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Toronto, June 26(Canadian-Media): In keeping with the aim to improve Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (TPRS) -- a concrete, 20-year plan that was unanimously approved by City Council in 2015 -- Toronto Public Library (TPL) had decided on June 22 to keep six more of its branches open all through the year, media reports said.
TPRS also known as TO Prosperity and contains 17 recommendations and actions to be carried over a four-year period and focuses on systemic change – in influencing the economic power of the City to stimulate job growth, create a social support system in engaging City of Toronto (including Toronto and adjoining cities) staff and residents on poverty reduction efforts and dedicate funding to poverty reduction actions -- housing stability, access to services and food, transit equity the quality of jobs and incomes.
The six additional TPL branches, which would remain open all year-round from July 2 of this year are: Albert Campbell (Birchmount Road and Danforth Road); Barbara Frum (Lawrence Ave. West and Bathurst Street); Fairview (Don Mills Road and Sheppard Ave. East); Brentwood (Royal York Road and Bloor Street West); S. Walter Stewart (Coxwell Ave and Mortimer Ave.) and York Woods (Jane Street and Finch Ave. West).
The opening of these additional branches is much needed demand of the society. These libraries with latest technology, wifi, computers – unaffordable to certain parts of communities -- would provide opportunities for students to catch up with their school work during summer months, do research, provide parents an opportunity to take small children for their participation to various types of activities launched by the libraries.
“Public libraries play a critical role in our communities by providing people with free access to information, technology and a variety of programs that support lifelong learning and skills development,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
These extra hours of the libraries would also facilitate the researchers, said Toronto Mayor John Tory, to have extra time for research, and allow small business entrepreneurs to spend quality time on their projects.
"We have been steadily increasing Sunday open hours over the past few years, and community reaction and use has been terrific," said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian. "Many people like to come in on Sundays to catch up on work or reading, attend a program with their child, or to take advantage of the welcoming public space. We're looking forward to welcoming more people on Sundays this summer."
Tory added, "We are choosing to invest in people by bringing library access into neighbourhoods which need it most. This program, along with several other measures in the Poverty Reduction Strategy, will make a difference in people's lives, provide opportunity, and make our city a fairer and more inclusive place to live."
“Ontario’s public libraries are essential digital hubs for communities across Ontario. They serve as the greatest equalizer for access to information across our communities... so that people have the opportunity to be connected, learn, and to access the resources they need to succeed in our digital world,” said Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director, Ontario Library Association
Thirty-three TPL branches are open on Sundays during the school year, according to official sources, and 14 are open year-round.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)