Toronto Public Library Workers Union

Who We Are

The Toronto Public Library Workers Union represents about 2300 full and part-time library workers across the city in 98 branches as well as in administrative and technical support services.

Our Roots

Our roots as a union go back nearly one hundred years to the early days of the 20th century, when Toronto Civic workers began organizing. We are affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees as Local 4948.

Our Members

TPL staff serve the world's busiest library system, with 18.5 million visits a year. Our members are highly educated and dedicated professionals who reflect the diversity of our city and who devote their careers to preserving, organizing, enhancing and making more accessible the vast reservoir of human knowledge found in our libraries. Collectively, they are one of Toronto's most valuable public resources.

Jinkie Pinpoint  DSC1158R01
Jinkie David
Jinkie began working at TPL in 1997 as a student and when she completed her university degree she stayed on "because of the great opportunities, the great staff and the great public we work with." She is now a full-time Administrative Support Assistant in Room Bookings. Jinkie was around during amalgamation and says the decrease in staff since then is very noticeable. Although the larger system allowed for more opportunities, she finds that the resources and time you are given to achieve your job have declined, making it not only stressful but impairing her ability to help library users. "You're less engaged with patrons and the library experience suffers. It's not as much of a service as it once was." Nevertheless, she carries on and does her best every day, knowing how vital the library is to so many people. 
Joanna Pinpoint  DSC1083R01
Joanna Cristini

Joanna began working at TPL in 1985 and is a full-time Public Service Assistant. Even after all these years, she continues to love working "in a learning environment" and enjoys "the opportunity to work with other great staff, to help people on a daily basis and to meet new people." She deals with over 200 people a day. The self-checkout machines are not as helpful as had been hoped, Joanna says. "You miss speaking with at least half the number of regular patrons that we used to interact with unless there is a problem with the equipment or their card."

She also finds the security alarm often goes off when people try to self-checkout. They end up having to come back to the staff. 

 

Ryan Pinpoint  DSC0991R01Ryan Saavedra

Since 2009, Ryan has been a full-time librarian who works with children. He was first hired by TPL in 1999. He went to work for TPL in his teens because "it is a great job for high school kids and book lovers." He wanted to become a librarian because he enjoys helping people succeed and improve themselves. He feels that a librarian can play a role in this. "I've seen how much help the library can be to families, communities, newcomers, kids and all sorts of people." Ryan interacts with at least 100 patrons per day. His least favourite things about the TPL are the bureaucracy that stalls new initiatives and the fact that it is a large organization where you'll never meet everyone in every branch.  

 

Eliseo Pinpoint  DSC1480R01Eliseo Zompanti

Eliseo, Branch Head of Rexdale Library, was born in Italy. He immigrated to Canada when he was four years old and has lived in Toronto since, growing up in the Rogers/Weston Road area. In 1980, Eliseo applied for a part-time position as a Page at the York Public Library System, which became part of the TPL after Toronto amalgamation in 1998. In the beginning, working at the library, "…wasn't anything I ever thought I'd stick with," says Eliseo. Despite this, he kept his job all throughout high school and college where he earned a diploma in classical animation from Sheridan College, eventually working his way up to a full-time position.

Eliseo's favourite part about working at TPL is the interaction with people, especially with children who love reading. 

 

Fitz Pinpoint  DSC0940R01
Fitzgerald Steele

Fitzgerald is a full-time Shipper and Driver who has worked for TPL since 1991. When he was first hired, it was just as a job, but he has grown to love his work and the contribution the libraries make to the community. "I enjoy working with the diversity of people at TPL. The quality of service they provide to the public is outstanding. I see it every day," he says. Fitzgerald typically deals with 100 people from the public daily. Since amalgamation he has seen a noticeable decline in the number of staff, which puts a lot of pressure on those who are there to serve the public. "They do a great job but there aren't enough of them. We need more people." Fitzgerald's favourite books are all of the A.K. Lewis series. 

