How people live, work, learn and play is changing, and it's important for the library to change with them so that we can continue to provide relevant library service and have positive impacts on the lives of Torontonians.

Our plan is an ambitious one, responsive to the results of extensive public consultation, and grounded in achievable results. With the plan as our guide, Toronto Public Library is undertaking transformational change, and innovating to deliver better service.

Vickery Bowles, City Librarian
Sue Graham-Nutter, TPL Board Chair

The 2016-2019 Plan

Toronto Public Library serves residents and communities in ways no other institution can. We empower Torontonians to thrive in the digital age and global knowledge economy through expanded access to technology, lifelong learning and diverse cultural and leisure experiences, online, in our branches and in the community. We have the capacity and resources to deliver high quality, customer-focused services where, when and how our customers need them. We continue to be nimble and innovative in the way we deliver services and programs, embracing emerging technology and creating spaces that encourage and support engagement within and between communities.

The Plan's Strategic Priorities

  1. Advancing our digital platforms

    We will be a model of excellence in digital service delivery in the public sector. We will deliver digital platforms that offer a full range of services to Toronto communities and residents, and create exception-al customer experiences at every point of need.

      Some of what you'll see:

    • Updated privacy policies that will allow TPL to deliver personalized services based on customer use and preferences
    • Streamlined and simplified online membership, registration and card renewal
  2. Breaking down barriers to access and driving inclusion

    We will break down barriers to access so that Torontonians from all walks of life have easy, local access to the library services they want and need.

      Some of what you'll see:

    • Reduced fees and fines across the city with a targeted program in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas
    • Open hours in more branches tailored to customer needs, including increased Sunday open hours
  3. Expanding access to technology and training

    We will provide access to current and emerging technology, training and expertise to promote digital lit-eracy and inclusion.

      Some of what you'll see:

    • Community access to wifi and technology offered through a new Bookmobile
    • An expanded wifi hotspot lending program
  4. Establishing TPL as toronto's centre for lifelong and self-directed learning

    We will be the institution of choice for continuous, lifelong and self-directed learning, where all Toronto-nians can extend and enhance their education and access to information, both online and in neighbour-hoods across the city.

      Some of what you'll see:

    • Telepresence technology which enables interactive distance learning and collaboration
    • A new eLearning tool for homework help
  5. Creating community connections through cultural experiences

    We will provide access to a range of local and city-wide cultural experiences that engage residents and help them feel connected to their community

      Some of what you'll see:

    • World-class programming accessible through live streaming, and original online content to complement live programming (e.g. podcasting)
    • A new Chinese Community Archive with user and community-generated content
  6. Transforming for 21st century service excellence

    We will transform the library's capacity and culture to deliver exceptional customer experiences how, when and where our customers want and need them. Torontonians will benefit from a vibrant, revitalized, digitally-enabled and efficiently managed service.

      Some of what you'll see:

    • A business intelligence strategy to expand the library's understanding of customer needs and behaviours to improve delivery and relevancy of service
    • Increased revenue with the introduction of new venue rental opportunities at Toronto Refer-ence Library and other branches

Measuring Our Outcomes and Impacts

Toronto Public Library is committed to highly transparent processes that encourage public participation and clearly communicate the results of Torontonians' investment in their library service. To that end, we have developed an accountability and reporting framework for our strategic plan which:

  1. Tracks the work we do annually to achieve our strategic priority outcomes
  2. Measures our success and provides regular updates on our progress in achieving key service out-comes over the life of the strategic plan

Measuring Our Success

Key Performance Indicators & Benchmarks

In 2016, TPL had its busiest year of the last ten years. The results reflect the Library's strategic focus on digital and technology-based services, as well as literary and information-based programs for all ages.

2016 at a glance:

Significant trends include:

  • Electronic circulation increased 14.3%
  • Physical circulation decreased 4.4%
  • Sunday visits increased 10.9%
  • Virtual visits increased 4.8% and surpassed 34 million
  • Programs offered increased 10.0% and program attendance increased 4.0%
  • Wireless sessions increased 23.4%.

TPL ranked first in North America in circulation, visits, and electronic visits per capita among libraries serving populations of two million or more in 2015, the latest year available for comparative data.

Other highlights:

  • We had more than 18 million visits to our 100 branches
  • Circulation of digital content surpassed 5 million
  • There were over 34 million visits to
  • There were 4 million wireless sessions in library branches
  • More than 962,000 participants attended over 40,000 library programs

More details

Economic Impact Study (2013)

So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto (PDF)

Results from the Martin Prosperity Institute clearly demonstrate that Toronto Public Library delivers a strong return on investment through the delivery of library services.

Public Surveys

Annual Reports

PDF and online documentation of programs, services and operations TPL has undertaken over past years.