many of the libraries’ cardholders attend the libraries’ programs? The reported number in the detailed tables is 100 times the raw calculation. Total annual program attendance divided by the reported number of library cardholders. Higher is better.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

This dimension is new to the world of library assessment and it was created to get a handle on an important set of changes occurring in the library world: the modern library is not a passive organization waiting patiently for people to appear but one increasingly looking for opportunities to meet its public wherever they are and wherever they have information needs. The four measures in this dimension are an attempt to measure how libraries are adapting.

Programs offered per capita. The higher ratio is better. Registered borrowers per capita. What percentage of the libraries’ resident populations have library cards? Higher is better but we have documented how this percentage has been declining in Ontario’s libraries.

Hours open per capita times 100. Hours open includes not just buildings but bookmobile and deposit station hours. More hours open per person although as we know, a library’s electronic presence is open for business at all hours. Higher is better.

Estimated Annual Visits per capita. This ratio is the result of a complex calculation. Visits are tracked as “Typical Week” data so the data presumably re for one week. The population is an annual figure so the visits were summed and then multiplied by 52 and that product divided by the resident population.

Visits are of three types: In person, electronic (to the libraries’ Websites,) and electronic (to the libraries’ social media sites.)

EFFICIENCY

This dimension occasionally works against the others. Service is better with more staff, money, and service points but more economical if these are balanced by care in allocating resources. It is always a matter of balance and by looking at your peer libraries, you can see how they made the same kinds of balancing decisions that your library must make.

Collection expenditures per circulation. Lower is better. That is, more circulations per dollar spent is better than spending many dollars per circulation.

Estimated Visits per open hour. Visits, again, come from “Typical Week” data and given that these figures and the open hour figure are both weekly figures, there is no need to do more than sum the number of visits and divide by the number of open hours. Higher is better: more people visiting is better than fewer people. Note that electronic visits are included and that these can occur when the library’s buildings are not open.

Total Expenditures per estimated annual visit. Total operating expenditures of the libraries divided by the annualized visit figure to give an imputed cost per visit. Lower is better. It is better to have more visits per dollar spent.

DEVELOPMENT

The attempt here is future oriented.

Staff Training as a % of Total Operating Expenditures. This number is times 100 so these are the percentage figures. Staff training in this day and time is important but with library budgets being stretched, helping staff keep up with new developments by training or conference attendance is a difficult thing. But: higher is better.

OLCF Grant Results for 2 of the metrics and impact projects:

Ontario also invested $400,000 in developing these data collection and analysis toolkits for indigenous, small, medium and large public libraries:

TPL and six other public libraries are pleased to share with you the results of a two-year study to assess the impact of technology services offered in Ontario libraries: Bridge Report

WEB Nordicity Full Report

http://fopl.ca/news/pleased-to-share-with-you-the-results-of-a-two-year-study-to-assess-the-impact-of-technology-services-offered-in-ontario-libraries/

The Northern Libraries toolkit is also applicable more broadly:

Valuing Northern Libraries Toolkit

http://home.olsn.ca/resources/valuing-northern-libraries-toolkit

Click here to view the “Valuing Northern Libraries Tool Kit” (Done by Algoma U)

“Is your library board looking for a new way to communicate library value to your stakeholders?

Ontario Library Service – North (OLS – North) contracted NORDIK Institute to create a measurement tool to illustrate the value of libraries in rural, Northern, First Nation, and francophone communities. A steering committee consisting of the CEOs of the six pilot communities participated in identifying the measurement topics, the design and testing of the tool.

The Toolkit and Resources

This tool is designed to measure the value of public libraries and their role as community hubs, building capacity for healthy, resilient people and places, especially in rural, Northern, First Nation and francophone communities. The toolkit provides a step-by-step process to assess libraries’ social return on investment (SROI) within a holistic, cross-sectoral framework. The Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a term describing the social impact of a business or non-profit’s operations in dollar terms, relative to the investment required to create that impact and exclusive of its financial return to investors.

Based on a review of relevant literature, focus groups, consultation with steering committee members and site visits, NORDIK designed a measurement toolkit to encompass the many diverse and unique roles that public libraries play in the North as community hubs.

This framework identifies seven areas where libraries contribute to building individual, organizational, and community level capacity.

