Toronto, July 25, 2007 - At a special meeting today, the Toronto Public Library Board approved the implementation of cost containment measures that will result in operating budget savings of $1.2 million by year-end. These measures are in response to the City of Toronto's request to generate savings to be put toward reducing its 2008 operating budget shortfall.

"Toronto Public Library has been maximizing efficiencies since amalgamation, at the same time as demand and usage of services at our 99 branches has been steadily increasing," said Kathy Gallagher Ross, Chair of the Toronto Public Library Board. "Regrettably, any cuts we make at this point will lead to service reductions."

Details of cost containment measures:
  • Cancellation of September-December 2007 Sunday service at 16 of our 27 Sunday Service branch locations. The remaining 11 branch locations serve priority neighbourhoods as designated by the City and will continue to offer Sunday service in 2007.

  • $330,000 reduction in library materials budget

  • A hiring freeze that will result in service reductions; namely, the delayed re-opening of the Jane/Dundas branch (currently scheduled for September 2007, will be delayed to 2008); discontinuation of alternate services during renovation-related branch closures across the city; and possible intermittent disruption to branch services and programs.

  • Deferral of some library programs

  • Elimination of discretionary spending

"The Board's decisions were focused on cost containment measures and service level reductions that we believe could be achieved within the library's and the City's current fiscal constraints," added Kathy Gallagher Ross. "Equal consideration was given to minimizing long term impacts to library services and to protecting programs and services
in priority neighbourhoods."

Toronto Public Library will conduct public consultations this fall to obtain community feedback on potential future service level reductions in response to the City's fiscal situation.

Toronto Public Library is North America's busiest public library system. Every week more than 329,000 people visit our 99 branches and borrow more than half a million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.