TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - City Manager Joe Pennachetti has endorsed
a new consulting report that calls for the closure of 15 neighbourhood
library branches and massive cuts to open hours across the Toronto
Public Library system, despite the clear will of City Council and the
Toronto Public Library Board, which has already rejected these options.
Consultants DPRA and LeisurePlan International Inc. tabled 15
recommendations today in a Service Efficiency Study for the Toronto
Public Library. Their recommendations include:
Shutting libraries by more than 35,000 hours annually, almost double the
cut originally proposed by the Library administration and recently
rejected by the Library Board
Closing 15 neighbourhood branches
Eliminating many popular and educational library programs
Increasing fees and fines
A memo from Pennachetti obtained by the Toronto Public Library Workers
Union urges the Chief Librarian to consider the consultant's proposals
to axe hours and close branches, not this year perhaps, but in the
"The city's top bureaucrat is out of touch with the residents he is
supposed to serve," said Maureen O'Reilly, president of the union.
"Missing in all of these reports and recommendations is the public who
love their library and are quite prepared to pay for it."
The Toronto Public Library system, the world's busiest, costs each city
resident only 19 cents a day to operate.
"Mayor Ford's plan to cut 10 per cent of the TPL's budget would save
each resident only 2 cent a day and would contribute less than one per
cent to the city's deficit reduction efforts. The consequences of
these cuts, however, would be devastating to library users, now and in
the future" O'Reilly said.
"Where is the respect for Toronto's taxpayers, who have made it crystal
clear, through numerous polls, deputations, public consultations and
tens of thousands of petitions and emails to the Mayor, that they
value their library and are more than willing to pay to preserve and
even expand it?"
"The contempt for public opinion by the Ford administration is shocking
and the attack on our city's most important and democratic cultural and
educational institution is an historic tragedy."
SOURCE Toronto Public Library Workers Union
For further information:
Maureen O'Reilly 647-206-7457 or Jim Thompson 613-447-9592