  1. Cultural Integrity & Regional Identity
  2. Social Inclusion
  3. Cognitive & Literacy Development
  4. Health & Wellness
  5. Engaged Citizens & Safer Communities
  6. Entertainment & Enjoyment
  7. Economic Development

An indicator is a quantifiable measure used to monitor progress or impact in a given area or sector. In collaboration with the pilot sites, three indicators were chosen that best reflect how libraries’ operations and expenditures contribute to each respective area. The same number of indicators is measured in each of the seven sectors for the purpose of demonstrating the equivalent value of each sector in the overall economic benefit and calculation of its Social Return on Investment.

While many of the services and activities of the libraries could arguably demonstrate benefits in multiple sectors assessed by the measurement tool, this study has relied on the preferences of the pilot sites to identify the placement of indicators most appropriate to each of the seven sectors. The indicators have been selected based on data that is collected by all libraries, or alternatively, can be easily collected during the ‘typical week’ usage survey.

Each library builds a unique mix of resources—collections, programming, services, etc. in response to community needs, enabling diverse people to improve their quality of life and to participate in the life of the community in meaningful ways. In many instances, libraries demonstrate leadership by promoting services that are otherwise non-existent, under developed or under serviced. The library value toolkit can be used in all of Ontario’s small and rural communities to demonstrate how the library contributes to individual, organizational, and community capacity.

SROI Indicator Template (the library value calculation spreadsheet)

The SROI Indicator Template will require some of the data submitted for the 2017 Annual Survey of Public Libraries, the Typical Week Survey, plus other commonly collected information.

Download the template and sample reports:

Training Resources

The Valuing Northern Libraries Toolkit online course will be made available on LearnHQ for Ontario public libraries to access.

Other Library Value Projects

Here is a sampling of public library value projects conducted in the past decade:

Assessing the ECONOMIC IMPACT of Vancouver Island Regional Library on our Member Communities, 2016.

Building Burlington’s Prosperity: The Economic Impact of Burlington Public Library, 2015.

Ottawa Public Library Impact Report. 2015.

SSM Public Library Research Report: The Value of Sault Ste. Marie’s Public Library 2015

Kawartha Lakes Public Library Economic Impact Study 2014

So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto 2014

Halifax Central Library An Economic Impact Assessment 2009

Enriching communities: The value of public libraries in NSW 2008

For a full list of the economic impact studies we’ve done in Ontario, check them out here:

The List: Canadian Public Library Impact Studies

http://fopl.ca/news/the-list-canadian-public-library-impact-studies/

We offer customer reports of peer analyses that match an individual library’s needs.  That is summarized in the main report.

Lastly, we also compare ourselves on a national, US and international basis when data is available.  Ontario libraries tend to come out very very well.

In the US you have a few great data sets and projects including IMLS, NCES, PLA, Project Outcomes, (ARL, and ACRL data) and you use our Canadian company Counting Opinions well across the country.

This is from the Annual collection of data from all libraries by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

FOPL’s latest aggregation is here:  http://fopl.ca/news/fopl-releases-ontario-public-libraries-statistics-report-and-rankings-feb-2017/

It’s also supported by the Market Probe Canada FOPL Public Opinion Poll on Libraries and Attitudes in Ontario: https://www.slideshare.net/stephenabram1/market-probe-fopl-presentation-20150509v7animated-68588314

In general, every dollar invested in libraries generates over $5 in local, frontline economic impact benefiting regular Ontarians.

There are a ton of studies in this area and a number of Ontario studies.  Here’s a list but the first major one in Ontario was the TPL University of Toronto Martin Prosperity Institute study. You can find the study here (66-page PDF):

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

http://ourpubliclibrary.to/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/RotmanStudy.pdf

TPL Sources for their Public Library Economic Impact Study

I thought folks might find the sources used for the Toronto Public Library economic impact study released in the last few weeks handy:

Here are more Ontario studies in the last few years:

Burlington Public Library creates over $57 million in total economic impact to the City of Burlington

New from OLA Press: Creating a Culture of Evaluation – Taking Your Library from Talk to Action

Newmarket Public Library creates over $20 million in total economic impact for the Town of Newmarket

Ottawa Public Library Delivers $5.17 in Benefits for every $1 Invested Vancouver Island Regional Library generated a total economic impact of $94,783,558 in 2016

Kawartha Lakes Demonstrates the Value of Local Libraries

London Public Library generates yearly economic impact of $102 million

Sault Ste. Marie Public Library generates more than $6 million in economic benefits

Stratford Public Library generates $14.91 million in total economic impact

Pickering Public Library creates over $32 million in total economic impact

Milton Public Library creates nearly $30 million in total economic impact

Halton Hills Public Library creates over $18 million in total economic impact

So Much More: The Economic Impact of Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto (2013)

