Toronto Public Library responds to family concerns over SickKids Reading Room budget cuts

Further to the January 27 post on library cuts to SickKids Reading Room, Matthew Church responded to parent concerns in a letter cced to SickKids Childrens's Council:
"while we will be reducing our financial committment, we will continue to support library service at the hospital. We are currently examining several options to do this, including training support for hospital volunteers (for which HSC is so well regarded), regularly scheduled library programs at the hospital provided by library staff, the provision of a deposit collection and continued financial support for the Reading Room collection."
The full Toronto Public Library response identifies Anne Bailey, Director, Branch Librarys, as the contact for further information (abailey AT McDonald responded:

Dear Mr. Church,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply to my concerns about the cuts to service at the Sick Kids reading room. I'm glad to hear that the library is committed to continuing to support the program with training for volunteers, a deposit collection and regularly scheduled programs by TPL staff. While I agree that Sick Kids has a very strong volunteer program, I don't believe that volunteers can ever replace the services of on-site, trained staff who have the expertise, experience and perspective to adjust programming to meet the changing needs of a very challenging population.  In addition, the proposed changes do not address my concern that the TDSB does not have a mandate to serve pre-school children in the way that TPL does.
Those very young children represent a very significant proportion of patients at Sick Kids. However, I do appreciate that you are faced with difficult financial constraints.


Valerie McDonald 

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