Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada


Canadian Research

Canada lacks applied public library research that is based on Canadian examples and experiences. CULC/CBUC intends to contribute in this area in partnership with other groups, internal and external to the library community. CULC/CBUC values Key Performance Indicators both as management tools for local decision-making as well as metrics for comparison at the regional, national, and international level.

Some CULC/CBUC objectives include:

  1. CULC/CBUC will become the top quantitative source for quantitative research as it pertains to public libraries on the continent.
    • We will increase the areas of collection to include: demographics; early literacy; cultural partners; social inclusion/diversity; contributors to municipal activities and the knowledge economy. CULC/CBUC has already id’ed some other library categories including PD; archives; capital expenditures, etc. that we will begin working on developing questions and definitions. The concept will be to take the KPIs today that link libraries to libraries and add a third dimension where libraries can be linked to their municipalities/communities.
    • Analysis of the data will be done to add value, yet at the same time make the raw data available to the members so that it can be used for their purposes.
  2. CULC/CBUC will put out regular and meaningful reports/studies that reflect the Canadian urban public library context. This type of CULC/CBUC centred research will be applied in nature. Research will challenge base assumptions and be future focussed and uniquely available through CULC/CBUC.
    • One goal would be to identify at least three topics that could be focus areas for the strategic plan period (perhaps Success Management; Futures); plus begin publishing an annual State-of-Urban-Libraries in a Trend Report.
    • The KPI document would continue as an ongoing report. Adding the new elements, and analysis will increase the depth and value.
    • Seek a partnership with ULC to provide Canadian input into their work.
    • Actively seek and encourage graduate students in urban affairs, information studies, economics to pursue research that advances the urban library. Applied or Theoretical Research.
  3. CULC/CBUC will seek input from outside professionals on issues of commonality as defined and identified by the membership. Specific areas of interest have been identified as: creating conditions for staffing efficiencies and modernization; Social Space and the role of the urban public library; website development and design that can be shared and will contribute to the branding of the public library.