Halifax Central Library: An Economic Impact Assessment (2009)

The Economic and Job Creation Benefits of Ontario Public Libraries (1996)

Halbur, T. (2011, September 20). Public Libraries are Natural Town Squares. Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network. Retrieved from: http://www.planetizen.com/node/51438

Johnson, C. A. (2010). Do public libraries contribute to social capital?: A preliminary investigation into the relationship. Library & Information Science Research, 32(2), 147–155. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2009.12.006

Ko, Y. M. (2012). An economic valuation study of public libraries in Korea. Library & Information Science Research, 34(2). Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740818812000060

Kretzmann, J. (2005, December). The Engaged Library: Chicago Stories of Community Building. Urban Libraries Council. Retrieved from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/ULCReport.pdf

Leckie, G. J., & Hopkins, J. (2002). The Public Place of Central Libraries: Findings from Toronto and Vancouver. Library Quarterly, 72 (3), 326–72. Retrieved from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ654242

Library Board of Queensland (2012). The Library Dividend Summary Report: A guide to the socio-economic value of Queensland’s public libraries. State Library of Queensland. Retrieved from: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/226143/the-library-dividend-summary-report


McClure, C. R., Fraser, B. T., Nelson, T. W., & Robbins, J. B. (2001). Economic Benefits and Impacts from Public Libraries in the State of Florida. Final Report. Retrieved from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=ED449805

Missingham, R. (2005). Libraries and economic value: a review of recent studies. Performance Measurement and Metrics,6 (3), 142–158. doi:10.1108/14678040510636711

Morris, A., Sumsion, J., & Hawkins, M. (2002). Economic Value of Public Libraries in the UK. Libri, 52 (2), 78–87. doi:10.1515/LIBR.2002.78

Newman, R. (2012). Economic Impact of Libraries in New York City. New York, NY. Retrieved from: http://www.scribd.com/doc/89640025/Economic-Impact-of-Libraries-in-New-York-City

Newman, W. (2008). Third generation public libraries: Visionary Thinking and Service Development in Public Libraries (to 2020) and Potential Application in Ontario. Toronto: Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Retrieved from: http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/publications/third_gen_libraries.pdf

Ontario Libraries and Community Information Branch. (1995). The Economic and Job Creation Benefits of Ontario Public and First Nations Libraries. Ontario Libraries and Community Information Branch.

PEW Charitable Trusts (2012) The Library in the City: Changing Demands and a Challenging Future. Retrieved from: http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Philadelphia_Research_Initiative/Philadelphia-Library-City.pdf

Poll, R. (2012). Can we quantify the library’s influence? Creating an ISO standard for impact assessment. Performance Measurement and Metrics, 13 (2), 121–130. doi:10.1108/14678041211241332

Rao, G. C. (2012). The Great Equalizer: The Case For Investing In the Toronto Public Library (p. 42). Toronto: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Retrieved from: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/great-equalizer

Saskatchewan Learning Provincial Library. (2005). Public Libraries: Contributing to the Economic, Social Well-Being and Lifelong Learning of Saskatchewan People. Retrieved from: http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/Public-Libraries-Economic-Social-Well-Being-Lifelong-Learning

The following articles and reports were reviewed in preparation for the research on the MPI study for TPL:

So Much More: The Economic Impact of Toronto Public Library System on the City of Toronto. Aabø, S. (2005a).

Are public libraries worth their price? New Library World, 106 (11/12), 487–495. Retrieved from: http://resolver.scholarsportal.info/resolve/03074803/v106i11-12/487_aplwtp.xml

Aabø, S. (2005b). Valuing the benefits of public libraries. Information Economics and Policy, 17 (2), 175–198. doi:10.1016/j.infoecopol.2004.05.003

Americans for the Arts. (2012). Arts & Economic Prosperity IV: Economic Impact of the Nonprofit Arts & Culture Industry. Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts.

