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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Aug 17
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Aug 17
RT @dmrider: Library union head Maureen O’Reilly says council cut will be only the start for @fordnation, predicts push for privatization &…
Aug 17
RT @progresstoronto: Huge turnout at tonight’s townhall to defend Toronto’s democracy. Tonight we’re hearing from local politicians, commun…
Aug 17
RT @joemihevc: Senator Art Eggleton: Doug Ford has made so many poor decisions in the last month, and imposing his will on TO democracy is…
Aug 17
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RT @dmrider: Scarborough NDP MPP @DolyBegum tells crowd #Toronto rejected @fordnation in 2014 mayoral elxn & 2018 provincial vote. “Bill 5…
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RT @ACORNCanada: ACORN chair Patricia from North Etobicoke is here tonight ! Geared up to spread the word in her ward and riding about #Def
Aug 17
RT @ChrisGloverON: "Anywhere in the world meddling with elections in the middle of elections is considered election rigging," MPP Doly Begu…
Aug 17
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RT @RyoDeNet: The last 3 speakers brought an #Labour #environmental #economicjustice perspective to #defendourdemocracy What a wonderful pa…
Aug 17
RT @ausmalik: The drive and commitment of Torontonians to defend our democracy, our say in our communities, school boards -- and to organiz…
Aug 17
RT @JuanL_Garrido: Thank you to the following organizations for bringing us together tonight as we fight back and fight for our city @toro
Aug 17
RT @MylesMagner: Standing Up for Local Democracy! Hundreds of Toronto residents & activists have packed the hall at the mass community meet…
Aug 17
RT @DanM50: Senator Art Eggleton, Toronto’s longest serving mayor, speaks out against the assault on democracy in Toronto #OurCityHall #De
Aug 17
RT @MoreWithMorley: With hundreds of Torontonians (incl. our longest serving Mayor, Art Eggleton) discussing how we can continue to DEFEND…
Aug 17
RT @kristynwongtam: The Metropolitan United Church is packed and the overall message from all speakers is Ford's attack on local democracy…
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RT @neville_park: Not including the hosts/sponsors, who include @4948President @TOenviro @ttcriders @progresstoronto and more. Also basica…
Aug 17
RT @kofi_hope: Packed house tonight, honoured to be co-hosting with @4948President a townhall on the pushback against Bill 5. Proudly reppi…
Aug 14
August 16 #LibraryWarriors #publiclibrary supporters. Please join us for this important meeting #OnPolihttps://t.co/0lHHOiWbtI
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Aug 04
RT @AndreaHorwath: Toronto does not belong to Doug Ford. Toronto belongs to Torontonians! https://t.co/5H1flbREtD
Aug 04
RT @CUPEOntario: THE TIME TO CARE ACT has been reintroduced by the @OntarioNDP at Queen's Park. Sign the petition at https://t.co/6uaIn
Aug 04
RT @torontolabour: The Abuse of Power Begins @LabourCouncil Aug2018 statement https://t.co/OKmLbzqa7L "A politician interfering in elect…
Aug 01
RT @DesmondCole: dear toronto: dug ford is trying to steal our election, and we have to defend ourselves because no one is coming to save u…
Aug 01
RT @AdamCF: What Doug Ford is doing to city council is bananas but what he's doing to the TDSB is even bananaser (it's a word, look it up).…
Aug 01
RT @progresstoronto: Ford claims Toronto isn't opposed to his undemocratic interference in our elections. We hear, tomorrow, he'll try to s…
Aug 01
RT @CUPEOntario: Join us at Queen's Park tomorrow at 9:45am for Question Period & a press conference to denounce Doug Ford's dictatorial de…
Aug 01
RT @jpags: Fact check: Ford said in the legislature Monday his PC party got "88,646 more votes than the NDP, all combined, in the city of T…
Aug 01
RT @AndreaHorwath: Today, Doug Ford tried to stoke the fires of division again, slandering an NDP MPP in order to shut down question period…
Aug 01
RT @joe_cressy: Toronto is a City of neighbourhoods. It’s liveable because local democracy encourages people to shape their communities. To…
Aug 01
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Aug 01
RT @GraphicMatt: I wasn’t sure if I misheard yesterday, but Doug Ford did in fact say that transit would be built in Toronto for the “first…
Jul 31
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Jul 30
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Jul 30
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Jul 30
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Jul 28
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Jul 28
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Jul 28
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Jul 28
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Jul 28
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Jul 27
RT @jpags: Progress Toronto, a political group set up this year to elect more progressives in a 47-ward system, launches petition against F…