The Toronto Public Library is the largest urban public library system in the world. With 100 branches, TPL saw over 18 million visits in 2016. How epic is that?! Not only is a it a huge system, but it is also an important role that The Toronto Public Library plays within the city. In addition to all the wonderful books, Toronto Public Library offers free internet, videos, music, classes, exhibits and even access to virtual reality equipment! By providing equal access to these wonderful resources, both traditional and digital, the TPL has a wonderfully positive impact on our community. Plus, they throw epic parties in the library, but more on that soon.
October is Canadian library month and this year they’ve launched a fun social media campaign under the hashtag #ImLibraryPeople. With 70% of the city holding a membership, Toronto really is library people, but it’s not something we often talk about. This year, The Toronto Public Library is working to get people talking about what the library means to them and the impact is has within our community. It is also working to raise funds for those segments of our library community that need help the most. Whether it be newcomer students hoping to succeed in school, teaching new technologies to those seeking jobs, or bringing the library to house-bound seniors, there are endless ways in which awareness and donations can help impact the library (and Toronto) community.
Another cool TPL program that many of you may not know about is their New Collection members program (this is where the library party happens). New Collection offers young professionals (those under 45) access access to fun events, artist talks and networking opportunities. In the past they’ve featured Justin Trudeau and Margaret Atwood! Plus, they throw a yearly fundraiser called Hush Hush to raise money for digital innovation programs and services within the library. I had the chance to attend this year’s event last week and it was literally a #PartyInTheStacks! Hosted in the iconic Bloor/Gladstone Library location, the event was “Canada” themed and featured epic DJs, delicious food (maple taffy, maple ice cream, poutine, domestic oysters), virtual reality games, light installations and basically anything you could ever want in a party. All within the walls of the library. It was up there on the list of coolest parties I’ve been too.
All in all, The Toronto Public Library knows what’s up and I’m seriously grateful for the role they play in the city. This city is made up of library people, so let’s get talking about it! What’s the last thing you read/did at the library? Let me know in the comments!
In the meantime, here are some images from Hush Hush 2017 to inspire you to join in the fun next year. Photography provided by George Pimentel, Clive S. Sewell and Michelle De Marco.