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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RT @CUPEOntario: Listen to the radio spots CUPE Ontario is running in communities across the province to raise awareness about the devastat…
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RT @the_grayt_life @1946Cupe Thank you to @Local4948 Toronto Public Library. Great message, as always. If it’s important enough to have a…
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Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea. Reason #23 (Access Unreliable) Doors to @torontolibrary's Staffless Libraries oft… https://t.co/Y6v1QxfNvW
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RT @progresstoronto: Thousands of people used our tool to tell City Council to take Ford to the Supreme Court & they're doing it! Now it's…
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RT @CUPEOntario: With only a few weeks notice, workers mobilized to protect our right to appoint our Representatives to the OMERS Sponsors…
Nov 15
RT @gotanthro: Got Anthropology stands with trans folks and will no longer be holding events at the Lillian H. Smith branch of the Toronto…
Nov 15
RT @CUPE391: Why do you think that libraries are such great places? We love that library workers provide community gathering places for soc…
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RT @torontolabour: Our senior organizer @mohashim deputing on the #PovertyReduction strategy at Exec Committee today: https://t.co/XxzL1yg7
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RT @CUPEOntario: CUPE Ontario Executive Board Member Brittany Nisbett demanding better treatment for injured workers at Doug Ford’s constit…
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#LibraryWarriors outside #OMERS protesting backroom deals that could affect our pension! With labour @Local4948https://t.co/YNJV2IWMnl
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RT @CAPALacbes: CAPAL's board has published a statement on the Toronto Public Library’s October 29, 2019 Meghan Murphy event: https://t.co/
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RT @krisjoseph: Open letter from the York University Faculty Association's Librarians and Archivists to the Toronto Public Library #librari
Nov 12
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RT @cartwrightTO: Today we remember courage + sacrifice. WW1 was supposed to be "the war to end all wars". Millions died on battlefields s…
Nov 09
Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea. Reason #56 (Technical Difficulties @torontolibrary offers access and training to… https://t.co/dFVmaqwzGQ
Nov 08
Urgent: to all CUPE workers who are part of the #OMERS pension plan. Read this important notice from @cupeontariohttps://t.co/5JxHC8QGMN
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Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea. Reason #19 (Poor Security) Workers @torontolibrary consistently report not feelin… https://t.co/nSgyX7hClg
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RT @acmjis: Huge thanks as well to the many organizations that co-hosted & endorsed, incl @Local4948 @CJusticeTO @SURJto @MaggiesToront
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RT @LibrarianshipCA: Hundreds protest Toronto library event featuring controversial speaker https://t.co/yfajY5xgXD
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RT @marchollin @Local4948 @TPLWU4948Pres @CUPEOntario @PrideToronto @4948Warriors Thanks for the buttons, friends!!!
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RT @dhunnasim: Going strong with #TakeBackTPL @acmjis has been leading a beautiful read-in of trans, non-binary, and two-spirit writers. A…
Oct 30
RT @joe_cressy: With you in spirit. If a broken policy is allowing discrimination to flourish, the policy must be changed. Our libraries sh…
Oct 30
RT @BillyRayB: On the same day she won one of the country’s top prizes in poetry @GwenBenaway is helping lead one of the most significant…
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Handing out buttons at Palmerston Library. Thank you to all #libraryworkers + allies who were able to attend to su… https://t.co/HtxLSjun0q
Oct 29
RT @CPoTGDK: Libraries should be for everyone! Come show your support at Palmerston Library 6pm today Oct 29 #TakeBackTPL #ProtectTransKids
Oct 29
RT @fondfaun: hey look, it’s @GwenBenaway getting things off to a brilliant, passionate start at the @PrideToronto pre-#TakeBackTPL rally!…
Oct 29
RT @CUPEOntario: October 28, MPPs are back at Queen’s Park. The #powerofmany is telling them to end cuts to #publicservices #education, wo…
Oct 29
RT @fondfaun: omg CUPE @Local4948, the Toronto Public Library Workers Union, just endorsed our #TakeBackTPL protest!!!!!!!!! solidarity f…
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“Planned event reignites debate about libraries’ role as forum for free speech...” https://t.co/x60NVFmNQMhttps://t.co/ZTZ4xHzENC
Oct 25
RT @CUPE905: To conclude Ontario Public Library Week, we highlight one of our longest standing library warriors, Kathy Coates. Kathy explai…
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Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea. Reason #5 (Theft @torontolibrary is the biggest and busiest urban public library… https://t.co/6DGH72umjt
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RT @PrideToronto: UPDATE: PRIDE TORONTO'S TRANS RALLY- TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2019 BARBARA HALL PARK. The Trans Rally will start at Barbara H…
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RT @GraphicMatt: Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has a motion on next week’s Council agenda asking for a report on ways to strengthen the City’…
Oct 23
RT @CPoTGDK: Our statement on @torontolibrary renting space to someone who promotes discrimination against trans people @JohnTory @vbowles
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At TPL Board meeting. Multiple deputations to packed room + overflow. Pride Toronto, the 519 + citizens express opp… https://t.co/iDHGCLqSqg
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RT @CUPE391Pres#CanadianLibraryWorkersDay Our members and #librarywarriors across the country love what they do, today and every day. Vis…
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RT @PrideToronto: Pride Toronto’s Board of Directors public statement on Toronto Public Library’s decision to allow Meghan Murphy’s event t…