From The Star (Toronto):
The U of T’s Martin Prosperity Institute will tell Toronto, in dollar figures, the worth of its public library system.
The economic impact study, a first of its kind in Canada, will be funded by the Toronto Public Library Foundation with contributions from TD Bank Group and the estate of Norman G. Hinton. No city money will be spent.
[Councillor Paul] Ainslie noted the system’s 19 million users borrow 32 million items annually. Some patrons are job-seekers using computers, while others are students doing research.
Most of the library system’s $180 million annual budget comes from the city. The foundation quickly volunteered to fund the study, which is expected to be completed by fall, he added.
Kimberly Silk, a data librarian at the Martin Prosperity Institute, part of the Rotman School of Management, said the study will produce a dollar value although it’s important to acknowledge there is more to libraries than that.