Monday, 9 May 2016

OPL Annual Report for 2015 shows million dollar deficit

The 2015 annual report from The Ottawa Public Library emphasizes the scope of service:

39% of Ottawa’s population own an active OPL card.
Website visits = 15,288,991
Items borrowed = 11,425,711
In-person visits = 4,800,900
Holds Placed = 3,500,000
Items in the collection = 2,325,723
Public computer sessions = 790,367
eBook downloads  = 778,760
Streaming downloads = 646,667
Wifi logins = 515,749
Music = 1,037,085
Program attendance = 235,998
Audiobooks downloads = 153,660
Magazines downloads = 128,142
Twitter followers = 5,938
Facebook page likes = 2,154

A press release puts the numbers in perspective. In-person visits stayed level with last year. Circulation rose by more than three per cent, with electronic offerings accounting for much of the increase.

The financials are not as encouraging
A $521,934 surplus in 2014 became a $1,156,194 deficit in 2015
Total income increased 1.25%, in large part to a 2.61% increase in City funding
Total expenditures increased 4.82% mostly due to an 11.47% increase in the largest expense item, salaries and benefits.
Expenditures on library materials decreased 6.64%.
Note the error where the total income for 2014 has been carried over to 2015. The deficit figure is correct.

While expenditures on physical facilities are managing to retain patron visit numbers steady patrons are taking more advantage of web-based services. Is the allocation of funds reflecting those changing service preferences?

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