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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Jul 07
RT @4948Warriors: Libraries forced to ration access to books after reckless Ontario funding cuts https://t.co/keLJXKK1mZ via @torontostar h…
Jul 07
RT @4948Warriors: Don’t be fooled by the headlines that report Ford has reversed some cuts - the damage remains. Libraries are for the peop…
Jun 26
RT @wylie_alan @Local4948 @4948Warriors @TPLWU4948Pres Solidarity, here’s some lawn signs for you from a protest against staffless librari…
Jun 25
Day 2 for @4948Warriors out in the Todmorden neighborhood engaging w/ the public on #stafflesslibraries. Lots of re… https://t.co/mVKAbF1gmv
Jun 24
RT @ab81: Drag performer Lucinda Miu in fabulous librarian gear - with TPL Pride Alliance member @scout101. Lucinda @torontolibrary & @L
Jun 24
RT @ab81: Fierce #ImLibraryPeople from @torontolibrary & @Local4948 marching down Yonge Street. https://t.co/VU4X5562fZ
Jun 24
RT @ab81: Freedom to read. Freedom to learn. Freedom to love. Freedom to be. Happy Pride from @torontolibrary & @Local4948 staff, family &…
Jun 24
RT @r2roluque: What a Great and Happy #Pride2019🏳️‍ marching with @torontolibrary & @Local4948 staff, family and friends #ImLibraryPeop
Jun 24
RT @torontolibrary: Happy #PrideTO! We’re marching once again in the Pride Parade today. Drag performer Lucinda Miu will be shushing the c…
Jun 06
RT @CUPEOntario.@CUPEOntario President @FredHahnCUPE @osbcucscso President @waltonmom, and leaders from the labour movement at a press…
Jun 05
Ford Government's attack on workers' rights a continuation of their assault on the people of Ontario, says CUPE Ont… https://t.co/516CE67V2q
Jun 03
RT @ab81: The pillars of Yorkville Branch @torontolibrary are wrapped in rainbows again for #PrideMonth. The branch is home to the library’…
Jun 01
RT @CUPEOntario: CUPE Ontario members pass their annual Action Plan, hear back from the Convention Youth Camp, and have their final debate…
May 31
RT @cupenat: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the #WinnipegGeneralStrike this month, we’ve been looking back at CUPE’s strike history.…
May 31
RT @CUPEOntario#BuildingTheResistance at Queen's Park to Doug Ford's reckless attacks on public services and communities across Ontario.…
May 31
RT @AndreaHorwath: People of Ontario expect and deserve better than Ford dragging our province backwards with his schemes and cuts. Prou…
May 31
RT @CUPEOntario: They say cut backs—we say fight back #CUPEON19—Build the Resistance Rally https://t.co/yZKwHdhyLw
May 30
#LibraryWarriors march as proud CUPE members to Queen’s Park to protest the Ford Govt cuts to our #publicservices,… https://t.co/d7PlMtca3c
May 30
Rally today at Queens Park! Delegates from #CUPECon19 will be there #LibraryWarriors will be there.… https://t.co/mI5YWKYveV
May 29
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Ontarians deserve better than a government that prioritizes booze over books! Cuts to libraries hurt our most vulnerable…
May 29
Thank you MPP Dr Jill Andrew. Your advocacy is awesome - Ontario #publiclibraries, library workers + our communitie… https://t.co/VnuL8fd9U2
May 29
RT @CUPEOntario: "Let's lead this battle, let's take on Doug Ford, let's push back against his agenda, and let's show there's some fight le…
May 29
@CUPEOntario⁩ Pres@FredHahnCUPE⁩ makes it clear at #cupeon19 “We don’t bargain concessions. We *fight* concessio… https://t.co/Qc5PzExqg1
May 29
RT @CUPEOntario: Reading our Equality Statement, passing our Convention Agenda, and observing a moment of silence for CUPE members we lost…
May 29
RT @Brandon4948: Opening remarks from @CUPEOntario Prez (and library warrior) Fred Hahn #CupeOn19 https://t.co/SV5XQaK3sn
May 29
Recommended reading at #CUPEON19! Past-prez of@CUPEOntario⁩ addresses delegates with trademark passion on fighti… https://t.co/4Q1QVszJDy
May 29
RT @cartwrightTO: Q: What's the difference between bread + circuses in ancient Rome and today's 'beer + circus' ? A: about 2000 years
May 29
RT @Brandon4948#LibraryWarriors are building the resistance @CUPEOntario conference kicks off today #CUPEON19 #SaveOurLibraries https:/…
May 29
RT @GShankz: Excited to be in attendance for @CUPEOntario division conference #CupeOn19 #Cupe @Local4948#BeBold #BeBrave #🏽 https://t.co/
May 29
#Librarywarriors at the municipal forum at #CUPEON19! Ready to fight back against regressive policies + austerity… https://t.co/fm9p9Mhd47
May 29
Toronto #LibraryWarriors at the #CUPEON19 #BeBold #BeBrave Any other library workers in the house? @CUPEOntariohttps://t.co/vyRsmcsrAB
May 28
#LibraryWarriors at #QueensPark for MPP @JILLSLASTWORD Dr Jill Andrew’s press conf urging @fordnation to reverse dr… https://t.co/DvIU3cMwDE
May 24
RT @progresstoronto: Almost 10,000 people have used our petition to send an email to their MPP and Ford. And we’ve helped over 4,000 people…
May 24
RT @progresstoronto: Just released: new poll shows support for Doug Ford is dropping across Ontario. Even the majority of Ford voters are o…
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