Toronto Public Library
|Toronto Public Library|
|Size||12 million (2000)|
|Access and use|
|Circulation||33 million (2011)|
|Population served||2,615,060 (2011) |
|Phone number||(416) 393-7131|
Toronto Public Library (TPL) (French: Bibliothèque publique de Toronto) is a public library system based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the largest public library system in Canada and in 2008, had averaged a higher circulation per capita than any other public library system internationally, making it the largest neighbourhood-based library system in the world. Within North America, it also had the highest circulation and visitors when compared to other large urban systems. Established as the library of the Mechanics' Institute in 1830, the Toronto Public Library now consists of 98 branch libraries and has over 12 million items in its collection.
In 1830, a library was established in the York Mechanics' Institute. In 1884, the collection became the Toronto Public Library. James Bain was the first chief librarian and he supplemented the collection with $15,000 worth of books purchased on a trip to England in late 1883. Between 1907 and 1916, ten libraries were built with funds from the Andrew Carnegie Trust. Several of these Carnegie libraries continue to be used by the public library; one, the original Central Reference Library, is now the Koffler Student Centre at the University of Toronto.
- Etobicoke Public Library: in the City of Etobicoke, which established 1950 with 13 branches
- North York Public Library: in the City of North York, which established 1955 with 19 branches
- York Public Library: in the City of York, which established 1967 with 6 branches
- East York Public Library: in the Borough of East York, which established 1967 with 5 branches
- Scarborough Public Library: in the City of Scarborough, which established 1955 with 19 branches
- Metro Toronto Public Library: across Metropolitan Toronto, which established 1967 with 1 branch
- Toronto Public Library: in Old Toronto, which established 1883 with 33 branches.
When the Government of Ontario amalgamated the former municipalities of Metropolitan Toronto, the individual library boards and the Toronto Reference Library merged into the Toronto Public Library. The merger caused the Toronto Public Library to become the largest library system in North America, serving a population of 2.3 million people with 98 branches at the time.
In 2004, a new library was opened in the St. James Town neighbourhood of Toronto, bringing the total number of branches to 99. A new branch is scheduled to open in Scarborough City Centre in 2014.
The Toronto Public Library is among the municipal services whose budgets may be extensively cut under a review launched by mayor Rob Ford. The Municipal Affairs branch closed in September 2011, bringing the number of branches to back to 98.
The Toronto Public Library is governed by a Board appointed by Toronto City Council. The Board is composed of eight citizen members, four Toronto City Councillors and the Mayor or his designate. The current Members of the Toronto Public Library Board have been appointed until late 2014, (or until their successors are appointed).
- Paul Ainslie (Chair)
- Mike Foderick (Vice-Chair)
- Janet Davis
- Cameron Mackay
- Ross Parry
- Ken Stewart
- Benjie Wulffhart
- Jaye Robinson
- Cesar Palacio
- Kim Korinek
- Sarah Doucette
- Stephen Dulmage
- Andrea Zammit
The library's collection count is approximately 11 million items, including books, periodicals and audio-visual materials. Along with general interest fiction and nonfiction there are numerous special collections. Focused collecting efforts strive to meet multi-language and social needs. Notable special collections include The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, The Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books, and The Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection.
The Toronto Public Library technology services include public access computers and free wireless internet access in all branches. The Library also provides access to its collections online, including books, music and movies, research databases, journals, magazines, online educational and literacy support resources and ongoing digitization of specialized collections. The Toronto Public Library website allows users to reserve books, DVDs and CDs and have them transferred to the user's preferred branch.
The TPL operates two Bookmobile buses (24' Blue Bird CS), targeting communities who lack easy access to a neighbourhood branch. Currently there are 32 regular Bookmobile stops in Toronto, including one on Ward's Island.
See also 
- "About the Library". Toronto Public Library. Retrieved 2012-03-31. "With 98 branches, Toronto Public Library is the largest public library system in Canada, and the world's busiest urban library system."
- "Message from the Mayor". Toronto Public Library Strategic Plan 2000-2008. Toronto Public Library Board. 2000. p. 4. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- "2011 Annual Performance Measures". Toronto Public Library. 2012-04=27. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- "(Code 3520) Census Profile. 2011 census.". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- "2010 Annual Report Financials". Toronto Public Library. 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- "Living History Resource to be Created in Black Creek". CNW Group. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- "Statistics". Annual Report 2010. Toronto Public Library. 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- "2009 Annual Performance Measures and Strategic Plan Update". Toronto Public Library. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
- Oder, Norman (06 2003). "Growing into a changing city: the Toronto Public Library, North America's busiest, must support traditional users and many newcomers". Library Journal. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- "History of Toronto Public Library". Toronto Public Library. 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- "Topics of the Week". The Week : a Canadian journal of politics, literature, science and arts 1 (2): 17. 13 Dec 1883.
- Central Library from the Toronto Public Library website. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
- Toronto Human Resources 2007 Annual Report from the City of Toronto website. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
- "City of Toronto Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 2". 2011-01-25. Retrieved 2011-02-02.
-  from the Toronto Public Library website. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- http://www.toronto.ca/torontoservicereview/ City of Toronto: Toronto Service Review
- Woods, Michael (Thu Sep 15 2011). "Tears flow as Urban Affairs library closes". The Toronto Star (Toronto). Retrieved Saturday, September 17, 2011.
- About the library, page 20, from the Toronto Public Library website. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- Public Library Bookmobile Service , from the Toronto Public Library website. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
Further reading 
- Myrvold, Barbara (1986). In In Peter F. McNally. Readings in Canadian library history. Ottawa Ontario: Canadian Library Association. pp. 65–89. ISBN 978-0-88802-196-0.
- Penman, Margaret. "; Toronto Public Library" (1983). A Century of Service :" Toronto Public Library, 1883-1983 ". Toronto: Toronto Public Library,". ISBN 0-919486-73-8.
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