If the Urban Affairs Library at Metro Hall doesn’t remain open once this year’s budget wrangling is over with, it won’t have been for lack of opposition.
At a rally today in front of Metro Hall, about twenty people—most of them connected with the TPL workers’ union, CUPE Local 4948—spoke out against the branch’s possible closure. The Urban Affairs Library could shutter if TPL can’t come up with the money to keep it open subsequent to this year’s final budget deliberations at City Hall, set to begin Wednesday.
Though initially conceived as a reference library for City staff and urban-affairs researchers, the branch’s proximity to new condo developments has made it into a small, functional neighbourhood branch.
Kate Zieman, who works in the CBC’s tape library (in other words, a private library, not affiliated with TPL), was standing at the periphery of today’s rally with some co-workers. The CBC building is just a short walk away from Metro Hall, and so CBC staff have come to rely upon the Urban Affairs Library as a place to lay hands on research, and even leisure-reading, materials.
Zieman said the branch’s closure would be a disappointment. “It [the closure] is personally inconvenient, and it’s professionally inconvenient for librarians at CBC,” she added.
This smallish rally wasn’t the first attempt to save the Urban Affairs Library. TPL’s own board, consisting of eight citizen members and five city councillors, has been at it for months.
Fast Facts: The Toronto Public Library is the busiest urban library system in the world. At the present time TPL consists of 99 branches. It’s also home to one of our favorite OPAC’s that officially launched in 2010. It uses ENDECA technology.
Since we’re talking Toronto, we posted earlier today that The Economist ranked the city number four on its list of most livable cities in the world.