Last week, the Ford Government cut the funding for library service in Northern and Southern Ontario. Both the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and the Ontario Library Service – North (OLS-North) announce that funding has been slashed by about 50 per cent. Both agencies report that that library service to rural and Indignenous communities will be the hardest hit by these cuts. While not directly affecting Toronto at this particular time - it reconfirms the Ford Government's hostile position on public libraries and the services they provide. The Toronto Public Library Workers Union opposes these cuts. Cuts to public library service, be it in Ontario or anywhere in Canada affects us all. The Ford Government is not for the people. Public libraries are for the people.
Shauna Costache, a library worker in Southern Ontario, has launched a petition against these cuts. Please sign and share.
Ontarians fight back against province's cuts to library services Huffington Post
SOLS budget cuts 2019/2020 Southern Ontario Library Service
Library Warriors assembled from all over Ontario at the 2019 CUPE Ontario Library Workers Conf in Niagara Falls. Delegates from Toronto, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oakville, Oshawa, Cornwall, Guelph, Barrie, the 905, Scugog, Welland, Pickering, Ajax, Bruce County and many other areas attended. We reported and shared information on the challenges facing library workers and library service in a regressive province with employers who appear out-of-touch with the reality of day-to-day operations. One thing was clear: we are clearly united in our opposition to staffless libraries (although the employer often uses the disingenuous term "extended hours"). Staffless libraries are not safe, threaten jobs, and discriminate against our most vulnerable populations that use the library. MPP Dr. Jill Andrew was a keynote speaker and spoke passionately about her history as a library user and library worker (Page at Cedarbrae Library), and her opposition to staffless libraries. Check out our Snapchat campaign below featuring library workers and allies province-wide!
Toronto Public Library Workers Union Local 4948 attended the CUPE 2019 Bargaining Conference in sunny Saskatoon. The conference included excellent panels, including one with TO delegate Gobi Sooriyakumar, on historic strikes. There were four days of educational sessions, support rallies, and inspiring keynote speakers. Speakers included Jeff Good from the LA teachers who presented on the recent LA teachers strike and shared strategies for creating a successful campaign. And...a lunchtime visit to the beautiful Saskatoon Public Library and Local History Collection!
Library workers and community volunteers from Progress Toronto came out engage with the public about staffless libraries in the Swansea community. The overwhelming response from the community: they want and deserve a staffed and full-service library. To impose a two-tiered service does not support our most vulnerable patrons, and an empty branch continues to pose health and safety risks to all. To make your voice heard, visit ourpubliclibrary.to and stay tuned for future action alerts.