Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea Coming to Toronto
Following expensive renovations, two branches of the Toronto Public Library — Swansea and Todmorden Room — will soon become the first branches to open with no staff on-site, in spite of heightened concern about public safety in Toronto.
This is a bad idea.
“Public Safety is our number one concern,” says Brendan Haley, President of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union (TPLWU). “And given Toronto’s unprecedented rise in violence, to move forward with this unwanted and unnecessary project is simply irresponsible.”
Safety-related incident reports at TPL have risen 20% annually for each of the past five years. Just last week, a long-time patron of the York Woods library was shot in the branch parking lot. Thankfully, trained library staff were present. They called the police, helped the victim and locked-down the branch, protecting other patrons.
Strapped for cash, the TPL is desperate to save money even if it endangers the public.
If you’re concerned about safety and service at Our Public Library, please email the Toronto Public Library Board and tell them STOP THE STAFFLESS!!!
You can send a message to the Library Board via Nancy Marshall at email@example.com.
Mayor Tory, why?
TPL makes Toronto smarter: Board of Trade
The Toronto Board of Trade got it right when its Smart Cities initiative identified Our Public Library as a key asset that makes Toronto “smarter”. According the Board:
“What makes the Toronto Public Library one of Toronto’s smartest assets is that it promotes access to literacy, learning and knowledge.”
Why, then, does Mayor Tory want to cut funding to 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.
Read more to find out how you can help stop his plan in its tracks...
It’s time to re-invest in Our Public Library
7-year old Lucy talks about the economic impact of Our Public Library
8-year old Beatrice translates what Tory’s 2.6% cut could actually mean to Our Public Library.
10-year old Shahrzad talks about the need for properly funded library system.
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.
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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.