Self-Service Initiative at Todmorden Room and Swansea Branches to Extend Open Hours, Increase Access

November 26, 2018 | Media Relations

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Toronto Public Library will begin a one-year initiative at Todmorden Room and Swansea branches that introduces self-service open hours outside of staffed library hours, increasing access to library collections and spaces to surrounding communities. Self-service options will include:

  • Holds pick-up
  • Library material borrowing & returns
  • Access to computers and wifi

The self-service open hours will start at Todmorden Room on November 27, 2018 and Swansea branch in January 2019.

Todmorden-room-library-exterior Swansea-memorial-library-exterior

(L:  Todmorden Room, R: Swansea branch)

Why is this initiative only offered at Swansea and Todmorden Room branches?

Swansea and Todmorden Room branches have been selected because they are Toronto Public Library’s two smallest locations, currently open the fewest hours per week. Both branches are located within community centres and are uniquely positioned for this initiative. The self-service open hours will increase access to library collections and spaces to surrounding communities.

Will staffing levels be impacted?

This initiative provides customers with access to these two branches beyond the currently staffed hours of operation.  It will not impact staffing levels or result in a reduction of staffed hours at these two locations, but will increase access to library collections and spaces to the public.

Will this initiative expand to other library branches?

No, the self-service open hours are not expected to expand to other library branches.

Can anyone visit the branches during the self-service open hours?

Library customers 18 years or older who have pre-registered for the service may access Todmorden Room and Swansea branch using their library card and a PIN. Customers must pre-register in person at one of the following branches: SwanseaTodmorden RoomS. Walter Stewart, or Runnymede.

What are the self-service open hours?

Swansea:
Monday & Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Todmorden Room
Monday & Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday & Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday 10:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

What safety considerations have been taken into account?

There are a number of safety features in place. Registered customers swipe their cards and enter a PIN number for access to the space. During self-service open hours, the branches will be monitored through the use of live-streamed video cameras and by mobile security visits. Customers will also have access to staff using a dedicated phone line which will connect them directly to library staff should assistance be required. The self-service open hours will only be offered within the existing regular hours of operation of library branches.

Why is Toronto Public Library doing this?

The self-service open hours initiative is a small part of an ambitious open hours plan that will see significant additional staffed open hours at library branches across the city by 2022, pending budget approvals. Community consultation regularly shows that the public wants more open library hours for many reasons including internet and wifi access, early childhood literacy programming, programs for seniors and youth, and space to work and study.

Since 2006, Toronto Public Library has increased open hours (Monday to Saturday) at 30 branches, opened two new branches (Fort York and Scarborough Civic Centre) and added Sunday open hours at 34 branches.  

How will the self-service open hours initiative be evaluated?

Staff will survey customers and community partners and will also track and review metrics such as visits, circulation, registration and issues/incidents. Staff and customer feedback will also be gathered and incorporated into the evaluation process. Metrics and feedback will determine whether the initiative will continue at these two locations.

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