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Save Our Libraries!

Irishmonk

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Everyone!

City Council’s Executive Committee meets on Thursday July 28th to begin making decisions about the future of the Toronto Public Library. The committee starts at 9:30 am in Committee Room #1 at City Hall.

Show up and speak up! Tell the Fords that we value libraries more than Tim Horton's!
And if you have any Margaret Atwood books lying around bring them too. Show these dimwits that, yes, she is a published writer who also pays taxes.
 

sixrings

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Speaking from someone whose 1 year from completing a masters from UofT and married to a wife who has a MBA, and someone who is NOT a ROB FORD supporter.. This is one service I dont mind getting cut. Obviously we need a central library but libraries really belong in educational facilities. If this was the 50's I wouldnt be writing this. But it appears that the future of books is not different then the future of DVDs and CDs. Everything eventually will be going digital and companies like HMV,Blockbuster, and Chapters will all be going under. Why should the public institution be any different. Pick up a KOBE/KINDLE and embrace the digital revolution, because even if you dont its coming anyway. BTW I really need to buy a Kindle/KOBO...
 

PinkLucy

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Woah, dude, you really need to get into a library. They are so much more than books. Libraries offer a variety of services, workshops, and events. They also provide digital versions of things for free ... for those who can't afford them. I've owned an eReader for years and still make regular use of the library.
 

sixrings

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I will admit I have rarely used a library outside of a school. And truthfully I have heard of services that the library provides. They did build a library at Jane and SHeppard recently and truthfully I thought to myself who up here is going to visit this place. However it does seem to buzz with activity. That being said couldnt these services be located somewhere else... I really should go check it out, but again, just like my dvd collection is going the way of the dodo bird so will books. As a result something exceptional would have to be happening at the library to justify in my mind keeping them. BTW that library at Jane and SHeppard is pretty dang nice... Like a mini version of our opera house.
 

GraphicMatt

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Toronto's library system costs the average taxpayer about $100 per year, and provides a ton of benefit to this city. It's recognized as the busiest library system in the world, and continues to get busier every year. This is not where I would go to look for savings.
 

grey

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FW: Mayor Ford wants to hear from you


When City Council’s Executive committee meets on Thursday to start making decisions about the future of the Toronto Public Library, I intend to be there to defend our public library.

The committee starts at 9:30 am on Thursday, July 28 in Committee Room #1 at City Hall.
I hope you will join me!
The committee’s first item of business is a consultant’s report that has recommended library branch closures, reduced hours and cuts to children’s programs, among other things.
Anyone can get on a speakers list to make a five minute statement about why the Toronto Public Library is important. All you have to do is send an email to exc@toronto.ca to request an opportunity to speak. More information is available here.
The Executive Committee is one of the most important on Council. It is chaired by the Mayor himself and is dominated by his supporters, those who will be inclined to make cuts to our public library. So it’s crucial that they know just how important the Toronto Public Library is to us.
There is another way you can intervene if you are unable to attend the Executive Committee on Thursday.
Mayor Rob Ford has made it clear that he wants to hear from all Torontonians. In fact, during a TV interview last week he said:

“I still return every call that comes in. Anyone who wants to call me, they can call 416-397-3673.â€

So, I encourage you to call Mayor Ford’s office before Thursday’s Executive Committee. Leave a respectful message about the importance of the Toronto Public Library and ask the Mayor to call you back. Again, his office telephone number is: 416-397-3673.

Yours sincerely,

Maureen O’Reilly
OurPublicLibrary.to
 
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sixrings

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I am not saying this is where I want to START cutting, however I am pointing out that the writing is on the wall for buildings that house books. The last thing I want touched is the TTC. So Im willing to listen to anything else. But when I heard the library and its pretty evident that were moving to digital, not knowing that it only saves a $100 per year from the average tax payer, I was willing to at least have the discussion. However if there are 3 million people and you multiply that by $100 you come up with 300million dollars. I am pretty sure that is the price it takes to dig and build 1km of subway. If you asked me would I rather have libraries for the next 20yrs or 25-20KM of subway, I would take the subway. The only way the subway becomes obsolete is if someone builds a teleportation machine.
 

