Many Toronto Public Library branches at risk of closure | Toronto Real Estate Blog

Many Toronto Public Library branches at risk of closure are in wards of Council’s Executive Committee members, analysis shows

TORONTO, July 26, 2011 /CNW/ – If the Executive Committee of Toronto City Council votes to close library branches, how will it be decided which ones to close? That is the question that moved the union that represents city library workers to analyze branch circulation figures in an effort to identify those most at risk.

In last February’s City Council vote to close the downtown Urban Affairs Branch, low circulation (73,121 in 2010) was cited as the main reason for its shutdown. There are currently four additional library branches with even lower circulation, including the Sunnybrook branch that serves war veterans in Ward 25 (Councillor Jaye Robinson). But closing just four small branches will not come close to meeting Mayor Ford‘s goal of a 10 per cent cut in city agency expenditures. Several more would have to be closed to meet that target.

The analysis of the 2010 circulation statistics of Toronto Public Library (TPL) branches (see attached table) shows there are 32 of the remaining 98 TPL branches with circulation under 200,000 items, presumably among the most at risk, depending on their potential real estate values. Fourteen of these branches are in the wards of members of the Executive Committee.

If just the 23 branches under 170,000 circulation were closed, all libraries would be closed in the wards of Executive Committee members Doug Ford (Ward 2), Cesar Palacio (Ward 17), Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7) and Frances Nunziata (Ward 11). If all 32 under 200,000 circulation were closed, the wards of additional Executive Committee members would be affected: Paul Ainslie (Ward 43), Doug Holyday (Ward 3), Peter Milczyn (Ward 5), Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34) and Jaye Robinson (Ward 25).

“We don’t know how the closure decisions will be made but it is not going to be an easy task, politically speaking,” says Maureen O’Reilly, President of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union Local 4948.

“If it is done strictly by circulation, residents in the Executive Committee’s wards will suffer the most because those councillors strongly support the Mayor’s cost cutting agenda and would have no other choice but to vote to close those libraries. If only the lowest 14 branches are closed, Councillor Doug Ford’s residents will have no libraries. This will presumably make Mr. Ford happy based on the comment he made to CFRB last week about there being too many libraries in his ward compared to doughnut shops.

An early July poll by Forum Research showed that 74 per cent of Toronto residents were opposed to closing library branches as a measure to help address the city’s budget deficit.

Toronto Public Library 2010 Circulation Statistics:  Branches Under 200,000

 

  Branch/Service Circulation Councillor Ward
1. Sunnybrook 42,275 Robinson 25
2. Swansea 42,554 Doucette 13
3. Todmorden Room 42,897 Frajedakis 29
4. St. Clair Silverthorn 61,939 Palacio 17
5. Perth Dupont 79,683 Bailão 18
6. Northern Elms 96,328 Ford 2
7. Humber Summit 100,009 Mammoliti 7
8. Evelyn Gregory 100,799 DiGiorgio 12
9. Queen Saulter 107,877 Fletcher 30
10. Victoria Village 116,689 Minnan-Wong 34
11. Oakwood 121,412 Colle 15
12. Humberwood 124,093 Ford 2
13. Taylor 124,126 Crawford 36
14. Rexdale 124,331 Ford 2
15. Davenport 126,843 Mihevc 21
16. Mount Dennis 130,403 Nunziata 11
17. Black Creek 136,098 Mammoliti 7
18. New Toronto 148,408 Grimes 6
19. Long Branch 149,121 Grimes 6
20. Weston 153,907 Nunziata 11
21. Jane Shepherd 154,988 Augimeri 9
22. Guildwood 157,947 Ainslie 43
23. Dufferin St. Clair 168,824 Palacio 17
24. Amesbury Park 171,599 DiGiorgio 12
25. Humber Bay 173,912 Milczyn 5
26. Jones 174,942 Fletcher 30
27. Elmbrook Park 177,051 Holyday 3
28. Alderwood 179,258 Grimes 6
29. Mount Pleasant 180,161 Matlow 22
30. Armour Heights 190,824 Stintz 16
31. Mimico 190,944 Grimes 6
32. Palmerston 199,021 Vaughan 20

 

 

 

For further information:

Maureen O’Reilly, 647-206-7457

 

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