Study finds that for every $1 invested in Newmarket Public Library over $7 in community benefits are generated

January 13th, 2017

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.

Statement from Newmarket Public Library

April 14th, 2016

April 14, 2016

At the Newmarket Public Library, we provide a variety of recreational, educational and personal growth activities as well as a comfortable and safe meeting place for all members of the community.

Over the past few days, I’ve had a chance to really think about some of our recent actions to help make sure the library is a comfortable environment. I realize that my approach wasn’t the best one and I am committed to improving it.

I have chosen a career working in a library because I truly believe in what our programming and services can offer all members of the community. It was absolutely never my intention to come across as discriminatory or degrading to anyone, and for that, I am sorry.

All are welcome at the library. If there is a need to resolve challenges with individual patrons, we will address it with greater sensitivity, on a case-by-case basis. Our goal is a library that’s full of people where everyone feels welcome.

I invite anyone who would like to speak with me directly to contact me by e-mail at tkyle@newmarketpl.ca or by phone at 905-953-5110.

Todd Kyle
CEO

Library sees surge in use during 2015

January 28th, 2016

Increases include a 26% rise in digital borrowing

Newmarket Public Library released its 2015 usage statistics this week, showing a substantial increase in the use of the library by the community during the previous year.

Overall borrowing of materials increased by 9% in 2015, over 2014, with a whopping 26% increase in electronic borrowing; mostly e-books, e-audio, downloadable music and streaming video. Even print book borrowing was up by 5%.

“It’s not surprising that e-borrowing is up,” says CEO Todd Kyle. “People’s habits are changing, and the community is discovering the expanding digital services and collections offered by the library, including online courses and downloadable music.”

Some digital services of the library, such as online general interest courses, are not expressed as borrowing numbers but by site visits, logins, and searches. Total website visits increased by 4% last year, with a 50% increase in the use of online resources. Much of that increase came from Web search results for York Info, the library’s community information and volunteer database.

Last year, York Info added King Township Public Library to the partnership it has with other libraries in York Region, an alliance that now includes five libraries. York Info is also the provider of local data on social services for the provincial 211 service.

Visits to the library in person were also up by 4%, and the proportion of checkouts being done on self-service machines increased from 42% to 59%.

“Clearly these statistics correspond with the way people have embraced digital technology and continue to do so,” says Kyle. “The Library’s mandate is to ensure the community has access to knowledge and learning in all its forms.”

Library becoming a “maker hub”

December 9th, 2015

Newmarket Public Library is becoming part of the “maker” movement.

To introduce new technology to the community and to encourage people to design and create their own objects, the library is developing what it calls a Maker Hub. When fully operational, the space will include a 3D printer, a digital vinyl cutter, and a Mac workstation with a microphone for digital media editing.

The library is already offering 3D printer service with its MakerBot Replicator. Residents are able to take a free one-hour 3D Printer Certification Course to teach them how to find and format print files, as well as how to begin designing objects using free Web-based software such as TinkerCad. They can then send their print jobs to staff for printing, for a fee of $1.00 plus 5 cents per minute of printing time.

“Technology like this encourages people to create and innovate,” says library CEO Todd Kyle. “With a movement already afoot to establish a full industrial maker space in Newmarket, the library wanted to provide an entry point for the next generation of makers, as part of our commitment to learning and digital literacy.”

The Maker Hub space will take up part of a storage room on the second floor of the library, and is being funded partly by a special technology grant from the Ontario government called the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund. In addition, the library is welcoming donations to help fund its technology programs.

The library hopes to launch the full Maker Hub in the spring. More information can be found on their website at www.newmarketpl.ca .

SNAPSHOT N6: A day in the life of libraries in Northern York Region

September 10th, 2015

SNAPSHOT N6 is a short video providing a look at a day in the life of libraries in Northern York Region. It shows the many ways in which libraries have an impact on their communities and the residents who frequent them for the information, programs and services that make a difference in their lives. Click here to view the video.

