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. 
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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. 

 

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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. 

 

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Recent Tweets

May 22
Listen to Doug Ford on libraries in 2011: https://t.co/4cQHbHEvaE Read in the Globe: he would close branches in hi… https://t.co/a6eNrzdIvo
May 17
RT @Brandon4948: Attending Toronto Workers’ History Project annual general meeting. Toronto Public Library Workers @Local4948 were proud to…
May 13
RT @Brandon4948: The next generation of #LibraryWarriors have arrived. Great session today with lots of questions and willingness to be inv…
May 12
RT @wylie_alan: Policy Makers “If we say that libraries are really about literacy, education and information and a statutory service it mig…
May 12
RT @wylie_alan: The ‘open+’ (staffless library) model in Barnet has reduced library use from 187,000 active users last year to under 20,000…
May 12
How to re-brand service cuts: "Open+", "Extended Hours" etc #stafflesslibraries @wylie_alan "Innovative" used to… https://t.co/YwsimvcHja
May 12
RT @Brandon4948: En route to Albert Campbell District library for New Staff Orientation session to talk with 30+ staff recently hired to wo…
May 12
RT @kirukulendiren: Bromley Armstrong. Awards! Congratulations to @nigelbme on your award! Who is Bromley? 1954 civil rights activist from…
May 12
RT @torontolabour: Why do we name tonight's #HumanRights Award after Bromley Armstrong? Check out the videos "Welcome to Dresden" https://t
May 12
RT @CouncilofCDNs: The writ has dropped, the #ONelxn  is here, and so is our breakdown of the election issues that matter most (according t…
May 12
RT @MentionedByJeff @cartwrightTO speaking about the history of the labour movement at #bromley18 https://t.co/id513KVpYc
May 12
RT @torontolabour: Labour Council VP Andria Babbington presented with special recognition award for years of leadership in labour + communi…
May 12
RT @jjlabour: Congratulations to Andria Babbington, VP for @torontolabour for all of your hard work to move the labour movement forward. Yo…
May 12
RT @torontolabour: Bromley Armstrong Award recipient @nigelbme tells all to be fearless #topoli #canlab #onpoli https://t.co/FX8fxsB9Zd
May 12
RT @cupe932: In British Columbia: Should library staff have Naloxone kits? https://t.co/U1qUsYesn9
May 12
RT @torontolabour: Labour Community Services executive director Faduma Mohammed welcomes guests to #bromley18! Bromley Armstrong Awards din…
May 12
RT @cartwrightTO: Rosemarie Powell @ros_powell is keynote speaker at #bromley18. Proud leader of @TCBN_TO winning #communitybenefits agreem…
May 12
RT @torontolabour: Nigel Barriffe with son Joshua as he accepts Bromley Armstrong Award. https://t.co/NxcnSmQAmJ
May 12
RT @Brandon4948: Attending the Bromley Armstrong Awards and Gala tonight @torontolabour. Recognizing award recipient @nigelbme, a labour…
May 11
RT @dawnafinch: Fantastic news @jojomoyes saves Quick Reads! Thank you! Jojo Moyes steps in to save Quick Reads literacy scheme from clos…
May 11
RT @wylie_alan: I know it’s in the Torygraph but this is a good article re ‘open+’ (staffless libraries @Staffourlibrary @barnet_unison @S
May 11
RT @Poleconomist: Happening now @OFLabour shuts down York University #YorkUstrike #CUPE3903action @ChrisBuckleyOFL @FredHahnCUPE#onlab htt…
May 11
RT @CUPEOntario: A contingent from @CUPE2424 reinforces the @cupe3903comms picket line at Sentinel Road - all the way from #Ottawa - now th…
May 11
RT @CUPEOntario: More scenes of #solidarity from the Day of Action for @cupe3903comms at York University. #CUPE3903action @OFLabour @…
May 11
RT @CUPEOntario: 🙄 “We're disappointed but not surprised that the province would be a willing partner in York U’s efforts to strip our memb…
May 11
RT @CUPE2950: Library workers, natural champions of democracy in the community. Graphic recording in progress #bcla2018 https://t.co/jo1rE
May 04
RT @CUPEOntario: TOMORROW is the Day of Action for CUPE 3903 at York University. RSVP here: https://t.co/YTXXJ8hWfJ #CUPE3903Action…
May 03
RT @LibrarianshipCA: How librarians are rising to their next challenge: the opioid crisis https://t.co/YG8ehspeQv (feat @torontolibrary @…
May 03
RT @torontolabour: We know 2018 is the year of elections, and we know we all have a choice, and we can either accept a reality where we exp…
May 03
RT @torontolabour: We had @michalhay from @progresstoronto talking about the next steps in building power here in Toronto! Together we can…
May 03
RT @torontolabour: we were inspired by the words of our keynote speaker @MGreenWard3 who reminded us that 'fauxgressives' talk progressive…
May 01
RT @Local4948: Congrats to the Richmond library workers who ratified a new collective agreement https://t.co/KmltzhgZcN#librarywarriors @4
May 01
RT @Local4948: With #LibraryWorkers at Albion Library before the @torontolibrary Board mtng w @4948President Maureen O’Reilly who has reti…
Apr 30
With #LibraryWorkers at Albion Library before the @torontolibrary Board mtng w @4948President Maureen O’Reilly who… https://t.co/kwoautgW5E
Apr 30
Congrats to the Richmond library workers who ratified a new collective agreement https://t.co/KmltzhgZcNhttps://t.co/RNJJTvZwWR
Apr 28
RT @CUPEOntario: Yesterday @OntarioNDP leader @AndreaHorwath's Bill 43 - the #TimetoCare Act - passed Second Reading. The bill would gu…
Apr 28
April 28 National #DayofMourning for workers killed/hurt from workplace injury/violence. Library workers are among… https://t.co/U4Ea2vcFe6
Apr 27
RT @Local4948: Precarious work followed by precarious retirement? No way! Inspiring to see so many young workers fighting for the future of…
Apr 27
RT @CUPEYOW: Your Young Workers Committee is committed to fighting for pensions for all of us in CUPE, and we're proud to be part of the de…
Apr 27
RT @Brandon4948: Wearing pink today in honour of the international #dayofpink. Time to end bullying, discrimination, homophobia, transpho…
Apr 27
RT @waharnum @Brandon4948 @cupe932 @Cupe1989 @CUPE2974 @Local4948 that Library Warrior t-shirt is amazing
Apr 27
RT @CUPEYOW: Camlin, a member from @Local4948, Toronto Public Library Warriors, killing it at the Mic at the #OMERS Annual Meeting https://…
Apr 27
RT @Local4948#LibraryWorkers #OpioidCrisis @4948President#topoli @cupeontario https://t.co/yjHwWkXENE#librarywarriors #naloxene @toro