Americans for Libraries Council (2007). Worth their Weight: An Assessment of the Evolving Field of Library Valuation. Retrieved from: http://www.ala.org/research/sites/ala.org.research/files/content/librarystats/worththeirweight.pdf

Barron, D. (2005). The Economic impact of public libraries on South Carolina. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, School of Library and Information Science. Retrieved from: http://www.libsci.sc.edu/sceis/final%20report%2026%20january.pdf

Berk and Associates. (2005). The Seattle Public Library central library: economic benefits assessment: the transformative power of a library to redefine learning, community, and economic development. Seattle, Washington: The Firm. Retrieved from: http://www.spl.org/Documents/branch/CEN/SPLCentral_Library_Economic_Impacts.pdf

Bertot, J. C., McClure, C. R., & Jaeger, P. T. (2008). The Impacts of Free Public Internet Access on Public Library Patrons and Communities. The Library Quarterly, 78 (3), 285–301. doi:10.1086/588445

Bundy, A. (2003). Best investment: the modern public library as social capital. Presented at the AGM of Friends of Libraries Australia, Altona, Victoria. Retrieved from: http://arrow.unisa.edu.au:8081/1959.8/40620

Canmac Economics Ltd. (2009). Halifax Central Library: An Economic Impact Assessment. Retrieved from http://halifaxcentrallibrary.ca/assets/pdfs/2009-Central-Library-Economic-Impact-Assessment.pdf

Eldred, H. (1998, February). Economic and Job Creation Benefits of Public Libraries. Library Administrator’s Digest, 33 (2). Retrieved from:

http://www.questia.com/read/1P3-28946455/economic-and-job-creation-benefits-of-public-libraries

Elliott, D. S. (2007). Measuring Your Library’s Value: How to Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis for Your Public Library. American Library Association.

Fels Institute of Government (2011) The Economic Value of the Free Library in Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved from: https://www.fels.upenn.edu/sites/www.fels.upenn.edu/filesthe_economic_value_of_the_free_library_in_philadelphia-final_report.pdf

Fraser, B. T., Nelson, T. W., & McClure, C. R. (2002). Describing the Economic Impacts and Benefits of Florida Public Libraries: Findings and Methodological Applications for Future Work. Library & Information Science Research, 24 (3), 211–33.

Glass, R. H., Clifford, N., Harris, B., & Institute, U. of K. P. R. (2000). The Role of Public Libraries in Local Economic Development. Policy Research Institute, University of Kansas.

Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development (2010). Taxpayer Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries. University of West Florida. Retrieved from: http://haas.uwf.edu/library/library_study/DraftFinal.pd

Sawyer, R. (1996). The economic and job creation benefits of Ontario public libraries. Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, The 9 (4), 14–26. doi:10.1108/08880459610131781

Schrader, A. M., & Brundin, M. R. (2012). National Statistical and Values Profile of Canadian Libraries: Report to CLA Executive Council. Canadian Library Association. Retrieved from:

http://www.cla.ca/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Advocacy&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=13783

Senville, W. (2009). Public Libraries: The Hub of Our Communities. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 22 (3), 97–103. State Library of Victoria. (2011).

Dollars, Sense and Public Libraries: The landmark study of the socio-economic value of Victorian public libraries. Melbourne, Australia: State Library of Victoria. Retrieved from:

http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/dollars-sense-public-libraries-summary-report_1.pdf

Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2012). Texas Public Libraries: Economic Benefits and Return on Investment. Austin, Texas: Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved from: https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/roi

Urban Libraries Council (2007). Making Cities Stronger: Public Library Contributions to Local Economic Development. Washington, DC: Urban Institute. Retrieved from: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/1001075_stronger_cities.pdf

Warner, J., & Fitch, L. (1997). Dividends: The Value of Public Libraries in Canada. The Library Action Committee of the Book and Periodical Council. Retrieved from: http://www.nald.ca/library/research/dividend/dividend.pdf

Wells, A. (2012, October 5). Climb This Mountain of Books. The Atlantic Cities. Retrieved from: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/10/climb-mountain-books/3513/

Chart Comparing Public Libraries to Amazon

Additional Backgrounder on School Libraries

FOPL has been investing in research on our members’ behalf.

Preschool Early Literacy Programs in Public Libraries
By Drs. Shelley Stagg Peterson and Eunice Jang  
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
OISE/University of Toronto

FOPL funded this independent academic study that shows the role and impact of public library children’s storytelling programs.  It’s a very positive study about the public library’s impact on our community’s kids for early literacy and school readiness!  Who could argue with that!  Story times aren’t merely fun, songs, dances, and games.  Every parent invests in their children and public libraries play a key role.

Briefly, the report shows that your library’s story times improve school readiness, vocabulary development, motivation to read, narrative awareness, phonological awareness, and print awareness.  Indeed, these programs change children’s literacy behaviours at home and parent’s literacy interactions with their children.  The report contains a number of important recommendations for you.  As a core program of public libraries it is wonderful to have this piece of Ontario-based research to focus on building even greater success.

