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

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…
Oct 04
RT @4948Warriors: Library workers have the highest rate of precarious work in public services. “Solutions” like this only entrench it more…
Oct 04
RT @cupe_3906: More reasons why librarian-less libraries aren’t really libraries at all. We ️ library workers @CUPE960 @cupe932 @Local
Oct 04
RT @4948Warriors: “A library without staff is like a book without words” Library bureaucrats need to advocate more for our beloved public l…
Oct 04
RT @4948Warriors: Library bureaucrats have lost their way. This “solution” is a cowardly work around to a so-called austerity crisis. True…
Oct 04
RT @4948Warriors: What would happen if a mayor decided that all medium liberries should use the same technology? Or large liberries on “qui…
Sep 27
RT @torontolabour#Ontario PC government to halt #minimumwage hike set to kick in 2019 #TOpoli #canlab #ONpoli #15andFairness https://t.co
Sep 25
RT @larsenesque: A big thank you to the wonderful folks from @Local4948 and to the @4948Warriors. Thanks for a great day at @torontoWOTS .…
Sep 24
RT @Rustykitty65 @Local4948 @torontoWOTS @larsenesque Love, love this book! Good for us adult library workers too
Sep 24
RT @4948Warriors: Library workers and transit workers out campaigning today with@NeethanShan@torontolabour @Local4948#TOpoli https:…
Sep 23
RT @4948Warriors: Wonder what Kegan would say about libraries being open with NO staff? See Myth #3. Coming soon to TO @Local4948 @toron
Sep 23
RT @4948Warriors: We need to use the library’s power for our communities instead of underfunding it. Extending hours with NO STAFF is not t…
Sep 23
RT @larsenesque @Local4948 @torontoWOTS Thank you!! I had a blast spreading the word about LIbrairies and all the good work that Librarian…
Sep 23
#LibraryWarrior Van-Ly w/ Toronto author@larsenesque⁩ Andrew Larsen who was a massive hit at the@Local4948⁩ boo… https://t.co/5HxG8zvdzK
Sep 23
At @torontoWOTS Booth 310. Classic @Local4948 Toronto Library Workers book bag $1 while they last! Come visit! Pic… https://t.co/JmGaHgqiIV
Sep 23
RT @larsenesque: Today. Word on the Street 11-2 I"ll be with hanging out with the good folks from the Toronto Library Workers Union. 100 fr…
Sep 22
RT @4948Warriors: Support Woodstock Public Library Workers. Tell the Board not to renege on the deal. https://t.co/YghyYBBZBq via @CUPEOnta
Sep 22
RT @larsenesque @torontoWOTS Sunday. Want to talk about the importance of libraries? Come to Booth 310 between 11 and 2 @CUPEOntario @…
Sep 20
RT @Shelly__Gordon: What a fabulous city council these new councillors would have made if Doug Ford hadn't stolen the election out from und…
Sep 20
RT @torontolabour: "Labour Council stands with the people of #Toronto in opposing the hijacking of the City of Toronto elections. We are di…
Sep 20
RT @torontolabour: Exhibition Place Board of Governors CANCELS SEPTEMBER BOARD MTG! Tomorrow Sept 20th at 9am join @iatse58 at @Mark_grimes
Sep 19
RT @torontoWOTS: What do Toronto's Public Library Workers @Local4948, Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Larsen @larsenesque all have in common? Th…
Sep 19
RT @4948Warriors: Library Warriors honoured to be a part of the Bromley Armstrong celebration. ⁩ The original social justice warrior@to
Sep 19
RT @torontoWOTS: "Google can bring you back 100,000 answers; A librarian can bring you back the right one @neilhimself. Toronto Public…
Sep 19
RT @torontoWOTS: Limited Edition Carnegie bookbags, designed especially for the Toronto Public Library Workers by Daniel Rotsztain. Pick on…
Sep 19
RT @FredHahnCUPE: The #Amazing 2nd VP of @CUPEOntario @Yoequality Yolanda McLean Honoured as 1 of 100 Accomplished Black Women of Canada #c
Sep 19
RT @torontolabour: LabourCouncil president @cartwrightTO reminds everyone that "you have a choice to make in your life. You can move forwa…
Sep 19
RT @torontolabour: Bromley Armstrong's daughter, Lana, remembers her father #onpoli #TOpoli #canlab https://t.co/V3ni23pRPS
Sep 19
RT @torontolabour: Last evening, the Labour Council proudly endorsed the following candidates. We believe in the 47 ward model, and have en…
Sep 19
#LibraryWarriors #publiclibrary lovers. Please read + consider when you go to the polls. Our City hangs in the ba… https://t.co/sExFhaDcxO
Sep 17
RT @torontolabour: Bromley L Armstrong Tribute TONIGHT at 6pm (15 Gervais Dr) followed by special delegates mtg at 8pm Come celebrate the l…
Sep 17
RT @torontolabour: Mark Brown @cupw & Yolanda McClean @CUPE4400 welcome everyone to thr #BromleyArmstrong tribute #onpoli #canlab #topoli
Sep 12
RT @CUPEOntario: Distressing day for democracy in Ontario as Premier Ford threatens to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause https://t.co/fKJzK
Sep 12
Sign and share! Tell your MPP to stop Ford’s attack on democracy https://t.co/BVcGtMjxxZ@4948Warriors @CUPEOntariohttps://t.co/2CcvcQLjqc
Sep 12
RT @cupe2977: Send an email to your MPP! It’s takes two minutes (or less depending on how fast you can type!) https://t.co/PoDXMy3b0D
Sep 12
#LibraryWarriors @WoodstockLib Public Library Workers need your help. Local 1146 @CUPEOntario @4948Warriorshttps://t.co/JUmi2j2vcy