Fun facts

From a TPL budget document (PDF):

  • The 2009 budget rings in at $175,777,400. Running 99 branches is not, apparently, cheap.
  • What’s the 100th branch gonna be? Well, the cat’s out of the bag: West Waterfront, AKA Waterfront Neighbourhood (a $7.42 million project [PDF]). Where is it located, exactly?
  • They’ve got 29 million items on shelves.
  • The library Web site gets 21 million hits a year.
  • There are 1,185,500 “registered borrowers.” The population of Toronto per se is only 2,503,281, so that means just under half the people of Toronto have library cards.
  • “Total activity has increased 46.7%” from 1999 to 2007.
  • “Holds filled have increased by 186.5%”; “books reserved have increased by 156.2%.” That’s because now it is easier than ever to sit at home and cruise through the entire library catalogue, placing holds on whatever seems remotely interesting. (Before the Web catalogue existed, I used to do the same thing via modem. Oldschool.)

The news isn’t all good. They’re losing $345,000 from their acquisitions budget for 2009. And they’re also planning on delivering items to branches once a day instead of twice, though I’d like to know how the very small branches were ever getting twice-daily deliveries in the first place and how huge district libraries are going to get by with only one. Jones Library may need only one delivery, while Northern District may need three.