We also created an infographic about this research, “What happens during Story Time at the Public Library”.  We hope you feel that this is good enough to post in your library for staff, parents, and your cardholders.  Thank you to Susie Benes for a great job creating this internally.

  • A French translation of this report will be available in the coming weeks and will be mailed to our FOPL French Caucus members and posted here.
  • Additional copies of our infographic will be available at the OLA Super Conference.
  • Online copies of the report are available as a PDF on the FOPL website in case you want to link to this from your library’s website or share it via e-mail or social media like Facebook and Twitter.  Here is the URL: http://fopl.ca/?p=1623
  • We also have jpeg and PDF copies of the infographic that can be printed to give to caregivers at story times or posted on your digital and social media presences.  Here is the URL:  http://fopl.ca/?p=2575

I hope you find this report useful and worthy of sharing with staff, trustees and the public.  It’s great to have an independent piece of academic research showing the positive value of what public libraries do every day for our communities.

Infographic: Preschool Early Literacy Programs in Ontario Public Libraries

An infographic created by FOPL which summarizes the information found in the report “Preschool Early Literacy Programs in Ontario Public Libraries”, which can be found here.

You can download the infographic as a pdf or jpeg.

 (Please note colours differ in pdf the image above from the original)

The Value of School Libraries

In the school library field, there are numerous studies and seemingly increasing stupidity in just ignoring them. I heard the word ‘anegnosis’ once. It’s similar to ‘amnesia’ although instead of forgetting knowledge and experience, it means to willfully ignore or be unaware of facts and knowledge. Dr. Ken Haycock’s summary, The Crisis in Canada’s School Libraries: The Case for Reform and Reinvestment, of the major studies on the impact of school libraries, published in 2003 by the Canadian Coalition for School Libraries, clearly shows that students, who attend schools with well-funded, properly-stocked libraries managed by qualified teacher-librarians, have higher achievement, improved literacy and greater success at the post-secondary level. Duh! So why are we having a crisis in school libraries, where they’re threatened routinely? Standardized scores tend to be up to 20% higher than in schools without an investment in a school library program and the “relationship between library resource levels and increased achievement is not explained away by other school variables (e.g., per student spending, teacher-pupil ratios) or community conditions (e.g., poverty, demographics). In fact, no fewer than forty years of research provides an abundance of evidence about the positive impact of qualified teacher-librarians and school libraries on children and adolescents.”

There are a number of leaders in this field of research including Ross Todd, Keith Curry Lance, Ken Haycock, David Loertscher, Stephen Krashen, Ann Curry, and others. All are great soldiers in this battle so reading their sites, reports, and blogs is helpful.

Value of School Libraries Studies

The Crisis in Canada’s School Libraries: The Case for Reform and Reinvestment
http://www.accessola.com/data/6/rec_docs/ExecSummary_Ha_E1E12.pdf

Hundreds of studies demonstrating the value of school libraries and school public library partnerships. Recent reports that were not included in the above report include:

School Libraries and Student achievement in Ontario [PDF]
The Ontario Library Association, April 2006
http://www.accessola.com/data/6/rec_docs/137_eqao_pfe_study_2006.pdf

School Libraries Work! [PDF]
Scholastic Research Foundation Paper, 2008 Edition
http://www2.scholastic.com/content/collateral_resources/pdf/s/slw3_2008.pdf

California experienced huge drops in student performance after closing most of their school libraries in the budget crunch. Douglas L. Achterman’s dissertation “HAVES, HALVES, AND HAVE-NOTS: SCHOOL LIBRARIES AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN CALIFORNIA” for the PhD program for the University of North Texas. http://digital.library.unt.edu/permalink/meta-dc-9800:1

Idaho School Library Impact Study – 2009
http://libraries.idaho.gov/doc/idaho-school-library-impact-study-2009

The 2006 report on the impact of Delaware school libraries is available from the Delaware Division of Libraries:
http://library.blogs.delaware.gov

Statistical Studies of School and Other Libraries (excellent Webliography)
http://www.sldirectory.com/libsf/resf/statistics.html

Here is a position paper from Rutgers University’s Center for international Scholarship in School Libraries, that discusses the relationship between school libraries and student achievement.

http://cissl.scils.rutgers.edu/CISSL_POSITION_PAPER_revised.doc

School libraries seem over challenged lately and that’s not fair. It verges on insanity. It also risks future generations. I hope these studies help to arm ourselves for the battle. Advocate for your libraries, our libraries.

EARLY CHILDHOOD LITERACY

The Future of Literacy in Canada’s Largest Cities

Ontario Early Literacy Report by Charles Pascal