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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May 10
RT @LibrarianshipCA: They threatened to read — so a PC MPP’s office called the cops https://t.co/nQwfn3woM0 Throw the book at ’em has take…
May 09
Shame on @MichaelTibollo at a $1600 plate PC fundraiser after slashing N & S #publiclibrary budgets by 50%.… https://t.co/bDB6yTzVv0
May 09
RT @progresstoronto: Did you send an email to your MPP to stop the public health cuts and received a reply? Do you have a conservative MPP?…
May 09
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Dear @samoosterhoff, my constituency staff have put together a step-by-step guide on how to respond to peaceful protesto…
May 09
RT @Lib_Techie @MichaelTibollo That is a lie Ontario Library Services is essential to day to day operations of libraries and service to pa…
May 09
RT @oursacredbreath @MichaelTibollo Our library just announced no more inter library loans outside our municipality ... so you are wrong .…
May 09
RT @Thamahmmy @MichaelTibollo @BPCRPL You have obviously never used a rural library. We depend on each other’s resources to provide the be…
May 09
RT @malloryapearce @MichaelTibollo "No involvement in the day-to-day operations of public libraries..." So what would we call this? https:…
May 09
RT @malloryapearce @MichaelTibollo Just so that we're really clear on the direct impact on the day to day operations of libraries, I'd lik…
May 09
RT @malloryapearce @MichaelTibollo This is a completely incorrect statement. SOLS is responsible for the delivery of library materials mul…
May 09
RT @andrewpyper @MichaelTibollo Your statement wildly misrepresents the facts, and is ignorant of how Ontario’s library services functions…
May 09
RT @mridley @MichaelTibollo Wrong. The powerful & *cost effective* collaboration among libraries and agencies such as these is undermined…
May 09
RT @Kurt__McKnight @MichaelTibollo Another disaster by this government. The inter-library loan service is a must for rural libraries @b
May 09
RT @daniellemuma @MichaelTibollo So what you’re saying is that you LITERALLY have no clue what SOLS and OLS-N do, and you can’t be bothere…
May 09
RT @lilmisslibrary @MichaelTibollo These "arm length" agencies are critical to libraries! The InterLibrary Loan service is used by thousan…
May 09
#LibraryWarriors outside PC $1600 plate fundraiser w/ MPP @MichaelTibollo#Onpoli $$$ dinner while library budget… https://t.co/Tnfx8L6Tty
May 08
RT @progresstoronto: Did you see the new poll today? The majority of Ontarians oppose Premier Ford’s cuts to education! If you oppose the c…
May 08
Beyond shameful. MPP@samoosterhoff⁩ office calls cops on library-loving seniors | https://t.co/Os61nKos6I ⁦… https://t.co/tfusRWN9wO
May 08
RT @TorontoStar: Premier Doug Ford’s relentless, reckless cutting affects residents in cities, suburbs and rural areas — everyone but the r…
May 07
RT @LibrarianshipCA: Provincial minister says cancellation of inter-library service was a surprise https://t.co/39L3lPKfcS Minister Tiboll…
May 04
RT @GShankz: An investment in our libraries is an investment in #Ontario’s future #Sols @Local4948 @CUPEOntario https://t.co/dyEQykhptK
May 04
RT @4948Warriors: Tell Premier Ford to reverse cuts to the inter-library loan program. Take action now. https://t.co/GXz9FYjYmB@Local4948
May 03
Ontario's #publiclibraries are under attack from Ford Govt. Please sign +share! https://t.co/Lq9nSSVz7ghttps://t.co/n2gYzrb3Zr
Apr 30
Richmond Hill Library: more bad news for #PublicLibraries + the public who depend on them. https://t.co/tnJoH0BJNThttps://t.co/Ibw3GA7NYn
Apr 30
Great statement from MPP @Jennkfrench from Oshawa against the #OnPoli Ford Govt's drastic cuts to #publiclibrarieshttps://t.co/0bL2Xy4rkA
Apr 30
RT @shelleysavor: I'm actively protesting the cuts to healthcare in Ontario #PeopleHaveThePower! https://t.co/7veXPiQWih
Apr 28
RT @larsenesque: Ontario librarian calls minister's suggestion service be 'more efficient' after 50% cut an 'outrage' | CBC News https://t.
Apr 28
RT @CUPE129: Support Library Services in Pickering The Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and Ontario Library Service - North (OLS-N…
Apr 28
RT @cupe932: Waterloo Region library staff speak out about end of interlibrary book-loaning service | https://t.co/9k4heGnDOd https://t.co/
Apr 28
RT @politicsfisher: I have never signed a petition in my life that is until today ... calling on the @fordnation govt to reverse its planne…
Apr 25
#DayofMourning 2019 event jointly presented by @Local4948 @torontolibrary Sharon from Mobile Crisis Intervention… https://t.co/u4dwVKya5y
Apr 24
RT @cupe932: Fort Erie feels pain from provincial funding cuts https://t.co/jVktNTw9wl
Apr 24
RT @Shelly__Gordon @dmrider @fordnation @TorontoStar I don't want my taxes to go to giant multinational corporations that make beer. I wan…
Apr 24
RT @maritstiles: Please sign this petition. We need to fight back HARD against this $1billion cut to front line public health services #TO
Apr 24
RT @progresstoronto: Doug Ford is cutting billions from public health, which could mean the end of student nutrition programs, sexual healt…
Apr 23
RT @cupe932: Cuts to Ontario library services devastating to under-served populations, says librarian https://t.co/SJz6ZsMSn5
Apr 23
Doug Ford: Stop the cuts to the Southern Ontario Library Service and Ontario Library Service - North - Sign the Pet… https://t.co/HFJAz8B1f8
Apr 21
National conversation on incidents in public libraries @tplwu4948Pres @4948Warriors Social workers, snacks and 'a… https://t.co/x1ALSqUX8Y
Apr 21
#LibraryWarriors need support/staffing to ensure staff/public safety + protect vulnerable populations.… https://t.co/QFjCSk17FP
Apr 20
Shame on the Ford Govt @TPLWU4948Pres @4948Warriors @CUPEOntario#ONPoli #topoli #librarywarriors Public Libraries… https://t.co/Rty8VqSXdQ
Apr 20
RT @jannarden: Province slashes Ontario Library Service funding by 50% https://t.co/sts3BU515L reading gave me a career and saved me a few…
Apr 20
Heartbreaking news. The Ford Govt is not for the people. Public Libraries are @jannarden @TPLWU4948Preshttps://t.co/ECEapeIueH
Apr 19
RT @torontolabour: Budget cut a sign that Doug Ford’s contempt for libraries persists https://t.co/4TzS1ZU5BY via @torontostar @Local4948
Apr 19
RT @CUPE391: We agree that this is a shameful action by the Ontario government! Libraries are among the most important public institutions…
Apr 19
RT @wylie_alan: Solidarity to all my colleagues and comrades in Canada fighting against 50% cuts to Ontario’s library system ️…
Apr 19
RT @GShankz: Libraries are the great equalizer giving knowledge and resources to all- no matter what their position in life..unlike @fordna
Apr 19
RT @TorontoStar: The Southern Ontario Library Service and the Ontario Library Service-North will see their budgets halved for the 2019-20 f…