 

Kathleen Pinpoint  DSC1044R01Kathleen Tong

Kathleen is a part-time Answerline Assistant at the Toronto Reference Library. She was hired in 1995. She wanted to work at TPL because she loved the book collections available in one of the world's great library systems. Kathleen's favourite things about working at TPL is the variety of jobs available, working with various groups of people and serving the public. She works with many people every day over the telephone and through the email and chat service.

Her least favourite thing is not being able to help or solve problems for customers. "In any large organization, changes, improvements and solutions often take a very long time to be implemented," she says. "It's no different here." 

 
Stephanie Pinpoint  DSC1335R01Stephanie Pagnello

Stephanie has worked part-time as a Public Service Assistant since she began at TPL in 2005. On an average day, she assists 200-300 patrons and enjoys making the library more accessible and useful to users. Her B.A. in Psychology and Certificate in Behavioural Science have helped equip her for interacting with a very wide range of library users and their needs. Like many other part-time library workers, Stephanie hopes to eventually get a full-time position at TPL so that she can settle on library work as a career and put her training and experience to even better use. But staff reductions mean that full-time jobs are few and far between. Indeed, there are fewer full-time positions at TPL today than when she started six years ago, despite steadily growing library use in Toronto. 

 

Librarian Glasses

Members Login Here:

