Advocacy Policy

Approved: April 26, 2021


The Advocacy Policy sets out how Toronto Public Library’s (TPL’s) advocacy efforts will contribute to the delivery of excellent public library services. It clarifies the areas in which TPL will take a leading or supporting role in advocacy, and areas which are out of scope.

An Advocacy Policy will provide a framework to enhance individual, community, and government relationships and partnerships. As a result, TPL will have the capacity and support to advance legislation, policies and funding to provide free and equitable access to Library services which meet the changing needs of Torontonians.

Underlying Principles

TPL’s advocacy efforts are:

Policy Statement

TPL will take a leadership role, strengthen strategic relationships, and advocate for policies, legislation, funding and partnerships that directly affect staff well-being and public library services in Toronto. TPL will also leverage its position to contribute to the advocacy efforts of the broader public library sector and associations for greater impact.

Through its advocacy efforts, TPL, in partnership with the broader public library sector, will have enhanced capacity and support to deliver a range of responsive library services.

A principal focus of TPL’s advocacy is to advance the Library’s strategic priorities and communicate to funders and stakeholders, the value and impact of library staff and library services for Toronto and its diverse residents and communities.

TPL will take a proactive, as well as reactive, role in its advocacy efforts for the Library and its staff to build capacity to deliver and enhance current and future library services by focusing on:


TPL’s Advocacy Policy provides direction and focus for advocacy efforts by the Library Board and staff. The Library will focus its advocacy efforts on issues that are critical and important to public library services. TPL will advocate for issues that are consistent with its mission, vision, values and strategic priorities.

The Library will not take a leading role in broader social, societal or community issues that do not directly impact Library services, or that are not in the jurisdiction of the Library Board. However, as a City agency, TPL may endorse or support the advocacy efforts of the City of Toronto.

TPL will not advance interests that are in conflict with the Procedural By-law, the Board Members Code of Conduct, Library policies or the Employee Code of Ethics.

TPL will not support partisan politics, including a particular party or candidate. The Library will, however, support policy positions or recommendations that advance public library services.


Director of Policy, Planning and Performance Management

The Director of Policy, Planning and Performance Management will be responsible for implementation and monitoring of this Policy. This includes monitoring of legislation and coordination of research and evaluation that contributes to understanding the value and impact of library services.

Director of Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement

The Director of Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement will support the advocacy agenda from a communication, brand and positioning perspective.


Advocacy is a planned, deliberate, sustained and evaluated effort to raise awareness of an issue or issues. It is an ongoing process whereby support and understanding are built incrementally over an extended period, and influence a desired outcome or effect a desired change.