According to a recent economic study conducted by the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, the community of Newmarket receives $7.85 in benefits for every $1 invested in Newmarket Public Library, resulting in a Return on Investment (ROI) of 685%.
The study was first conducted for the Toronto Public Library, and has since been replicated at several Ontario public libraries through the Library Research Network headed by librarian-researcher Kimberly Silk, who stated that Newmarket Public Library was. “…really squeezing a lot of value out of [it’s] single branch. [The Library] could likely serve more people with a second branch, or a larger branch, but it’s difficult to know where the tipping point is.”
Some of the other findings from the study include:
• The value of a single Newmarket Public Library membership is $870/year.
• The Library creates over $20 million in total economic impact, equating to $231 per resident or $717 per household.
• For every hour it is open the Library generates over $5,000 in direct community benefits.
“These numbers confirm what we’ve always known,” said Todd Kyle, CEO of Newmarket Public Library. “Public libraries provide value to the community in many ways, including providing resources for everyone to share. And not just books — we provide online media such as music, video, and courses for professional development and personal enrichment.”
The Library is playing a leading role in Newmarket’s transition to a knowledge-based economy. As a centre of learning and discovery, it now offers computer workshops, online courses, streaming/downloadable media, IdeaMarket community discussion forums, laptop loans, and a Maker Hub featuring 3D printing, a digital media station and vinyl cutter.