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. 
Joanna Pinpoint  DSC1083R01
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. 

 

Fitz Pinpoint  DSC0940R01
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. 

 

Librarian Glasses

Members Login Here:

Twitter icon

Recent Tweets

Feb 13
RT @ElemTeachersTO#SOLIDARITY from the Toronto Public Library Workers Union as they joined us on the picket line at @Tdsb_Eglinton. Th…
Feb 12
The Toronto library hosted Meghan Murphy. Now an Edmonton library trustee says she’s paying a price for speaking ou… https://t.co/LCUlPutLoe
Feb 12
Fill out the poll to show your support for the outside workers of Local 416 #topoli #Fairdeal Toronto’s outside wor… https://t.co/VnNrjrEi8W
Feb 12
RT @ElemTeachersTO: Tomorrow, we’ll be joining 83,000 #ETFO members province-wide as we take strike action to defend our public ed system.…
Feb 10
RT @4948president: More Canadians Go To Public Libraries Than Movie Theatres @Local4948@cupenat@CUPEOntariohttps://t.co/CTAri
Feb 07
RT @4948president: Toronto #LibraryWorkers got to hear from @DesmondCole last night for the launch of his new book “The Skin We’re In”. G…
Feb 07
RT @torontolabour#Solidarity with #ETFO and all educators fighting for our kids, today and every day. If you pass a picket line, be sure…
Feb 05
RT @ETFOeducators: TODAY #ETFOstrike action continues in nine school boards because educators will not accept Ford's deep cuts to public e…
Feb 05
RT @SaraMojtehedz: Coronavirus outbreak highlights need to reinstate paid sick days, end sick notes, health workers say https://t.co/H7l4NW
Feb 05
RT @CUPEOntario: Solidarity with #OECTA members taking job action to protect vital public education services for students. Tell the Ford Co…
Feb 04
RT @fairwagesnow: Health officials are telling us to stay home if we're sick. But many workers would be fired or lose their pay if they do!…
Feb 02
RT @pressprogress: NEW: Three of Canada’s biggest newspapers are running expensive full-page ads paid for by a mysterious group using a ‘ma…
Feb 02
RT @LibrarianshipCA: Library workers face increasing violence on the job, Toronto Public Library figures show https://t.co/S5clSCxtNm Book…
Feb 02
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Hi @Sfleece, Some quick notes. Stop trying to bribe parents with money our education system needs. EVERYONE…
Feb 02
Librarians face increasing violence on the job, Toronto Public Library figures show@4948president#Topoli ⁦… https://t.co/htVvKpcY70
Jan 28
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Today is #HolocaustRemembranceDay and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. A solemn day to remember th…
Jan 26
#LibraryWorkers on the frontlines against threats to the very foundation of our library service @4948president No… https://t.co/BjHoRWBtcU
Jan 25
RT @AnotherStoryTO: We are thrilled to support the upcoming launch for @DesmondCole! Feb 5 at the @agotoronto. Featuring a reading & conver…
Jan 25
Fictional city councillor wades into Toronto contract talks | The Star #Topoli@4948president@cupelocal79⁩… https://t.co/sPHhnNpJMi
Jan 25
RT @CUPEOntario: Tell OMERS—don't touch guaranteed indexing: https://t.co/qvp7fXm2ai ️ There is a good chance there will be another attem…
Jan 23
Opinion | Is the Rob Ford style of labour negotiations still working? | https://t.co/4AQt4J92JY#TOpoli ⁦… https://t.co/N5IQ3tzPxS
Jan 21
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: "Cuts for kids is not allowed. We're gonna fight it. Fight fight fight." I'm so thankful to our educators @TDSB_Humewood
Jan 21
RT @CUPEOntario: Today @ETFOeducators at the Ottawa-Carleton, Toronto, and York Region school boards are on a one-day full withdrawal of s…
Jan 21
RT @cupelocal79: Local 79 members voted overwhelmingly for strike mandate on Friday: https://t.co/i9p2vKBpjq#TOpoli #Toronto #ONpoli
Jan 18
Underfunding @mypubliclibrary#Stafflesslibraries waiting in the wings. Please sign and share petition… https://t.co/RnYxcT0Y1F
Jan 18
RT @4948president: Have you sent a message to @JohnTory yet? Go to https://t.co/ND6yR5XF7N and tell him that #StafflessLibraries are a terr…
Jan 15
Staffless Libraries. More on the way... Send a message to Mayor @JohnTory to commit to stopping the spread of sta… https://t.co/WtbEOJK547
Jan 13
RT @4948president: John Tory vows to make investments for children and families, to address root causes of violence in communities. Yet,…
Jan 11
RT @4948president: 18 million+ visits per year. Busiest library system in North America. Huge funding backlogs for maintenance and upkeep.…
Jan 11
RT @jpags: At the same time, there are big things not included, like @torontolibrary's ongoing attempt to fund their robust Open Hours plan…
Jan 11
RT @4948president: A library without staff is like a book without words! In solidarity with library workers across the pond @Local4948 #…
Jan 10
RT @4948president: Where the money goes... Funding for @torontolibrary way down on the list. Spending less now than we have before, not kee…
Jan 10
RT @4948president: City Manager states that an equity lens was applied to the budget for 2020, yet @torontolibrary Torontonians are faced w…
Jan 10
RT @4948president: Cuts to library hours from the days of amalgamation slowly inching back, but without addition resources such as staff to…
Jan 10
RT @maritstiles: 3 unions & mediators say your government isn’t making progress. Responsibility rests squarely at the feet of #Ford govt…
Jan 10
RT @kristynwongtam: The 2020 #BudgetTO process is about to begin & we want to hear from you! Join me @m_layton & @joe_cressy to learn abou…
Jan 10
“Years of doing more with less have left us with deepening challenges, widening inequities, and mounting crises in… https://t.co/pvUY0f8H3Z
Jan 10
RT @osstf: Have a child starting high school next September? The Ford government's cuts are eroding the choices/options at schools across…
Jan 10
RT @maritstiles: Here’s the official release from #ETFO about escalating strike action. We are in the midst of the first province wide ed…
Jan 10
RT @CUPEOntario: On behalf of the 270,000 CUPE members across Ontario, we offer our deepest condolences to families, friends, and co-worker…
Jan 10
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Happening now at the Mel Lastman Square we are attending a vigil in remembrance of the 176 people and 63 Canadians who p…
Jan 09
RT @cupenat: It is with profound sadness that we have learned that several CUPE members were among the victims of Wednesday’s tragic Ukrain…
Jan 09
TCEU Local 416 outside workers update. City asks province to appoint conciliator in negotiations with outside worke… https://t.co/9TEYk5RWHV