John Tory’s Vision for Our Public Library

Before his election Mayor John Tory mused about cutting Our Public Library by 10%. Unless we act now, his vision will be in place with the proposed City budget for next year.

But this is not a done deal.

Read more to find out how you can help stop his plan in its tracks...

The proposed 2017 Budget for the City of Toronto is a throw back to the days of Rob Ford.  Not since the former Mayor’s first assault on Our Public Library in 2011 has there been a proposal to cut funding for Our Public Library so deeply.

Under the direction of Mayor John Tory, City staff are proposing to cut Our Public Library by as much as 5.1% in next year’s budget!

This will damage this wonderful institution. It will mean fewer books and less access.  It will diminish our City, community by community.

On top of these proposed cuts Council’s has allowed the budget for Our Public Library to shrink by almost 5% since 2010 after taking the corrosive effects of inflation into account.

Unless we act to stop, John Tory will achieve his vision for cutting OPL by 10%, and all of us who value Our Public Library will be poorer

Please take action now!

It’s time to re-invest in Our Public Library

Our Public Library is an institution that the vast majority of us want supported, not slashed.

A new Forum Research poll found 77% of Torontonians think Our Public Library is extremely or very important to the community and 78% think that it is extremely or very important to invest in Our Public Library.

It is time to stop the cuts and reinvest, starting with $10 million this year, an amount equal to just one percent of the Toronto Police Services budget.

Please take action now!

Margaret Atwood’s ongoing defense of our public library is legendary

Her 2011 video was inspiring. 

The photo above is from her pictoral response on BuzzFeed to Twitter posts asking for clarification on what it means to be Canadian. To read the full post, click here.

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Precarious Work in Toronto Public Library: Toronto’s Challenge

Film on Precarious Work:

City Council’s neglect of Our Public Library regrettably extends to the people who work there. Precarious Work at the Toronto Public Library: Toronto’s Challenge reveals both the dedication to public service and the struggle to make ends meet by the 50 per cent of TPL workers who work in jobs that are part-time, insecure and without the normal benefits, including pensions, of most other City workers.

This informative and emotional short film (19 minutes) features three such library workers, their union president, Maureen O’Reilly, City Councillor and Youth and Equity Advocate Joe Cressy and pioneering McMaster University labour economist Dr. Wayne Lewchuck. A must see for those who care about Our Public Library.

The above video is a specially-commissioned (and sometimes provocative!) animated short film on the Toronto Public Library by James Braithwaite and Josh Raskin, who were nominated for an 2008 Academy Award for their video on a 1969 John Lennon interview by a 14-year-old, I Met the Walrus. The video won a 2009 Emmy Award and a 2010 YouTube/ Guggenheim Award.

Our Public Library is narrated by Toronto’s 2006 Scotiabank Giller Award Winner Dr. Vincent Lam. (4 min),  Vincent Lam’s most recent book, The Headmaster’s Wager, is both a Canadian and International bestseller.