Library’s IdeaMarket a success

March 17th, 2015

NEWMARKET, Ontario, March 17, 2015 –

Newmarket Public Library’s IdeaMarket series of discussions is going strong, says library CEO Todd Kyle.

Since 2013, the library has presented these monthly “community conversations” on controversial topics such as the war on drugs, alternative medicine, and violence against women. A panel of community leaders and experts makes opening remarks, followed by time set aside for audience participation. “The opening comments are great, but what really sets these events apart is the conversation that follows,” says Kyle, “We’ve had some amazing exchanges take place.”

Key to the success of the program has been the participation of community groups that help choose and organize topics. A program on April 28 on video activism is being organized in partnership with regional film festival PlāYR, and May’s program on assisted suicide will feature national advocacy group Dying With Dignity. An independent facilitator, Richard MacLeod, moderates the discussion to keep the tone respectful and the conversation stimulating.

“We invite interested groups and individuals to contact us to get involved,” says Kyle. Programs are generally held on the last Tuesday of the month. “What are you eating?”, an IdeaMarket on diet trends, will be held on Tuesday, March 31, from 7-9 pm. To find out more or to get involved, go to www.newmarketpl.ca/ideamarket .

 

Library now provides free digital media services

February 12th, 2015

NEWMARKET, Ontario, February 12, 2015 –

If you live in Newmarket, you now have access to free streaming video and other services from your library.

Along with free downloadable e-books and e-audiobooks, the library now offers Freegal Music, whose name combines “free” and “legal”. With your library card, you can download 5 songs per week and stream 3 hours of music per day. There are 8 million songs available, including the entire Sony Music catalogue, plus music videos. There is also Zinio, a  magazine service that offers 50 different titles, all available for downloading to any device. All music and magazines are yours to keep.

Gale Courses is a large selection of online courses on things like web design, sales and marketing, and digital photography. Courses run for 6 weeks and are led by real instructors who mark assignments and provide you with a certificate if you pass.  Or if you prefer to learn languages, Mango Languages offers lessons in over 60 languages, plus ESL courses for speakers of 12 other languages.

As of January, the library also added Indieflix, which offers thousands of award-winning independent films. In addition, 4000 e-audiobook titles were added to OneClick Digital as a compliment to the larger Overdrive database of e-books.

“It’s a great time to get connected to digital media at your library,” said Todd Kyle, library CEO. “It’s all free and all you need is a library card.”

Check out the library’s offerings. To get a library card, visit the library with proof of name and address.

Survey shows impact of library Internet access

February 9th, 2015

NEWMARKET, Ontario, February 9, 2015 –

Newmarket Public Library released results of a study called the Impact Survey, which looks at how people in a community use free access to computers and the Internet at the library. The library, which offers 20 workstations, 8 laptops, and wireless Internet, as well as computer help, reports that 57% of those surveyed used a public access computer or the library’s wireless network in the past year.

The most frequently reported use of library computers was for staying in touch with family and friends and for building and maintaining social networks, followed by health and wellness information, employment needs, and educational activities. Several people reported searching for a job online, and three people even said they’d found a new job as a result.

More than two-thirds of library computer users reported that they have access to the Internet at home, school, or work, but still choose to use the library’s technology. But of those who don’t have access elsewhere, more than two-thirds are below the low-income cut-off.

“This shows that library computer access is essential, and more so for disadvantaged people”, said Todd Kyle, library CEO. “Our library’s role is to lead a learning community, and that means helping people get the skills and technology they need to participate in a digital world. The future of our community depends on it.”

The survey, developed by the University of Washington DC, is being piloted for use in Canada by a small number of libraries including Newmarket and Edmonton. View the full report.

Library wins Innovation Of The Year award

October 22nd, 2014

NEWMARKET, Ontario, October 22, 2014 –
Newmarket Public Library was recognized for its innovative achievements over the past year when it received the ‘Innovation Of The Year Award’ at the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Business Excellence Awards.

