people make libraries work

The librarians of the Toronto Public Library, CUPE local 4948, are currently in negotiations with the City. Toronto wants to keep branch libraries open longer, at the expense of paid professional staff. From People Make Libraries Work:
Libraries are more than just bricks and mortar. They're the heart and soul of the communities they serve. Our libraries are places where people go to discover, learn and improve, where knowledgeable and skilled staff help their neighbours in so many different ways.

Toronto offers the best and busiest free library service in the world, with a wonderful reputation for being community-based and providing innovative services to users.

Better libraries mean better service. Better does not mean more open hours with reductions in full-time staff.

That's what the Toronto Public Library Board wants to do — stay open to midnight with no professional librarians and many more part-time staff (with few or no benefits), get rid of reference desks and drastically reduce the many important services we provide to the community.

We are the women and men of TPLWU Local 4948, and we want to ensure that you continue to receive the outstanding service our library is known for the world over.

But we need your help.

The Library Board wants to move to a 'Made-in-America' library model that considers it more important to simply be open than to keep providing world-class service. That means extending hours, but reducing skilled full-time staff and using deskilled part-time staff to pick up the slack.

A library that sacrifices decent service just to remain open is a late-night warehouse, but it's not a world-class library. Our communities deserve better!

Help us keep Toronto's public libraries world-class!

The Library Board's Vision

* Longer hours, without librarians and skilled full-time staff
* Fewer reference desks
* More deskilled part-time staff with few or new benefits
* A world-class library system transformed into a late-night warehouse

Our Vision

* Well-trained staff that are connected to the neighbourhoods they serve
* More services attuned to the community
* Good jobs and decent benefits for library staff that get reinvested in our communities

Here's how you can help make our vision a reality

Call, write or e-mail your city councilor and tell them you support a world-class library system for Toronto.

Let the TPL Board know: My neighbourhood deserves a world-class library, not a 'Made-in-America' warehouse system.

Jane Pyper, City Librarian: citylibrarian@torontopubliclibrary.ca
Matthew Church, chair of the Toronto Public Library Board, care of the Board's Secretary, Nancy Marshall: nmarshall@torontopubliclibrary.ca

The Mississauga Public Library - where I one day hope to start my library career - is moving towards an automated, self-service system, eliminating non-professional, lower-skilled jobs through attrition, but maintaining the same level of professional library staff. Another area in which it gets more difficult to work without an advanced professional degree.

If you live in Toronto, take a moment to speak out about the planned changes to the Toronto Public Library.

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