Annual Report 2020

Masked griffins at Lillian H. Smith branch welcome customers Masked griffins at Lillian H. Smith branch welcome customers

2020 was a unique year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted library services. TPL was able to successfully and safely deliver in-branch and online services, navigating through the various stages of disruption caused by the pandemic while shifting operations, redeploying staff, developing new digital offerings, reinstating and modifying services while delivering an excellent and safe customer experience.

TPL pivoted its services and helped Torontonians and staff build success, resilience and well-being, in the context of the pandemic. This included introducing Digital Access Cards, increasing access to online resources and content, using our spaces as food bank distribution centres, creating online programming and virtual learning and distributing internet connectivity kits.

2020 was also the first year of our new multi-year strategic plan. We heard that our city and its residents need better access to inclusive, welcoming spaces, improved digital literacy, support for workforce development, platforms for civic discussion and engagement, and consistently excellent customer experiences. In response, we have developed five strategic priorities and three supporting enablers that will shape and guide our work over the next five years.

Priorities in our new strategic plan: 1 .Opening up our public spaces 2. Broadening Toronto’s digital access and inclusion 3. Building pathways for workforce development 4. Providing the vital ingredients for a democratic society 5. Investing in staff and an innovative service culture

Significant trends in 2020 included:

More information: COVID-19 Impact Report – 2020 Year In Review (PDF)

Key 2020 Achievements

As described in the 2020-2024 strategic plan, we have outlined new strategic priorities where we will focus and invest over the next five years. There are five priorities: public space, digital inclusion and literacy, workforce development, a democratic society and public service excellence.

2020 was an unprecedented year for everybody as the COVID-19 pandemic took over. It was a transformational time for TPL, and the way we delivered services, as a result.

Below are some key achievements from 2020:

Opening Up Our Public Space

Staff packing food hampers at Albion Branch

Broadening Toronto's digital access and inclusion

Our Bookmobile at High Park

Building Pathways for Workforce Development

Our Career Coaches in Residence, L to R: Cindy Fruitman, Jennifer Gaudette, Ken Lee and Tharsheka Natkunam

Providing the Vital Ingredients for a Democratic Society

One Page Literary Series brought library systems together to collaborate and offer new ways to engage with writers and books at this critical time.

Investing in staff and an innovative service culture

Staff helping customer at Cedarbrae branch

More information: