Library Board Endorses Advocacy Strategy for E-Collections

December 3, 2012 | Media Relations

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TORONTO (December 3, 2012) – The Toronto Public Library Board held its monthly meeting on November 29, 2012. Key topics discussed include an advocacy plan for e-collections for public libraries, the approval of the Board’s strategic plan to guide the Library’s activities for the next four years, the 2013 operating and capital budget, and an economic impact and benefit study.

E-collections advocacy strategy

The Board approved an advocacy strategy regarding access and the costs of e-collections for public libraries, and also decided to form a working group to provide leadership on this issue. Despite significantly increased use and demand of e-content, public libraries face challenges both in terms of being able to purchase content from publishers, as well as making that content readily discoverable through their websites.  

Advocacy efforts are currently underway in Canada and internationally. Toronto Public Library is providing leadership in this area as a member of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC). In addition, the Board will support the creation of a made-in-Canada e-book lending and purchasing platform and will engage the public to increase awareness of the difficulties of providing e-content for library borrowers.

Strategic plan

The Board approved a new 2012-2015 strategic plan for the library. The plan’s four priority areas focus on: reading, lifelong learning, supporting innovators, entrepreneurs and creators, and delivering excellent and efficient service. The Board also approved a new vision, mission and values as part of the approval of the new plan. The strategic plan will be introduced to the public early in 2013. Current information on the plan is available on the strategic plan section of the library’s website.

The Board received the City Manager recommended 2013 operating budget, which consists of a 0.2% or $381,000 net increase over the 2012 budget. The City Manager recommended budget does not include funding for open hours enhancement or any economic adjustment for library collections, which was included in the Board’s original request.

The Board also received the City Manager recommended 2013 capital budget and plan, which is $10.968 million debt ($31.297 million gross) for 2013 and $153.683 million debt ($237.680 million gross) over 2013-2022, which meets the City debt targets. The City Manager recommended budget does not include an additional $2 million for annual gross and debt funding to help address the library buildings’ state of good repair backlog, which was included in the Board’s original request.

Toronto City Council’s Budget Committee will meet throughout December to consider the City Manager recommended budget. Council’s Executive Committee will meet on January 10, 2013 to review the budget recommendations from the Budget Committee. City Council will meet on January 15 to 17, 2013 to approve the 2013 Budget.

Economic impact and benefits study

The Board also approved a request that the Library undertake a study of the economic benefits of Toronto Public Library and the role of public libraries in economic development.

The Toronto Public Library Board will meet again on December 17, 2012 at 6 pm at the Toronto Reference Library.

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, more than 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow over 33 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at torontopubliclibrary.ca or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what's happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

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Media Contact:

Ana-Maria Critchley, 416-393-7212, media@torontopubliclibrary.ca  

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