Toronto Public Library operates the library system in the city of Toronto, which is the largest public library system in Canada.

Toronto Public Library provides free and equitable access to library services to meet the changing needs of the people of Toronto. The Library preserves and promotes universal access to a broad range of human knowledge, experience, information and ideas in a welcoming and supportive environment.

City-wide library services are provided through Toronto Public Library’s network of 100 branches including 81 neighbourhood libraries, 17 district libraries and two research and reference libraries. Online resources, bookmobile and home services further extend public access to the Toronto Public Library’s collections and services.

The Toronto Public Library offers:

  • Borrowing services and reference access to the library’s physical and electronic collection of over 10.2 million items including books, music and videos in a variety of languages, reading levels and formats including print, audio-visual and e-content
  • Public access to computer workstations, internet and other digital resources
  • Virtual library services to support over 36 million website visits. Services include collections, programs and access to user accounts with self-service features including online fines payment and access to reference e-collections
  • Programs that promote literacy, life-long learning and access to culture with an emphasis on literacy for children and youth
  • Rental spaces for meetings, events and exhibits

Read the Toronto Public Library’s 2019 Budget for detailed budget information on its service activities.

Read the Toronto Public Library’s Annual Report and Strategic Plan for highlights of the Library’s recent initiatives.

Governance

The Toronto Public Library Board (TPL Board) supervises the management of the business and affairs of the Toronto Public Library and is responsible for the effective management of library’s resources and the quality of library services.

The TPL Board was established by City Council in 1998 and is continued as a library board under the City of Toronto Act, 2006. The TPL Board is governed by the Public Libraries Act and the City of Toronto Act, 2006, which sets out additional functions for the TPL Board. Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 137, Public Library Board sets out the TPL Board’s composition and additional delegated authorities from City Council.

The TPL Board consists of 10 members appointed by City Council. It comprises eight public members appointed through the City’s Public Appointments process and two City Council members, one of whom is the Mayor or Council member-designate. The Board elects the Chair and Vice-Chair from among its members.

Find out about opportunities to serve on the Toronto Public Library Board and its current membership.

Key Council Decisions

Search for other City Council decisions about the Toronto Public Library.