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Library brought $11 million to local economy last year, says CEO

Circulations at Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library make ‘significant’ increase
2019-04-22 BWGLibrary
The BWG Public Library. Miriam King/Bradford Today

Beyond a place to borrow books, the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library generated about $11 million in economic impact last year, according to the library’s CEO Terri Watman.

In a presentation to BWG council this week, Watman and Library Board Chair Jennifer Harrison broke down a number of highlights from 2018.

These also included a circulations increase of 4.6 per cent from 2017, which is “significant” compared to other libraries, Watman said.

The library attributes this to several factors, including its video game collection, adding five new languages to its collections, and showcasing displays of new collections, she said.

The library has also seen a 15 per cent increase in its Free Family Saturday craft and literacy events, and it had 44 outreach events and six art exhibits last year, plus the Studio Art Tour, she said.

“It’s the No. 1 used library in the county,” said Deputy Mayor James Leduc at the May 21 council meeting.

More highlights from the report, comparing numbers from 2017 to 2018:

  • eBooks downloads: 59.1 per cent increase
  • eAudio downloads: 32.7 per cent increase
  • Self-checkout borrowers: 25.9 per cent increase
  • Self-checkout items: 10.1 per cent increase

“This is the happening place,” Coun. Raj Sandhu.

“We fought to get this place front and centre — and we are,” added Coun. Gary Lamb.

Jenni Dunning

About the Author: Jenni Dunning

Jenni Dunning is a community editor and reporter who covers news in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury.
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