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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Libraries Are Telling People How Much Money They Save by Not Buying Books - VICE #publiclibraries #libraryworkershttps://t.co/jUhqPZZJTG
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E-books at local libraries: Inside the fight between publishers and librarians over buying and lending policy. https://t.co/tBO1UgvPsZ
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Interesting thread relevant to #libraryworkers who are struggling to deliver excellent service w/ fewer staff.… https://t.co/bTA2ZpeqZy
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RT @4948Warriors: Can literacy lift children out of poverty? https://t.co/YmV7CJr9M1 YES! That’s also why our public library is so i…
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RT @stephvanstralen: Update on #CUPE bargaining in the school board sector. Solidarity with OSBCU in their fight for good quality public ed…
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RT @DolyBegum: What a beautiful labour day spent celebrating years of hardwork and accomplishments of our workers and unions. Thank you for…
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Mark your calendars! Sept 22 is #WOTS2019! Make sure you stop by Booth 405 & 406 to visit the @4948Warriors.… https://t.co/66RrKQLW0P
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RT @preethysiva: CUPE staff - Canadian Staff Union pledge to #UniteAgainstRacism on #LabourDay2019 https://t.co/yFwLcP1TYM
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RT @fairwagesnow: Incredible response to our #UniteAgainstRacism outreach with @MigrantRightsCA at the #ToPoli #LabourDay2019 parade. Did y…
Sep 03
RT @cartwrightTO: Every year I watch thousands of union members march into the CNE on #LabourDay. We come from every place in the world and…
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RT @CUPEOntario: A CUPE confetti cannon rings in #LabourDay2019 @waltonmom @Yoequality#CommunitiesNotCuts https://t.co/S3aIbzhObZ
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RT @CUPEOntario: This Labour Day, we remember with gratitude the work of generations of trade unionists to advance the rights, working cond…
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RT @joe_lafortune @WSJ Sorry I couldn’t be with my brothers and sisters at the #LaborDay parade today but health issues got in the way @L
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RT @m_layton: Many thanks to the people who keep our city clean, beautiful, moving, safe and fun. Happy Labour Day @Local416 @cupelocal7
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RT @preethysiva: CUPE members are proud to #UniteAgainstRacism this Labour Day - no worker left behind @cupelocal79 @CUPEOntario @cupenat
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Happy #LabourDay2019 from the @4948Warriors ! Educate, Organize & Resist @torontolabour#TOpoli @CUPEOntariohttps://t.co/h3fpqnb5IA
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RT @torontolabour: Organize, Educate, Resist @cartwrightTO's #LabourDay message in special section of the Toronto Star https://t.co/J7RzYw
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RT @torontolabour: The Toronto roots of #LabourDay - we started marching in 1872! Highlights in Canadian labour history https://t.co/vY1KkM
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RT @torontolabour: Check out this wonderful collection of photos + books on Toronto's Labour Day Parade and labour history by Toronto Publi…
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RT @Brandon4948#LibraryWorkers bring life to their libraries. Despite the challenges of precarious work #stafflessLibraries, rises in vi…
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RT @4948Warriors: Inviting all Library Warriors 🕶to join @torontolabour in North America’s largest Labour Day Parade. Solidarity @local494
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RT @CUPEOntario#LabourDay has its roots in our movement’s fight for an eight-hour day and celebrates the gains unions have won for worker…
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RT @osbcucscso: It’s important for the public to understand that our fight is their fight! https://t.co/2oq2jjw9LQ
Aug 23
#LibraryWorkers have been proudly serving and supporting our communities since 1883. ... Today we are proudly serv… https://t.co/T7CwP49r7Q
Aug 23
ICE CREAM! ICE CREAM! WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM @UWGreaterTO #Richview #library @cityoftorontohttps://t.co/5YhxHwlRAo
Aug 23
Don’t cry because it’s almost #September. Stop by the #library and grab a delicious cone or slushie for… https://t.co/U5GivTTFPv
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Hey SANDERSON LIBRARY. The #LibraryWorkers are coming by with our Ice Cream Truck. Members of the public and staff… https://t.co/0AaC4sz2tP
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Attention all ice cream lovers. Come to FAIRVIEW LIBRARY today at 11 am and buy a cone or slushie in support of the… https://t.co/KLgbyEM8MX