Toronto Public LibraryFrom Torontoist comes this interesting little tidbit:

The Toronto Public Library has partnered with Indigo (Canada’s major book chain) as an affiliate in yet another effort to raise a bit of cash. I reported earlier about another out-of-the-box experiment they’re running, involving advertising on the due date slips.

In that story, a library official said they would be exploring multiple revenue ideas. It seems he meant it! As Torontoist illustrates, users who browse the TPL catalog will now see a box encouraging them to buy the book if they want to, as a way to support the library. They can click through to the affiliate link to do so.

I applaud the Toronto Public Library for not being complacent, and for trying new approaches and thinking creatively. However, as the article points out, other library systems who have gone the affiliate route have seen very ‘modest’ profits.

Money is money, and certainly, nobody would suggest they say no to such a simple way to get some. But we should not confuse such gimmicks with a road to self-sustainability.

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  1. “Modest” indeed. I believe there’s little happening in the world of “click to buy.”

    That said, Amazon sure gives you multiple opportunities to purchase content you’ve checked out from Overdrive, so it’s worth the development costs for them.

    Plus – due date slips are a thing of the past. Many avoid printing while using self-check machines.

    Maybe adverts in the holds or overduen notices would be more effective.

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