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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17h
#LibraryWarriors from @Local4948 w/ Stacey, Nfld+Lab Library Warrior at #CUPE2019 in sunny Saskatoon ⁦… https://t.co/yHUdEtrudE
Mar 19
RT @Brandon4948: Planning and scheming at the CUPE National Bargaining Conference in Saskatoon @Local4948#LibraryWarriors 🤓 https://t
Mar 19
@cupenat⁩ Rally in support of Local 1975 U of Saskatchewan support workers #makesomenoise #Solidarityhttps://t.co/jRWQitMAFh
Mar 19
RT @cartwrightTO: Nobody will lose their jobs! (But there will be 5000 less of you doing the same work #hypocrisy #FordNation #CutsHurtKid
Mar 19
RT @4948Warriors: Sadly, yes #StafflessLibraries are operating in Toronto. An idea dreamt up by senior administrators at @torontolibrary @…
Mar 19
At #CUPE2019 Bargaining Con in #Saskatoon listening to Stacey from @cupe2329 present their awesome campaign to succ… https://t.co/5db1dLXowf
Mar 19
RT @CUPE391Pres: Historic Strikes Presentation from @cupenat Historic Strike Panel - Greater Vancouver clerical workers in 1981 for #payequ
Mar 19
RT @Fred_Shilson: Great panel on strikes here in Saskatoon during the Plenary at the CUPE National Bargaining Conference #CUPE cc @GShank
Mar 19
RT @osbcucscso: Excellent lessons to be learned from @Local4948#torontopubliclibrary 2012 strike. Their organization & mobilization among…
Mar 19
#LibraryWorker Gobi Sooriyakumar on panel at #CUPE2019 presenting on @Local4948’s successful strike #unionhistoryhttps://t.co/5BUnJt9KWB
Mar 16
RT @torontolabour: We are deeply saddened by the murders of Muslim worshippers in New Zealand. A stark reminder that we must all work to ch…
Mar 16
Library workers stand against Islamophobia and right-wing hatred. Our hearts are with those who lost loved ones in… https://t.co/kZtVIPOg8p
Mar 13
RT @4948Warriors: TO City Council continues their legacy of underappreciation of our public library. 2019 budget is underwhelming @Joh
Mar 10
RT @CUPEOntario: Celebrating child care champions and library warriors for #iwd2019 #InternationWomensDay @ChildCareON @Local4948 https://…
Mar 10
RT @4948Warriors: Enjoying the IWD march with@TPLWU4948Pres⁩ Brendan and@cartwrightTO@torontolabour⁩ Nice toques@Local4948@IWD
Mar 09
Beautiful weather for #iwd2019 in #TOpoli today #LibraryWarriors on the March #solidarity @TPLWU4948Preshttps://t.co/Z0QUA9EGGR
Mar 08
Happy International Women’s Day from the @4948Warriors! See you all tomorrow at the #IWDay2019 March @TPLWU4948Preshttps://t.co/Vv15RPXAAA
Mar 08
RT @kristynwongtam: I first learned in 2010 how much Torontonians love their libraries during my first budget process. Still true in 2019!…
Mar 08
RT @progresstoronto: Councillor @kristynwongtam points out that the city budget is being balanced on TTC fares which disproportionately hur…
Mar 08
RT @kristynwongtam: Thank you NOW readers for voting me Best City Councillor for the four years in a row. It's a true honour to serve the…
Mar 08
RT @GShankz @HiJingks talking about how @Local4948 participated in the #TTC #subway takeover to fight against @fordnation’s greed for #TTC
Mar 08
⁦⁩ With Jagmeet at the@torontolabour⁩ council tonight #librarywarriors #topoli@TPLWU4948Pres@CUPEOntario⁩… https://t.co/f8oE940uEs
Mar 07
RT @progresstoronto: Councillor Layton points out that instead of increasing property taxes just a little more for every homeowner across t…
Mar 05
RT @kristynwongtam: Join us for the Gender & Equity Budgeting Town Hall on March 6. Vote on city budget priorities w @DataOnTheSpot technol…
Feb 27
RT @wylie_alan: Advice for anyone planning to or currently running a volunteer-led ‘library’; Don’t take Library Workers jobs. Don’t claim…
Feb 27
Suspect in Toronto library shooting nabbed in Bracebridge https://t.co/rWNSvPrr4e via @orilliamattershttps://t.co/xXxBZIT9oS
Feb 22
LibraryWarriors @Local4948 at Lawrence St getting the message out to save #OurSubway @torontolabour @ttcridershttps://t.co/OFdYBRfA1v
Feb 22
RT @ttcriders: In just under 24 hours we'll be at 35 subway stations reaching more than 35,000 transit riders! Join us between 8am and 9am…
Feb 22
RT @cartwrightTO: You gotta be kidding! Anyone who thinks #FordNation will find $Billions in new money to improve transit is hallucinating…
Feb 22
RT @torontolabour: Bravo @ATU_113 transit workers bring a clear message to 1.5 M commuters today #solidarity #OurSubway https://t.co/Qrb00
Feb 22
Library workers want to continue serving our communities directly with face-to-face human interaction. https://t.co/2Qmb3gbKdv
Feb 19
RT @wylie_alan: Is it great news that a statutory public library service is put out to tender and a gov backed ‘mutual’ wins the contract f…