Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Media Release from Burlington Public Library

Mon Feb 27 2017

Public library generates $57m in economic value

Burlington Public Library reports new study findings

Burlington, ON –  At a presentation to City Council today, Burlington Public Library Board chair Nancy Douglas and chief executive officer Maureen Barry revealed that the public library added $57 million in economic value to the city of Burlington in 2015, and clearly contributes to the quality of life of Canada’s #1 ranked medium-sized city.

The Library recently conducted an economic impact analysis based on a landmark study by The Martin Prosperity Institute in 2013. The Martin Prosperity Institute, an economic think-tank at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, devised a way to measure how much Toronto Public Library contributes to Toronto’s economy. Burlington Public Library is one of 14 Canadian libraries that has conducted a similar study based on the Institute’s methods.

Ms. Douglas explains that economic impact is a new way to measure and talk about the library’s value to the community.

“It’s a way to put a real dollar amount to the library’s value as a service provider, an employer, and as a consumer in our community,” she adds.
The Library relied on in-house expertise to study Burlington Public Library’s numbers, and will report back to the Library Board and community every June with an updated economic impact statement.

“Burlington residents need to know that when the City directs their tax dollars to the public library, it is a solid investment,” says Maureen Barry, chief executive officer.

Key findings from Burlington Public Library’s study show that in 2015:

  • The City of Burlington invested $57.20 per resident in the Library (about $11m) from taxes collected.
  • Total amount of economic benefit that Burlington Public Library’s operations brought to the community exceeded $57 million.
  • Return on Investment of 464% for dollars spent on library services.
  • By putting a market value to all the things Burlington residents could access because the library was open for business, the community gained $39.48 million in benefits.
  • Burlington’s economy gained $17.8 million in benefits because the library did business in the community.
  • Resulting from the Library’s direct spending in the community, BPL generated $7.65 million in indirect benefits to Burlington’s economy.
  • For every tax dollar invested in the Library by the City, the community gained $5.64 of economic impact. That’s an economic value of $308 for every resident and $1,057 for every household.

Burlington Public Library Economic Impact full report: www.bpl.on.ca/economic-impact

Media contact:

Nicole Paterson, Manager, Marketing Communications

905.639.3611 ext 1120

patersonn@bpl.on.ca