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 @cotapsa: COTAPSA Report on July 11, 2018 #OMERS SC Stakeholder Meeting on Proposed Plan Changes https://t.co/1slu9sbtmv@Local416 @Cup
Jul 10
RT @ManBookerPrize: We are delighted to announce our #ManBooker50 winner is The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje @BloomsburyBooks. Read…
Jul 10
RT @ProudPolitics: Looking to grow your municipal campaign skill set? Join us Sat July 14th at the @torontolibrary's Lillian Knowles branch…
Jul 01
RT @torontolabour: Across the country we celebrate #CanadaDay, with recognition of the complex story that starts with #indigenous peoples a…
Jul 01
RT @CUPEOntario @FredHahnCUPE: “Let them here you - no one is illegal @CUPEOntario#KeepFamilesTogether Rally. https://t.co/X8SjeUieB0
Jul 01
We hear you, brother. 🇨🇦#LibraryWarriors need to rest + recharge too. #solidarity https://t.co/CWtn92DhLE
Jul 01
RT @torontolabour: In June 1981 Postal Workers fought a 42 day strike to win paid #maternity leave. Then labour + women's movement worked t…
Jul 01
RT @CUPEOntario: CUPE Ontario standing in solidarity with migrant families detained by the U.S. at the Families Belong Together Rally. // @…
Jul 01
Happy Canada Day from the Toronto Public Library Workers #Canada151 #CanadaDayWeekend #july1 🇨🇦🇨🇦 https://t.co/HvDZgAGtwf
Jun 26
@WomenWinTO⁩ ! Political boot camp for women celebrates its first electoral wins #solidarity 🏾🏿🏽🏼⁦… https://t.co/iQ74H9GulN
Jun 24
RT @ab81: Some of the amazing @torontolibrary & @Local4948 staff at #PrideTO March today. Our Wonder Woman cosplayer from the Reference Lib…
Jun 24
RT @ab81: Our @torontolibrary Bookmobile is all dolled up for #PrideTO parade and serenading the audience with upbeat music. https://t.co/q
Jun 24
RT @ab81: The view of #PrideTO parade from the marchers’ eyes. https://t.co/dzxG3eyJnV
Jun 24
RT @torontolibrary: Happy #Pride, Toronto! TPL & @Local4948 staff are marching in the Pride Parade and carrying red balloons to honour 30 y…
Jun 24
RT @margonaut: A @torontolibrary bookmobile at the #PrideToronto Parade 🏳️‍ https://t.co/laXWlNfsAt
Jun 24
RT @ab81: Today was a wonderful reminder that a little... ok, a lot of rain won’t dampen spirits & that light always comes after the rain.…
Jun 24
RT @ab81: So proud to march with @torontolibrary & @Local4948 staff at #PrideTO parade. We’re wearing red and carrying red balloons to hono…
Jun 24
Happy #Pride from the Toronto Public Library Workers Union #TOPride #Solidarity #equity #diversity #justicehttps://t.co/GHWoFn09Km
Jun 22
Congratulations to the graduating class of@WomenWinTO⁩ and to the new faces of women in politics. What an inspiri… https://t.co/Eg3k5RajfG
Jun 22
Now hearing from @hemavyas who is the founding member of @WomenWinTO. She congratulates the Leadership Team and th… https://t.co/FngZH9su9E
Jun 21
Celebrating the summer solstice today by recognizing the strength of women activists. Among them is the Honourable… https://t.co/wLAyCrPBi2
Jun 21
Next up is Dr. Jean Augustine, the first Black woman to be elected to Parliament and the first Black woman to hold… https://t.co/ok1oEi9Kwx
Jun 21
Only 14 out of 45 members on city council are women. There is only one openly gay member, and only one woman of col… https://t.co/5CSRy7c0iw
Jun 21
Opening remarks from Councillor @kristynwongtam who is a champion for gender equity and for women in general at cit… https://t.co/Yj8tTWFbfg
Jun 21
RT @abrarissi: I have been looking forward to tonight's celebration for @WomenWinTO participants for weeks now. Congratulations all #TOpol
Jun 21
Women Win TO wrap-up Celebration for 2018. We need more women candidates and campaigners in politics and this group… https://t.co/upWb0VHykk
Jun 20
RT @wylie_alan: https://t.co/aDnufg6fIw - so staffless library tech allows staff to do more community outreach !!! Not if the council buyin…
Jun 20
RT @GShankz: Child care system is set for the 70s and not for the 21st century- given people are precariously employed with short notice on…
Jun 20
RT @GShankz: Listening to @SaraMojtehedz on her investigative journalism on temporary workers being hired in #Ontario #pepso https://t.co/7
Jun 20
RT @GShankz: Is precarious employment here to stay? - definitely an interesting yet scary thought #Pepso @UWGreaterTO
Jun 20
RT @CUPEOntario @CUPEOntario Vice President Yolanda McClean @Yoequality - has been named one of Canada's top 100 accomplished black Cana…
Jun 20
RT @GShankz: “Rising tide only lifts some boats: the differential impacts of precarious employment##precariousWork #pepso @Local4948
Jun 19
RT @wylie_alan: Councillors/Policy Makers “We’re going to be innovative & call libraries ‘hubs’ & make them much more than just about books…
Jun 19
RT @Janet_Davis: Library workers make our libraries great! https://t.co/m5Uael9afZ
Jun 18
RT @CUPEOntario: "Today’s announcement of a unilateral hiring freeze across all government services demonstrates Premier Designate Doug For…
Jun 18
Cllr @SarahEDoucette asks: have we seen this plan before with extended hours but w/o a real service? TPL responds b… https://t.co/qpkoq31QBh
Jun 18
At TPL library board listening to stories of trust that our patrons put into library as a safe place, with strong c… https://t.co/HujzkFiyOK
Jun 18
At the TPL Board. “Open Hours” vision is presented. More hours is great. How is TPL going to provide real library… https://t.co/WvLsBtqcuH
Jun 18
RT @wylie_alan: Don't let them fool you folks A Public Library without paid/trained library staff isn't a Public Library. It's a building,…
Jun 18
RT @Staffourlibrary: Staff our Libraries can reveal that as predicted there have been further breaches of safety in staffless libraries lea…
Jun 18
RT @publiclibnews: The Telegraph, which very rarely covers libraries, writes critically about staffless technology (partially behind paywal…
Jun 18
RT @dawnafinch: "Open access" library - sounds great doesn't it? It really means a staffless DIY room of books. No wonder people don't want…
Jun 18
RT @E_dayEccentric: Sadly, with the conversion of almost 200 of Ireland’s 330 libraries for unmanned, staffless hours, this won’t be the ca…
Jun 18
RT @Staffourlibrary: Nearly 200 of Ireland's 330 public libraries will be converted for staffless unmanned hours. https://t.co/EcqvikqhlR
Jun 18
Cllr @Janet_Davis presents to @torontolibrary board on Dawes Road Library + space for youth. Thanks to Cllr Davis f… https://t.co/iHnY6a2lgD
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Jun 17
RT @lauraaversa: A beautiful cake for @4948President! You will be missed https://t.co/lM69sXygzd