Toronto library cuts 2012

Significant cuts to Toronto libraries expected for 2012

Although it appears that the 2012 budgetary process will spare Toronto Public Libraries from having to close branches altogether, a new report reveals the extent of the cuts required to meet the 10 per cent budgetary reduction requested by Mayor Rob Ford. Although the TPL's head librarian recommends that only $9.7 million in cost saving measures be approved when the newly formed board meets next week, an additional $7.3 million in cutbacks is on the table. In order to shave off the $17 million needed to satisfy the mayor's request, the following cuts have been proposed:

  • A nearly 20,000 reduction in operating hours between Monday and Saturday
  • An 11 per cent reduction to the TPL's collections budget, which would mean the loss of 106,000 new items
  • The elimination of Sunday service at eight branches
  • The elimination of 163 front-line librarians and other staff

There's no question that it could be worse, but sentiments of that nature don't tend to make for great cities. As the budget report notes, usage of TPL branches has steadily increased over the last decade despite cuts to staff of almost 10 per cent. Should all the cuts on the table ultimately go through, the system would lose 9 per cent of its current work force. What do you think? Are these cuts the cold reality of city that needs to get its spending in order or the unnecessary result of a mayor hell-bent on proving that the waste he promised does indeed exist?

Photo by hellembry in the blogTO Flickr pool


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