Mayoral candidate to increase community access to vital public space and programming
April 19, 2023 – Mayoral candidate Josh Matlow announced today that, as Mayor, he will increase access to the Toronto Public Library and its vital services by opening all 100 branches on Sundays. Open Libraries will be funded by $1.5 million from Matlow’s $115-million Community Health and Safety Fund announced recently. (1)
“You might think of the library as a place to access millions of books, but it’s so much more than that. Whether people come looking for public space, access to technology, job skills or information, our libraries are safe, caring and dignified spaces that offer vital services to people of all ages,” said Matlow. “The library is our city’s living room, and everyone is welcome.”
Over a million Torontonians have a library card and 69 per cent, or seven in 10, Toronto residents use the library system, which offers over 9,000 in-person programs and over 2,000 online programs each year. (2) Libraries also play a critical role in bridging the digital divide, with over half (56 per cent) visiting to use technology, including 68 per cent of older visitors and 63 per cent identifying as low-income.
The Toronto Public Library also offers seniors spaces to develop connections, children and youth opportunities to learn skills and socialize and vulnerable people places of refuge. It serves families of all ages with a wide range of opportunities and information.
“Torontonians are library people, and so am I,” said Matlow. “The fact that we have these incredible community spaces sitting locked on the only day of the week many families have time to access it has to change. We need to invest in and support libraries so they can provide vital services to the people who live here – even on Sundays.”
Currently, only 19 branches are open on Sundays during the summer, and only 58 are open during the school year. Matlow will ensure all libraries are open on Sundays all year round.
To learn more about Josh Matlow’s mayoral campaign to make Toronto a city that works, the safe, affordable, livable city that we all know it can be, please visit VoteMatlow.ca.
1 It costs $174/hr to keep a library open. To open 42 libraries on the 44 Sundays during the school year (1,838 total Sundays) for 3.5 hours (6,468 total hours) would cost $1,125,432. To open 81 libraries on the eight Sundays during the summer (648 Sundays) for 3.5 hours (2,268 hours) would cost $395,632.