The Community Librarian Initiative (CLI) started in September 2016 with a community librarian in two Toronto Employment & Social Services (TESS) locations. The program is now in several TESS locations across the city with a goal of promoting access and awareness of the Toronto Public Library’s free programs, services and supports among clients.

Here are just some of the ways the CLI program is benefiting our clients:

  • A client had recently finished writing a book and was looking to have it edited and published. Through CLI she learned about the Asquith Press Book Printing Services available at the library and its affordable cost. The client was excited to learn about other programs available to meet aspiring writers and dedicated spaces for writers to use. The CLI librarian helped her connect with a writers group at the library.
  • A client who loved reading had not used the library in years and connected with a CLI librarian who provided her with a new library card. The client and CLI librarian also looked for online learning opportunities to upgrade her job skills such as Microsoft Office and marketing training. The client had a week-old newborn and planned to attend library programs with her child – she was even able to register her newborn for a library card.
  • Two sisters were looking for help to create a website and were excited to learn they could access web design courses online, available for free through the library. The sisters both had library cards but until then had been unaware of the online resources available to them.
  • A client designed a metal pendant for his necklace and wanted to replicate it in a different material. He was interested in learning about 3D design, using a 3D printer and accessing the graphic design software available at the library’s Digital Innovation Hubs. The CLI librarian helped him get started by registering for a library card and enrolling online for 3D printing and design classes.