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Toronto Public Library: Open Hours Plan 2018 Review

Northern Light

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On the agenda for the Toronto Public Library mtg tonight, June 18 is a review of the Open Hours Plan.

Might not be 'sexy' sounding to most, but its a bold plan for the expansion of library service hours.

The proposals include:

District/Regional Branches:

Adding service to midnight on weeknights
Expanding Sunday service to 8 hours (from 3.5) (likely 9-5)

Neighbourhood Branches would have variable service levels, but most would add Sunday Service at 5 hours (likely noon-5pm) with 2/3 of all branches in the City gaining Sunday service.

A considerable number would also add additional weekday hours, many moving to 9-8:30 M-F

If approved, the ultimate cost would be in range of 20M per year, or about a 10% increase in the Library's annual budget, but would generate roughly 20% more service hours.

I think it once again shows TPL to be among the very best run City agencies with bold ideas and good value-for-money.

(no I don't work for them) :)

Report Here:

https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca...8/12-open-hours-plan-2018-review-combined.pdf
 
Whoah, midnight?! I fully approve.

As for "good value-for-money", I dare say you can't really assign a monetary valuation to something like a well-resourced, accessible, and well-run public library system. It's priceless.
 
If approved, the ultimate cost would be in range of 20M per year, or about a 10% increase in the Library's annual budget, but would generate roughly 20% more service hours.

I think it once again shows TPL to be among the very best run City agencies with bold ideas and good value-for-money.

Actually, it shows that fixed costs (the buildings, books, IT, maintenance, etc.) are a non-trivial portion of their budget and the Fords made a rather poor business decision to demand operational cutbacks while not touching their fixed costs. Of course, that lousy decision leads to what we have now; an easy sale to widen the hours.

I'm very much in favour of increased library hours.

The Fords business case never did make any fiscal sense; I would have respected them more if they closed poorly used locations and shifted staff to increase hours at remaining locations to achieve the same savings.
 
The Fords business case never did make any fiscal sense; I would have respected them more if they closed poorly used locations and shifted staff to increase hours at remaining locations to achieve the same savings.

Are there any poorly used locations?

Other than the Urban Affairs library at Metro Hall, which the Fords did succeed in closing.
 
Are there any poorly used locations?

Compared to other cities? Absolutely not; and for that we should be glad Ford was not a bright enough man to spin the numbers against the poorest performing locations.

That said, the bottom 5 branches (which did not have closures in 2016/2017) have 10% the number of visitors of the top 5 branches (see Attachment 1, page 18). Some are quite tiny (square footage wise) but a few like Northern Elms are not pulling their weight (is that one in Michaels ward?)

https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca...rmance-measures-and-benchmarking-combined.pdf

Bridlewood must be a mad house: 400,000 visits per year and only 7600 sqft.
 
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My sister law who's a librarian for Toronto said many are used by parents as de factor baby sitting services as well as many mentally ill people. Also a lot of fights in certain locations. Said she had to get out so now works in administration even with a pay cut.
 
So, rather than start a new thread for this.............The Open Hours plan, which was largely deferred by Council last year, will be brought forward to budget committee again this year.

This info is contained in the preliminary operating budget submission for next year, the report for which, is coming to the Sept 23rd Board Mtg and is linked below:


The total strategy is an ask of 18M and change or a roughly 10% budget increase, which would add 20% more open hours.

Phase 1: Would add Sunday service at 26 additional branches, service is extended to 10pm on weekdays at the 2 research/reference branches and 4 of the district libraries, and 24 branches would add other new weekday hours.

Phase 2: Would extend the hours of service on Sundays from 1:30-5, to 12:00pm to 5, add service to 10pm at the 13 remaining district branches, and expand weekday hours at 38 more branches.

Phase 3: Is subject to a new collective agreement and would arrived in 2022 subject to that, and would extend Sunday hours at 27 of the largest branches to 9-5, and extend the late-night service to midnight at those district/main branches.

The ask for this year's budget is $6.445 Million

I'm hoping this will go through, this time.........but we shall see.
 
The 'Open Hours' strategy has returned to the TPL agenda, in a report submitted to next week's meeting.


The new version of the plan is similar to previous incarnations, but is now being proposed to be phased in between 2024-2027.

Considering this plan has been deferred every year since 2018, with a couple of small exceptions, I rather wish they would aim to go a good deal faster.

Lots in there to like; curious, is the Sunday service element which continues to suggest Sunday service at only 67 branches, where the new Mayor ran on Sunday service at every branch.

One would think there would have been some discussion w/the Mayor's office in respect of what will be a budget submission later this fall.

There's another curiosity on Sundays as well. Previously, the plan was Sunday service at most branches to expand to Noon-5pm (from 1:30pm-5pm), but larger branches to get service 9am-5pm, identical to standard Saturday hours.
Now, it appears, the plan is leaning towards Noon-8pm.

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From the above:

1694711054385.png


***

Note, the above is what I love about TPL; 5% increase in budget, 10% increase in service, if only every City division could think this way.

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For the acronym challenged NIA is Neighbourhood Improvement Area, generally aligned with lower income communities.

1694711407742.png
 

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