Toronto Public Library Workers Union

There were a number of interesting public depuations heard by the Toronto Public Library Board meeting on November 23 held at North York Central Library.

Alan Campbell, President of the Ontario Genealogical Society made a deputation regarding the consolidation of genealogical collections at the Toronto Public Library.  As a result of the major renovation of North York Central Library starting in 2016, the historical Canadiana Department located on the sixth floor of the library will close.  It will be replaced by a reading lounge.

The historical and genealogical material will be culled and consolidated with the collection at the Toronto Reference Library downtown. Campbell cited the long relationship between the OGS and the Toronto Public Library and expressed concern over the 'culling' process and the length of time the collection would be inaccessible to the public.

Les Kelman, President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto, expressed concerns about the closure of the Canadiana Department at North York Central Library, calling it a 'great loss' for the people of North Toronto. He spoke of the short notice and lack of consulation for the relocation of irreplaceable historical material.  He also spoke of the long relationship between the JGS of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library, and pointed out the strong working relationship they had with highly specialized Canadiana staff with experience in genealogical research.

Maureen O'Reilly, President of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union, made a  deputation on the results of the Local 4948 consultation session for the TPL strategic plan.  Only one section of the strategic plan made any reference to staffing at all: "Transforming Service Delivery".   Three (3) themes emerged from this session:

  1. The need to develop a staffing plan that is central to the strategic planning discussions. 
  2. That precarious workers are not able to deliver a robust service because of the challenges they face. 
  3. That the library is squandering its invaluable resources of knowledge based workers.

Maureen was able to use the North York Central Library renovation as a good example of plans made around physical spaces and services with absolutely no discussion whatsoever around a new staffing model, nor the impact on current staff working in Canadiana and the other affected departments in NYCL.  

Maureen also pointed out to the Toronto Public Library Board that, unfortunately, service consolidation means the elimination of service points and the elimination of staff.‚Äč

If you are interested in seeing the plans for the North York Central Library renovation, visit the Teen Zone of North York Central Library where the architectural plans are on display.  There are comments form for your feedback. 


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