Previously considered the brains behind his brother Rob Ford’s successful mayoral bid, Doug said Toronto had “more libraries per capita than any other city in the world”. Two seconds on Google suggests his data was pulled from his tussy.
But things got worse when Doug said “I’ve got more libraries in my area than I have Tim Horton’s.”
A great project to save our libraries shared these facts:
The post is worth reviewing–there are 32 comments as of this writing: http://ourpubliclibrary.to/2011/07/19/reality-check/
- When the Urban Affairs branch closes, Toronto will have 3.9 libraries per 100,000 people, which is what Vancouver has. Halifax has 4.3 libraries per 100,000 people, more than Toronto. In the U.S., the entire state of Vermont, which has only one-quarter of the population of Toronto, has 30 libraries per 100,000 people, which is 7-1/2 times the library density of Toronto.
- In Etobicoke (Mr. Ford’s area), there are 13 library branches there, and 39 Tim Horton’s shops, not to mention all the other donut shops. In fact, on a per capita basis, the people in Etobicoke have fewer libraries than Toronto as a whole. They have one for every 27,000 people whereas in Toronto as a whole it’s about one for every 25,000 people.
While Tim’s will undoubtedly appreciate the market research, this is clearly a sign of the apocalypse.
What’s most disconcerting to me is the disconnect between a Councillor’s perception of a healthy city and my own. This isn’t a detail. Libraries are community hubs that give back far more then they require in terms of resources.