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Article from The Walrus: Have You Been to the Library Lately?

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Message from the President

In February, I was contacted by Canadian Magazine, The Walrus, to contribute to an article, exploring the history and future of Public Libraries in Canada.

It includes many direct quotes – four from TPL employees, including myself – and my quotes are about halfway through the article. Here’s an excerpt:

” According to some workers, management is not doing enough to uphold the second half of that equation. “We have found that there has been an uptick in terms of violent incidents in the libraries, and the library as an employer has been very slow to respond to that,” says Brandon Haynes, president of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union. Part of the reason for the slow response, Haynes believes, is management’s desire to protect the library’s image. “There’s a real concern, and I think it’s a valid concern, with portraying the library as a safe and welcoming space that’s open and accessible to everyone,” says Haynes. There are worries that if a beloved institution becomes known as a dangerous, unpleasant place, both visits and funding could suffer. “But I think we can’t just hide the voices of the library workers,” says Haynes. “I think that in order to address the problem, you need to actually put a spotlight on it and not sweep it under the rug.”

Hope you get a chance to read the article.

In Solidarity,

Brandon Haynes

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