The List: Canadian Public Library Impact Studies

The following is a list of Canadian public libraries who have conducted an economic impact study applying this cost-benefit analysis (CBA) model first used by Toronto Public Library in 2013.  

CBA is a commonly used approach to to estimate the economic impact of public institutions. Please read “Understanding Economic Impact and Public Libraries” for a more detailed explanation of how CBA is applied to public libraries.

This CBA model is open and available for public use. Ottawa Public Library’s spreadsheet of calculations and data is open for others to use to calculate their own economic impact.

This list is maintained by Brightsail Research. Please send additions and corrections to Kimberly Silk.

LibraryYear Published2011 Census Population# Branches
(at time of study)
Return on $1 Invested
Toronto Public Library20132,615,06098$5.63
Halton Hills Public Library201459,0082$3.96
Milton Public Library201484,3622$5.67
Pickering Public Library201488,7213$5.85
Stratford Public Library201530,8861$5.63
Sault Ste-Marie Public Library (1)201575,0003$2.36
Kawartha Lakes Public Library201573,21415$7.05
London Public Library2015366,15116$6.68
Vancouver Island Regional Library2016430,00038$5.36
Ottawa Public Library2016883,39133$5.17
Newmarket Public Library201679,9781$7.85
Edmonton Public Library2016812,20022$3.11
Burlington Public Library2017175,7807$5.64
Hamilton Public Library
2017519,95022$5.59
Vaughan Public Libraries2017288,3009$5.57
Markham Public Library2017301,7098$5.97
Sault Ste-Marie Public Library (1)201875,0002$3.18

Note 1:
Sault Ste-Marie’s original 2015 study was updated in 2018.

Prepared by
Kimberly Silk, MLS
Principal Consultant
Brightsail Research
416-721-8955 | kim@brightsail.com

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