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

Dec 05
RT @wylie_alan: Groundbreaking' community library opens in the Chew Valley https://t.co/H7m35qDz6Z - this volunteer-led ‘library’ is house…
Dec 05
RT @FredHahnCUPE: A great way to spend a #Saturday #Solidarity is a verb #peopleforposties @CUPEOntario @fairwagesnow#onpoli https://t.c
Dec 05
RT @Lindainred @Local4948 @4948Warriors Where can I get one of those signs
Dec 03
#LibraryWarriors out at #stafflless #TodmordenLibrary today. Community members not supportive of library w/o staf… https://t.co/oRbTMA0tBS
Dec 03
RT @4948Warriors: Not to mention that local dollars are being funnelled to a Swiss based company instead of employing young people in our c…
Dec 03
RT @4948Warriors: Alan thank you for all of your work on behalf of our public library. Sadly @torontolibrary world’s busiest urban library…
Dec 03
RT @wylie_alan @4948Warriors @torontolibrary @Local4948 @vbowlestpl @JohnTory @torontolabour @cupenat Solidarity, we have at least 119 ‘st…
Dec 03
RT @wylie_alan @4948Warriors @torontolibrary @Local4948 @vbowlestpl @JohnTory @torontolabour @cupenat The ‘open+’ (staffless library) mode…
Dec 03
RT @4948Warriors: Todmorden and Swansea - for now @Local4948#TOpoli #torontolabour https://t.co/UvpMnkdEql
Dec 03
RT @4948Warriors: Even gets around contract language because no staff is being harmed because there is no staff! Lost opportunities for yo…
Dec 03
RT @LibraryJournal: Toronto Public Library Workers Campaign to Bring Awareness About Dangers of "Staffless Libraries" https://t.co/AjGPSaz8
Dec 03
Toronto Public Library Workers begin campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of #stafflesslibrarieshttps://t.co/Q20AKyyvlF
Dec 01
RT @bravo_alej: The future of a fair city right here https://t.co/IxbC7qeIGj
Dec 01
RT @4948Warriors: Library Warriors at@progresstoronto⁩ event. Growing a progressive voice in TO Here we come #TOpoli @local4948@broadb
Dec 01
RT @4948Warriors: Celebrating a progressive vision of our city with@Brandon4948⁩ and@GShankz⁩ at@progresstoronto⁩ event@Local4948⁩…
Nov 16
A huge thank you to @CUPEOntario and to the awesome @FredHahnCUPE + to all the activists @4948Warriors who spoke… https://t.co/B96YDEMp1X
Nov 15
Respect to @iatse58 members for their courageous fight against a terrible employer. You fought the hard fight.… https://t.co/I3WrM1axK5
Nov 15
RT @TiffanyBalducci: Happening TOMORROW!! Send a message NOW if you haven’t yet! #OMERS #MyOmers https://t.co/AEbh2z35qD
Nov 15
RT @cupe932: Retired and this doesn't affect you? The Ontario Pensions Act is the only thing standing between you and these proposed change…
Nov 15
RT @CIPPOttawa: Today is your last chance to tell the OMERS SC Board to vote NO! to the Proposed Pension Changes visit https://t.co/TigJZ7c
Nov 15
RT @torontolabour: Respect to the members of @iatse58 who stood strong for all these months to defend their contract. We were honoured to s…
Nov 14
Urgent: sign and share! https://t.co/hyQoh5X0FC to stop the cuts to your OMERS pension! The vote is taking place o… https://t.co/Jqb2OcTpZy
Nov 14
Another painful chapter for Longueuil library workers https://t.co/qwBPNYYUdd#longueuil @cupeont @4948Torontohttps://t.co/2JMW9gYP7u
Nov 07
Calgary Library Workers are awesome #NSCC2018 #LibraryWarriors @CUPEOntario#respect https://t.co/qW7ZjuZK9F
Nov 07
RT @fairwagesnow: VIDEO: Here's why #15andFairness is a way BETTER DEAL for #OnPoli's lowest paid workers, than Premier @fordnation's t…
Nov 06
Email your MPP - Fight for $15 and Fairness #NSCC2018@CUPEOntario⁩ Do it now #onpoli @4948toronto#15andFairness… https://t.co/bWqLIsrUVd
Nov 06
@FredHahnCUPE⁩ at #CUPE2018 with fiery address on the dangerous rise of right-wing populism built on hate +divisiv… https://t.co/xrdKYmgpvq
Nov 06
RT @bersonphoto: Excited @CUPEOntario members line-up for start of annual 4 day convention in Toronto #cupe2018 @cupenat#Toronto https://t
Nov 01
Artist Marta Minujín's awesome recreation of the Greek Parthenon constructed from banned books. Built on site of Na… https://t.co/u4iJKK0nRG
Oct 30
RT @cartwrightTO: Huge turnout at Toronto vigil for victims of #PittsburghSynagogueShooting Labour Council joined so many in our city to be…
Oct 30
RT @kristynwongtam: At Mel Lastman Square standing shoulder to shoulder with Torontonians in solidarity with the Jewish community in Pittsb…
Oct 30
RT @m_layton: Toronto standing with Pittsburgh against hate #TogetherAgainstAntisemitism https://t.co/bjhgk0dXT1
Oct 19
#LibraryWarriors all across #onpoli celebrated Ont Lib Wk Oct 14-20 inviting the public to celebrate libaries + th… https://t.co/kXH5fQcmyd
Oct 19
RT @4948Warriors: Monday is Election Day! Go out and support @jen_keesmaat to be the next mayor of Toronto. Municipal elections matter. T…
Oct 15
RT @Brandon4948: It’s #CanadianLibraryMonth. Canadians are most avid readers in the world after Denmark. Continue to visit your local #lib
Oct 15
RT @4948Warriors: Library administrators not only undermine us but show little respect for the work we do. Staffless library case in point.…
Oct 15
Check out "Toronto Mayoral Forum on Affordable Housing and Homelessness" https://t.co/QzfrkttgOw@Eventbrite
Oct 11
RT @jen_keesmaat: The advance polls are officially open! Vote today until Sunday and help me build a Toronto that has better transit, more…
Oct 07
RT @4948Warriors: Our sleigh is full with loaded USB bracelets full of election info going out to Library Warriors @Local4948 across TO. Fo…
ETT
Oct 04
RT @ElemTeachersTO: Live in Scarborough and have a free Saturday? Want to take action for real change instead of tweeting about it #ETT
Oct 04
RT @torontolabour#Election2018 is on OCTOBER 22 Labour Council endorsements for #Toronto & #YorkRegion - https://t.co/OKmLbzHKZj Downlo…
Oct 04
RT @CUPEOntario @FredHahnCUPE: "Bill 148 was brought in to protect the most vulnerable workers in our province. Scrapping it does more tha…
Oct 04
RT @wylie_alan: “Some libraries could be taken out of council hands and given to the community so they can be kept open without draining th…