Toronto Public Library
|Toronto Public Library|
|Size||11 million (2013)|
|Access and use|
|Circulation||32,032,036 million (2012)|
|Population served||2,615,060 (2012) |
|Phone number||(416) 393-7131|
Toronto Public Library (TPL) is one of the world's busiest urban public library system. Every year, 19 million people visit its 98 branches and borrow more than 32 million items. Seventy-two per cent of Torontonians use the library and one in six visit at least once a week.
The Library focuses on four priority areas:
- Grow a City of Readers
- Develop a City of Learners
- Catalyze and Connect a City of Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Creators
- Deliver Excellent Library Service to Torontonians Efficiently and Effectively
The Toronto Public Library is governed by a Board appointed by Toronto City Council. The Board is composed of eight citizen members, five 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).
- Mike Foderick (Chair)
- Jaye Robinson (Vice-Chair)
- Paul Ainslie
- Lindsay Colley
- Janet Davis
- Sarah Doucette (Mayor’s designate)
- Cameron Mackay
- Kevin McGuire
- Cesar Palacio
- Ross Parry
- Ken Stewart
- Andrea Tagalakis
- Benjie Wulffhart
The Toronto Public Library has 98 branches in all areas of the city. Branches range from stand-alone libraries to branches located within community centres and shopping malls. Some branches, like the Beaches and High Park branches, date from the early 1900s.
Many branches include areas for different age groups, including children, teens, adults and seniors; and different types of uses including quiet study, reading lounges, literacy areas and children’s spaces.
The library’s collection count is approximately 11 million items, including books, e-books, periodicals, audio-visual materials, with 40 languages represented. Due to the growing customer use and demand for library collections, Toronto Public Library strives to serve wide range of audiences and interests. This goal is guided by the need to have diverse, balanced and vastly available materials in variety of formats.
Along with materials for adults, teens, and children, there are numerous special collections. These collections strive to meet the multi-language and social needs of a diverse Toronto.
Notable special collections include:
- The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection
- Baldwin Room
- The Merril Collection of Science Fiction
- The Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books
- The Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection
- Rare Books and Archives
- OverDrive eBooks & eAudiobooks
- Zinio eMagazines
- OneClick Digital eAudiobooks
- Safari Tech & Business Books Online
- TumbleBook Library
Other eBooks and eAudiobooks services are also available.
TPL offers a range of programs delivered in branches across the city, which focus on informational and cultural content, and are targeted to a variety of audiences and interests.
Toronto Public Library technology services include public access computers, free wireless internet access in all branches and express checkout (available at some 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.
Toronto Public Library customers have the option to place a hold on materials, pay their fines, and check their card record online. Customers also have an option to chat online with a librarian to get an answer to any research or library-related questions.
The Library’s first Digital Innovation Hub opened on February 4, 2014 at the Toronto Reference Library. The Digital Innovation Hub provides access to new technologies like 3D printers and scanners, Raspberry Pi computers, Arduino kits, high definition video cameras and audio mixers, and is intended to be a collaborative space where people can connect and learn from each other. Two more hubs are scheduled to open in 2014 at two new branches, Fort York and Scarborough Civic Centre.
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. New branches are scheduled to open on Fort York Boulevard at Bathurst Street and in Scarborough City Centre in 2014. The Municipal Affairs branch closed in September 2011, bringing the number of branches to back to 98.
- List of public libraries in Ontario
- List of Carnegie libraries in Canada
- Children's Books History Society
- "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."
- "2012 Annual Performance Measures". Toronto Public Library. 2013-02-08. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "(Code 3520) Census Profile. 2011 census.". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- "2012 Annual Report Financials". Toronto Public Library. 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
- Downloads & eBooks
- "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.
- Woods, Michael (Sep 15, 2011). "Tears flow as Urban Affairs library closes". The Toronto Star (Toronto). Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- Myrvold, Barbara (1986). In Peter F. McNally, ed. 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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