Toronto Public library 2010 budget cuts target hospital lending services to SickKids families

The relevant December 14, 2009 Board meeting minutes discusses the cutting of in-hospital services (reprinted below) and catalogues other lost cultural and learning opportunities.

Reduce Hospital Services ($0.105 million, 1.4 FTE)

As part of the Home Library Service review conducted in 2000, the Library Board
approved the discontinuation of staffed institutional deposits where opportunities existed for the institutions to play more of a role in the provision of library services. Staff explored all opportunities which resulted in replacing most of the staffed institutional service with deposit collections coordinated by institutional staff and volunteers. Out of 24 institutional service locations that existed at that time, four remain: Bridgepoint Health, the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre and the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.

Service at Bridgepoint Health and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute includes programs and bedside service to residing patients. Both hospitals are long-term care facilities. Adjusting the current service model to one based on deposit collections that are coordinated by hospital staff and volunteers would standardize the Library’s institutional service at these locations and result in estimated savings of $0.065 million in staff costs (1.0 FTE).

In addition, Library collections, services and programs provided in partnership with Toronto District School Board, to children who are patients at the Hospital for Sick Children would no longer be provided by TPL, resulting in additional estimated savings of $0.040 million (0.4 FTE).

There are no changes considered for the Sunnybrook Hospital where the federal
Department of Veteran Affairs covers two-thirds of the costs of library service and
collections for veterans residing at the hospital.

The civic cost of budget cuts is best described in cold clinical bureaucratic bluntness, such as the action item Reduce Branch Programming ($0.120 million)

Reduced recreational, cultural and educational programming across our Research &
Reference and Branch libraries would impact children, teen/youth, newcomers, adult and older adult audiences, and would include fewer author events; arts, culture and
entertainment activities; hobbies and leisure, and life-long learning programs. It would also reduce performance and employment opportunities for local artists, authors, performers and storytellers. Estimated total savings amount to $0.120 million, as follows: ...

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