Irishmonk

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Not everyone has access to, or comfort with, digital technology. The reason we have public government services is to provide universal access to essential services. Libraries are an essential component of our education system, as well as a necessary means to maintain an informed citizenry. They are also meeting places and act as social hubs for neighbourhoods, and, yes, are fun, lively places to be. They are in, in effect, our public realm (especially in winter) and must be maintained if we have any claim to be enlightened social creatures. Since the great library of Alexandria, libraries have been the heart and soul of communities and a window into ancient worlds. Books last for millenia. Memory cards, not really.
 

Irishmonk

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I am not saying this is where I want to START cutting, however I am pointing out that the writing is on the wall for buildings that house books. The last thing I want touched is the TTC. So Im willing to listen to anything else. But when I heard the library and its pretty evident that were moving to digital, not knowing that it only saves a $100 per year from the average tax payer, I was willing to at least have the discussion. However if there are 3 million people and you multiply that by $100 you come up with 300million dollars. I am pretty sure that is the price it takes to dig and build 1km of subway. If you asked me would I rather have libraries for the next 20yrs or 25-20KM of subway, I would take the subway. The only way the subway becomes obsolete is if someone builds a teleportation machine.

This is a false choice. There's no reason we can't afford both. As long as there are people buying 28 million dollar palaces in the sky, or paying $300 a ticket to see crappy hockey, there is money to maintain a local library that caters to all elements of society, rich or poor, digital or analog.
 

sixrings

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Not everyone has access to, or comfort with, digital technology. The reason we have public government services is to provide universal access to essential services.

What doyu think is the percentage of people these days that dont have DVDs or Cellphones? Even though I work in Jane and Finch I would find it very difficult to find any family without these two products. Cell phones for whatever reason have become necessities (even though I would argue they are not). The reason I mention cell phones is because at one time it was considered a very luxurious product. However today it seems like almost everyone has them. Same with DVDs. Maybe some people are bootlegging them but either way they still have them. Similarly when Ebooks become as widespread (10years) everyone will have one and will be able to get legal or illegal access to the books for them. Inevitably, eventually ebooks will become standard and the argument that "poor people" will sufferwithout libraries will be absurd.
 
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PinkLucy

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Community centres are already busy. Adding more services, at least to the one where I live, wouldn't be efficient at all. Check out the TPL's website, see what goes on there.
 

sixrings

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This could be true but I dont agree with irishmonk who believes that because we have multimillion dollar condos downtown then obviously we can have the every service plus an expanding TTC. We are running a deficit. That is undeniable, and we have to stop looking to the province and the federal governmewnt to bail us out. The only time that would be acceptable to me or more importantly realistic is if we hosted the 2020 summer gAMES. I dont agree with most of what rob ford does but I would be willing to shuffle around money so that the TTC gets a bigger share, even if that means making some tough decisions on what needs to be cut.
 

PCC

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They could easily close a quarter of the libraries and Toronto would be none the worse for the wear. Unless you work in one, you would just go to the next closest library... and you'd likely do the same if you worked in one. City can't afford everything that everyone wants all the time and at the level of service and availability desired by those supporting them, so priorities come first and things like maintaining infrastructure and transit trump the less essential. In the grand scheme of things, libraries are low priority... and if you need one for educational purposes, every Scarborough Board school I went to had one (yes, going back a few years now). Computer access isn't a right, and how many using computers in libraries are actually conducting essential research towards their education vs pissing around on the internet? Prehaps registered students can use them, all else pay a fee?

I know a chap working for the TPL. When he was hired (full time) for his maintenance position, the manager told him he didn't have much work for him but the Union or City (I can't recall, was about 6 years ago now) rules stated he must have six people in that department when four would do. So, he had to hire staff he didn't need.
 

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