We’re excited to release today (Nov. 27, 2019) our ninth edition of the:

Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Ontario Public Library Operating Data 2009-2018

Overview, Primer on Library Statistics, and Collected Tables

Robert E. Molyneux, MSLS, PhD, Statistician

Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLA, Executive Director, FOPL

Released: November 2019

How does your Ontario library system rank in terms of your peers and all of Ontario?

How is your system doing with respect to per capita circulation, holdings, expenditures, programs, partnerships, funding and innovation?

How are Ontario’s public libraries doing as a whole?  (Hint: We’re awesome!)

Download the report here:


We have optimized this report (PDF) for double-sided printing.  Colour will be better but B&W is OK for the tables.  Feel free to share this with your staff and boards.

Table of Contents 


Primer on Library Data

The Ontario Public Library Data and the FOPL Dataset
Population and Circulation at Ontario Public Libraries, 2009-2018
Table 1: Population and Circulation at Ontario Public Libraries, 2009-2018
Table 2: Summary Characteristics at Ontario Public Libraries, 2000-2018, with charts

Key Ratios

Table 3: Key Ratios at Ontario Public Libraries, 2017 Rank Order Tables
Table 4: Rank Order Table: Circulations per capita
Table 5: Rank Order Table: Active Cardholders per capita
Table 6: Rank Order Table: Circs per Active Cardholders
Table 7: Rank Order Table: Total Expenditures per capita
Table 8: Rank Order Table: Electronic Materials Expenditures per capita
Table 9: Rank Order Table: Program Attendance per 100 population New Measures of Holdings
Table 10: Material Holdings, by Band
Table 11: Rank Order Table: Titles Held Program Details
Table 12: Programs by subjects offered, summary for libraries and Bands
Table 13: Programs by subjects offered, details by bands Social Media
Table 14: Social Media Summary Additional Expenditure Categories
Table 15: Select Expenditure Categories as a % of Total Operating Expenditures Partnerships
Table 16: Partnerships and Consortia
Table 17: 2017 “New” variables in 2018
Table 18: 3D Printers, Makerspace, Digital Labs, etc.
Table 19: Service points: Branches, Bookmobiles, and Stations Visits
Table 20: Visits to the libraries, in Person and Electronically
Table 21: Three Measures of “Typical Week” Visits, 2000-2018
Table 22: Downloading or Streaming Services
Table 23: eLearning Services

Table 24: Demographic and Financial Variables Reported for Libraries that Contract for Library Services

These data are very useful for your management and operational reviews as well as for strategic planning purposes.

FOPL finds these data extremely effective in communicating the value and impact of public libraries in Ontario to funding bodies, municipal and provincial politicians, the public and government.

For information on custom reports, contact Stephen Abram, executive director, FOPL at sabram@fopl.ca.