TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2019 /CNW/ - Mayor Tory's proclamation of today as "I'm Library People Day" is clouded by his support for Staffless Libraries, a program that could be used to replace and eliminate library workers from the Toronto Public Library.
"The idea of recognizing the Toronto Public Library for its contribution to Toronto is a good one. But the Mayor has failed to recognize that TPL's contribution stems from the programs and services our members provide.
It is hypocritical of Mayor Tory to claim he is an advocate of TPL. In reality, he is working hard to get rid of "Library People," by creating libraries with no staff, no programs, no people to guide, support, and safeguard the wonderful patrons who rely on our service," says Brendan Haley, President of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union (TPLWU).
The Todmorden Room, a library branch in Toronto's East-end, became TPL's first Staffless Library branch late last year. Swansea Memorial Branch opened Staffless in January. In what TPL claims to be a pilot program, Staffless Libraries extended open hours to patrons willing to register for the program by signing a liability waiver. There are no staff on-site.
"The Mayor and the TPL deny it, but when it's comes time to cut TPL's budget again, the bean counters will want to expand this ill-conceived program," Haley says. "A library without library workers is no library at all."
To mark the occasion, the TPLWU is releasing two of a series of short animated videos about the folly of Staffless Libraries. They can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC136fGjGe94C5F4T5dYGKWEI2gN5M7Tp
SOURCE TPLWU CUPE Local 4948