Related Work: Case Studies
Economic Impact Studies
Shortly after “So Much More: The Economic Impact of Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto” was published in December 2013, many public libraries across Canada engaged Brightsail to help them apply the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) developed for TPL for their own systems. Between 2014 and 2018, Kim worked with ten library systems from across Canada. Her approach was to share her knowledge so that libraries would understand how comparable market value and proxies are used to estimate economic value. Today, those libraries continue to update their studies every few years to communicate their value and support advocacy efforts.
Value of GLAMs Scoping Study
In December 2016, the Canadian Museum Association and Library and Archives Canada hosted the first “Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums” to examine the current state of research on the social and economic value of memory institutions. The Ottawa Declaration Working Group was formed in early 2017 with a mandate to “study how GLAMs bring value to Canadian society, and to help identify areas where partnerships could be developed” (Library and Archives Canada, 2018). The Working Group commissioned Brightsail Research in February 2018 to scope a study on the value of galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) in Canada. The scoping study included an environmental scan of existing value studies, at a global level, of galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Stakeholders holding senior roles in galleries, libraries, archives and museums were consulted, as were decision-makers and elected officials, to gather their perspectives on the value of GLAMs, and what value a national study could bring to the conversation. The scoping study provided a foundation for the “Value Study of GLAMs in Canada” (Oxford Economics, 2019).
Social Outcomes of Public Libraries
The success of the TPL economic impact study emphasized the lack of research and methodologies in the sector designed to show the social benefits of public libraries. Brightsail is currently working with Niagara Falls Public Library to develop a suite of indicators to demonstrate how the library contributes to the well-being of the City of Niagara Falls, and connect them to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The indicators are intended to be applicable to libraries across the Niagara Region.
Library and Archives Canada. (2018). Taking it to the Streets: Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums in a Changing World. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada.
Oxford Economics. (2019). Value Study of GLAMs in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Museums Association.