Twitter icon

Recent Tweets

11h
Shame on the Ford Govt @TPLWU4948Pres @4948Warriors @CUPEOntario#ONPoli #topoli #librarywarriors Public Libraries… https://t.co/Rty8VqSXdQ
11h
RT @jannarden: Province slashes Ontario Library Service funding by 50% https://t.co/sts3BU515L reading gave me a career and saved me a few…
11h
Heartbreaking news. The Ford Govt is not for the people. Public Libraries are @jannarden @TPLWU4948Preshttps://t.co/ECEapeIueH
Apr 19
RT @torontolabour: Budget cut a sign that Doug Ford’s contempt for libraries persists https://t.co/4TzS1ZU5BY via @torontostar @Local4948
Apr 19
RT @CUPE391: We agree that this is a shameful action by the Ontario government! Libraries are among the most important public institutions…
Apr 19
RT @wylie_alan: Solidarity to all my colleagues and comrades in Canada fighting against 50% cuts to Ontario’s library system ️…
Apr 19
RT @GShankz: Libraries are the great equalizer giving knowledge and resources to all- no matter what their position in life..unlike @fordna
Apr 19
RT @TorontoStar: The Southern Ontario Library Service and the Ontario Library Service-North will see their budgets halved for the 2019-20 f…
Apr 19
RT @CUPEOntario: BIG challenges ahead for Ontario Library Service workers—members of CUPE Local 4705 in Sudbury and CUPE 3604 in Toronto an…
Apr 19
Budget cut a sign that Doug Ford’s contempt for libraries persists. Indeed. Toronto remembers@4948Warriors⁩ ⁦… https://t.co/gi4Ox7KmkL
Apr 19
RT @MargaretAtwood: >:>{ I am gathering my witchy forces... https://t.co/VonG9rg7jR
Apr 18
RT @SuzeMorrison: Doug Ford is cutting a Billion dollars from @TOPublicHealth. Honestly, did we learn absolutely nothing from the SARS outb…
Apr 18
RT @kernaghant: Libraries are pillars of our community and provide Ontarians with all sorts of services and programming. What a devastating…
Apr 18
RT @kristynwongtam: 9/ Today's announcement is a heartless and destructive attack on Toronto, and the health and safety of all residents. F…
Apr 18
RT @janeschmidt: Interlibrary loan is a core library service. It’s the hallmark of of cost-sharing, collaboration and efficient service pro…
Apr 18
RT @SarahEDoucette: There was opposition from City Councillors @Local4948 and thousands of residents. Yes we won and branches stayed open…
Apr 18
RT @shawnmicallef: When the Ford Bros were co-mayoring, it was the attack on Toronto public lieberries that first galvanized opposition to…
Apr 18
RT @Fred_Shilson @shawnmicallef @mj_gold Another big factor was the work done by @Local4948 who fought hard for the services the public wa…
Apr 18
Disgraceful. The Ford Govt has (re)- confirmed their position on public libraries. These cuts hurt Ontario.… https://t.co/Lsh5JARNTf
Apr 18
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Doug Ford's vendetta against libraries started when he was a Councillor. He said he would close libraries in "A HEARTBEA…
Apr 18
Shame on the Ford Government #onpoli for slashing this crucial public service that the people of Ontario need + des… https://t.co/AyqfWabOyJ
Apr 17
RT @CWN_TOlabour: Check out our news release from today's Province Wide Day of Action Against Cuts to Education @torontolabour#CutsHurtKi…
Apr 17
RT @torontolabour: Lots of help getting the word out this morning that #CutsHurtKids @DavidLewisPS parents and teachers say #NoCutsToEduca
Apr 17
RT @torontolabour: Great to meet parents talking about cuts to their kids’ education right in @fordnation’s backyard. We need more investme…
Apr 17
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Standing ovation to all the students who have been speaking up against education and arts cuts! It's been an honour join…
Apr 17
RT @osstf: Cutting the number of teachers in the classroom and increasing the number of students is not in the best interest of our childre…
Apr 13
RT @clearwaterlib: Our #NationalLibraryWeek day 6 choice is a wonderful children's biography of one of #LibraryLand's most beloved philanth…
Apr 13
RT @torontolabour: Protest at Ministry of Transportation over plans to steal #Oursubway, slash operating support, and abandon Eglinton East…
Apr 12
RT @Fred_Shilson: We at @cupelocal79 were joined early this morning by @Local4948 to support the good folks at @ttcriders and @ATUlocal113
Apr 11
Rally Fri April 12 9 am. Library Workers will be there! Please share #Oursubway @TPLWU4948Pres @ttcridershttps://t.co/PHn39fNidU
Apr 09
RT @CUPE391Pres @CUPE391 members know the reality of precarious work - hardships on finances, relationships, mental health, and more. We w…
Apr 08
RT @SharonRose2012: You have to sign away your rights to use "staffless" libraries. If you are injured, or have things stolen, the library…
Apr 08
Parkdale library temporarily closed starting Monday@TPLWU4948Pres@4948Warriors#topoli Let’s make sure this c… https://t.co/oV0cI3xxpU
Apr 05
RT @gordperks: These two tweets from our Paramedics should stop people in their tracks. The opioid crisis is so severe that our front line…
Apr 05
RT @wylie_alan: https://t.co/h3yIb7JVaI - ‘Library Extra’ = ‘staffless opening’ or in Kent’s case ‘staffless but can’t open because the doo…
Apr 05
RT @4948Warriors@TPLWU4948Pres@torontolabour⁩ 2nite getting message out re staffless libraries Todmorden + Swansea NO 2-TIER LIBRARY…
Apr 05
RT @GShankz @TPLWU4948Pres talking about the #Staffless Library campaign by @Local4948 at @torontolabour on how dangerous it can be to the…
Apr 05
RT @4948Warriors: Hey Toronto - this is happening @torontolibrary Go to https://t.co/xcikLEjuof to tell your city councillor to end it @Loc
Apr 04
RT @TPLWU4948Pres: Putting up lawn signs today, response has been great. https://t.co/UooR3k06pb
Apr 01
RT @torontolibrary: Cats are known to be loyal reading friends. 99% of owners report immense satisfaction and increased mood after a mere 2…
Mar 28
RT @dmdmitchell: So great hanging out with these @4948Warriors of @Local4948! Check out their great campaign on fighting back against staff…
Mar 28
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: TFW the same PC gov that cut the Indigenous culture fund, scrapped a $15 min. wage, and tried to open up the greenbelt f…
Mar 28
RT @cupenat: CUPE joined 180 union women from 42+ countries to fight for the rights of women & girls @ the 63rd annual session of the @UN C…
Mar 28
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Ontarians can't find safe and affordable housing. If you want to know more about how we can change that - join me tomorr…