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Toronto Public Library initiates date-due slip advertising

By next month, Toronto Public Library users will begin noticing advertisements on the backs of their date-due slips. The announcement comes a little more than a year after the TPL started looking into selling ads to make up a $3.9-million budget shortfall.

The new advertising program will be run by Receipt Media, a Toronto-based company mainly involved in soliciting ads for supermarket receipts. The company’s TPL campaign states that advertisers will be charged $8,000 for six months of full-colour, business card-sized messages, and $15,000 for a year.

The Toronto Star reports that Receipt Media will pay for the library’s slip paper in exchange for the right to sell ads, generating $40,000* annually for the TPL.

The idea resulted from a November 2011 meeting in which the TPL explored money-making options. In February 2012, the library board approved two requests for proposals: one to search for a company to sell ads; another to find a consultant to come up with other advertising opportunities.

The consultant, Quinton Media, suggested the TPL could look to its WiFi service and main website to run ads. According to the Toronto Star, the board has endorsed ads only for the former.

Previously, the TPL has run ads in its What’s On publication — generating $30,000 in 2012 — in addition to sponsored* programs such as the TD Summer Reading Club.

The library also announced last week the launch of a Retail Affiliate Program, allowing customers to purchase books via its website, with the TPL retaining a portion of sales.

Correction, March 12: A previous version of this article stated the revenues for the six-month pilot period. In addition, the TD Summer Reading Club is a sponsored program, not “ad-supported,” as previously reported.

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