Community Librarians

Providing Library services in non-traditional spaces

Two TPL staff smiling in front of a table with books, flanked by two TPL 
    branded banners.

A TPL Community Librarian (CL) provides Library service outside the library – they bring the library to you! In addition to the basic services of making library cards, helping with program registration, and helping navigate to TPL’s digital resources, CLs can tailor their services to the community itself. Currently, TPL has CLs embedded in Seniors Housing Unit communities and in Toronto Community Housing.


Through deep outreach into communities, TPL’s Community Librarians provide vital connections to those who are most vulnerable and isolated in Toronto. Community Librarians develop relationships of trust and provide much needed support at the point of need. Current Community Librarian placements support Toronto’s Senior Strategy 2.0 (PDF) and the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy (PDF).


The Toronto Community Housing (TCH) Community Librarian is generously supported by an Anonymous Donor.

Seniors’ Digital Literacy (SDL) Community Librarians are generously supported by an Anonymous Lead Donor, Richard and Joan Boxer, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, and other donors.

The Newcomers (NC) Community Librarian is generously supported by Linda Dagg and Kenneth Wiener.


Impacts and outcomes of Community Librarian placements vary as much as their placements themselves.

TCH Community Librarians address the immediate needs of vulnerable families and identify pathways to success for recovering after the pandemic. They ensure that tenant’s long-term goals around physical and mental health, employment, housing, and overall well-being are supported through skills training, digital literacy, increased access and availability of Library resources.

They improve digital literacy and access for residents by meeting them at their TCH residence and providing remote Book a Librarian service to those communities. Finally, CLs increase promotion of Library membership and engagement with those most vulnerable in our city, many of them new to the Library and its resources.

SDL Community Librarians fulfil recommendation 4 from the Seniors Strategy: “TPL will support social connectedness by expanding digital literacy programs for seniors in libraries… In addition, TPL will work with Toronto Community Housing to bring library programs for seniors into Toronto Community Housing seniors-designated buildings.”

SDL CLs offer digital literacy education and support through group programming, one-on-one appointments and more.

Newcomers Community Librarians provide direct customer support to newcomers at their point of need, extending the reach of the library into the community and focusing on developing strong relationships with community agencies and residents who may otherwise not use or be aware of library spaces or access services. This helps newcomers integrate in their new home.

Placing a Community Librarian within newcomer agencies aims to provide a wide range of supports, including card registrations, information services, relevant program and service delivery and the development of digital literacy skills. The Community Librarian will supplement existing services provided by the newcomer agencies and aim to fill relevant service gaps.


For Media Requests, please send details about your request including deadline to