Almost half of Toronto’s libraries have temporarily closed
As of this week, 44 of the city’s 96 public library branches – many of which are in densely populated areas – are closed
As of yesterday, nearly half of all Toronto Public Library branches have temporarily closed due to staffing shortages related to COVID-19.
Of the city’s 96 libraries, 44 — or about 46 percent — are now dark. The 52 that remain open are operating at current capacity limits of 50%.
“The decision to close 44 of our branches is a very difficult decision,” says TPL City Librarian Vickery Bowles. “We know the impact these closures will have on the many people who depend on TPL. We have chosen our largest and busiest branches to remain open and will continue to serve our communities during these difficult times while keeping the health and well-being of our customers and staff as our top priority.
From 44 closed are branches in high density areas, like St. Lawrence, St. James Town and the beautiful Fort York branch designed by KPMB, which after opening replaced the Bloor/Gladstone branch (still open) as my favorite location all time. browse, study and borrow documents.
Besides access to books, newspapers, magazines, DVDs and CDs, libraries offer free access to computers. They also provide access to a warm space and restrooms, which is increasingly rare in the city during another round of closures.
The TPL website includes a page telling people how download or print proof of vaccination – all useful for people who may not have access to a smart phone or computer at home. All agencies also have free Wi-Fi.
TPL is the busiest urban public library system in the world. TPL’s website states that more than 46 million annual visits are made to its branches and online portals. A free library card gives you access to the entire system. Even those over the age of 13 who live in Toronto and don’t have a library card can sign up for a digital access card to access eBooks, audiobooks, and videos.
The library system is primarily funded by the City of Toronto. Back when Premier Doug Ford was a city councilor and his brother Rob was mayor, he suggested deep cuts to libraries. After writer Margaret Atwood criticized the cuts in 2011, Ford said, “I don’t even know her. If she walked past me, I would have no idea who she is.
He also suggested that in his neighborhood (Etobicoke North) there were more libraries than Tim Hortons. “In my area in Rexdale and Kipling, there’s a library in an industrial area that’s an industrial place and nobody knows it’s there. But there it is. Why do we need another little library in the middle of nowhere that nobody uses? »
As of yesterday, this Rexdale branch, like 43 others, is temporarily closed.