The annual awards ceremony celebrates both profit and non-profit businesses that have made significant contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Town of Newmarket.

“I’m proud that the library has been recognized as such an important part of the economic and social vitality of the Newmarket community,” said Todd Kyle, CEO of Newmarket Public Library. “It is especially gratifying to win it during Canadian Library Month, which celebrates how libraries inspire people and provide them with opportunities.”

During the past year Newmarket Public Library introduced a number of initiatives to keep pace with changing trends in technology and to ensure its place in the community as a centre for community dialogue, debate, and discovery. These initiatives included:

● IdeaMarket, a venue that lets groups, organizations and community members share their
views on a wide variety of topics through informative panel discussions that are open to the public.

● Tech Time For Kids, an ongoing program series that provides children with hands-on, interactive
experiences with various technologies.

● Digital music and magazine services that library members can use to download or stream songs, and
download digital copies of popular publications.

● Online language lessons that are free for library members.

● Inventory automation to quickly sort book returns.

● The Curve, a collaborative digital media centre for youth.

● Online certificate courses for personal enrichment and lifelong learning.

View the library’s nomination video for the 2014 Business Excellence Awards

 

Libraries: a welcoming place for everyone

October 2nd, 2014

York Region libraries collaborate to support area newcomers

NEWMARKET, Ontario, October 2, 2014 –
Libraries are a central hub for information in a community and are often a gathering place for newcomers where they can connect to resources or information. Building Connections Between Libraries is a collective action under the York Region Immigration Settlement Strategy that brought together all nine local municipal library systems to share best practices, resources and tools to support newcomers. This action works in collaboration with federally funded Library Settlement Partnerships (LSP).

The Library Settlement Partnership in York Region (LSPYR) has expanded to a successful partnership with nine library systems in York Region, two settlement service agencies, The Regional Municipality of York, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Over the years, LSPYR has expanded settlement programming by delivering settlement service in libraries, increasing awareness of supports available to newcomers, supporting seamless and coordinated service delivery within the library system and fostering knowledge-sharing across sectors.

In celebration of Ontario Public Library Week themed Libraries Inspire, and to respond to the fast growing diverse population in York Region, LSPYR embraces the message of Library: a welcoming place for everyone through various programming including Meet Your Citizenship Judge, volunteering workshop for newcomers, library open house, Be Connected: community information display and on-site settlement service & outreach. These programs will be offered in various libraries across York Region during Ontario Public Library Week, October 19-25, 2014.

List of partners of Library Settlement Partnership in York Region:

Library partners:
Aurora Public Library www.library.aurora.on.ca
East Gwillimbury Public Library www.egpl.ca
Georgina Public Libraries www.georgina-library.com
King Township Public Library www.kinglibrary.ca
Markham Public Library www.markhampubliclibrary.ca
Newmarket Public Library www.newmarketpl.ca
Richmond Hill Public Library www.rhpl.richmondhill.on.ca
Vaughan Public Libraries www.vaughanpl.info
Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library www.wsplibrary.ca

Settlement agencies:
Catholic Community Services of York Region www.ccsyr.org
Social Enterprise for Canada www.socialenterprise.ca
York Region Local Immigration Partnership, The Regional Municipality of York www.york.ca
Citizenship and Immigration Canada www.cic.gc.ca

For more information, please contact
Robert Hickey, the co-chair of LSPYR Steering Committee-Northern York Region rhickey@ccsyr.org
Todd Kyle, the co-chair of LSPYR Steering Committee-Northern York Region tkyle@newmarketpl.ca
Stephen Lam, the co-chair of LSPYR Steering Committee-Southern York Region slam@ccsyr.org
Diane Macklin, the co-chair of LSPYR Steering Committee-Southern York Region
dmacklin@markham.library.on.ca