Everyone has their own personal reasons for giving to Toronto Public Library. Many give because they have loved the library since childhood. Or they appreciate that the library is a vital resource for so many in our city. If you need a reason to give, read our list of 100.
All of the reasons in blue have been, or are, fully or partially funded by donors.
Share your own reason for giving at the bottom of this page.
Reason 1. Municipal taxes can’t do the whole job. Although many of us think that the library is fully supported by municipal taxes – it isn’t. Donors create life-changing programs, services, spaces and collections that wouldn’t be possible with government funding alone.
Reason 2. No matter what time of day or night, kids can Dial-a-Story to hear stories in 16 different languages. There are 600 recorded stories!
Reason 3. Sophie’s Studio Workshops for kids encourage and provide guidance in creative writing. Kids can even learn how to write a script.
Reason 4. The library is a great investment. For every $1.00 spent, the value returned is $5.63. And TPL contributes $1 billion every year to Toronto’s economy.
Reason 5. If your idea of light summer reading is Canterbury Tales, the Great Books Lecture Series is for you.
Reason 6. There were over 18 MILLION visits to library branches last year. That’s more than the Air Canada Centre, CN Tower, AGO and the ROM combined.
Reason 7. TPL runs 30,000 programs every year. That’s 30,000!
Reason 8. 2 Bookmobiles make 30 stops across the city, so that no matter where you live, the library is there.
Reason 9. Only 1 in 4 children entering school are prepared to read. The library’s Ready for Reading program has a wide variety of programs, spaces, and reading materials specifically designed to instill the joy of reading.
Reason 10. Toronto Public Library opened its 100th branch in 2015. This expansion was needed because Toronto Public Library is busier than ever serving growing communities across our city.
Reason 11. Kids, parents and caregivers rave about Storytimes in the library branches. Thousands of little ones are entranced every week by the power of stories.
Reason 12. The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection is one of the foremost ACD collections in the world. Elementary my dear Watson.
Reason 13. January is Family Literacy Month at TPL. Kids and families can escape the January “blahs” with lots of fun activities that celebrate reading.
Reason 14. Business Inc. is an eight-week course that teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners the skills needed to succeed. Small business. Think big.
Reason 15. Not sure if bongos are you thing? Borrow a musical instrument at the Parkdale branch to release your inner rock star.
Reason 16. The Toronto Star Reading Room has daily global newspapers. It’s a great way for newcomers to feel connected.
Reason 17. Students in grades 1 – 6 who struggle with reading can turn to the library’s Leading to Reading for after-school help. This program relies heavily on volunteers – who also find the experience extremely rewarding.
Reason 18. Book Bash Canadian Children’s Literature Festival is a fun-filled children’s festival with loads of activities with Canadian children’s authors, illustrators and entertainers.
Reason 19. You can borrow over 11 million items – but not all at once.
Reason 20. Young Voices is one of the largest programs in the country for teen literary and artistic expression.
Reason 21. The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon is where you can see world-class writers and thinkers like Margaret Atwood, Justin Trudeau, Kazuo Ishiguro.
Reason 22. Adults struggling with literacy can get free, one-on-one tutoring in basic reading, writing and math.
Reason 23. Librarians lead story-time reading sessions at community centres and homeless shelters.
Reason 24. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Collection at the Yorkville branch includes books, magazines and DVDs.
Reason 25. Newcomers can prep for the Canadian Citizenship Test through My Canada. My Canada is the library’s online data base of lessons and practice tests on Canadian history, geography, government & culture. Welcome to Canada, eh?
Reason 26. Digital Innovation Hubs provide free access to 3D design, green-screen video production, Arduinos and lots more to Make. Play. Learn. Create.
Reason 27. The 18 computer learning centres offer free instruction on everything from email to 3D design.
Reason 28. The library now loans wifi hotspots that enable people living in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas to get free access to the internet at home.
Reason 29. Teens in the library’s Youth Advisory Groups earn community service time and help develop youth-focused programs and reading lists.
Reason 30. The Osborne Collection of Early Childhood Literature has 80,000 rare and modern children’s books. And we really mean rare – like a cuneiform tablet from 2,000 B.C. and manuscript of Aesop’s Fables from the 14th century.
Reason 31. The Innovator in Residence program offers a fun and hands-on way to learn about the technology offered at the library’s Digital Innovation Hubs. Industry experts present lectures and workshops, and are available for one-on-one appointments.
Reason 32. Library users get on average $500 worth of services every year. The more you use, the more your card is worth.
Reason 33. Four library branches have piano practice rooms where anyone with a library card can book time to tickle the ivories.
Reason 34. 92% of Torontonians agree or strongly agree that public libraries are an important resource for the community.
Reason 35. 2,000,000 Torontonians use the library – that’s 70% of us!
Reason 36. TPL has over 300,000 books for people with print disabilities.
Reason 37. Toronto Public Library is the largest urban public library in the world. That’s right, bigger than New York, Chicago or Los Angeles public libraries.
Reason 38. Movie and theatre set designers use the library’s collection of 4,500 theatre, dance and opera stage designs. Bravo!
Reason 39. Puppet shows and puppets to play with make the library fun for the little ones.
Reason 40. The library’s annual circulation is 32,000,000. That means that almost 90,000 items are borrowed every day!
Reason 41. Regardless of your level of digital experience, and whether you’re 8 or 80, the library has free computer classes to meet your needs.
Reason 42. The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy has over 72,000 items. If you’re interested in Area 51 or Atlantean legends, the truth is out there – at the Lillian H. Smith branch.
Reason 43. Kids get their check-up and parents learn about the importance of reading to their youngsters through a partnership between TPL and St. Michael’s Hospital.
Reason 44. The TD Gallery at the Toronto Reference Library has ongoing exhibits drawn from the library’s own Special Collections.
Reason 45. People who are house-bound can receive free home delivery of books, movies and music from the friendly Home Library
Services staff. Nearly 3,000 people rely on this valuable service.
Reason 46. Want to learn about great-uncle Ted? The library has online historical reference materials like city directories from the 1800’s. For expert help, you can even book a librarian.
Reason 47. If you don’t know your tortes from your acquittals, attend a Law at the Library lecture.
Reason 48. New digital technology is brought to high needs neighbourhoods through Digital Innovation Outreach. The program focuses on building employable skills.
Reason 49. The Toronto Star Photo Archive of 1,000,000 photos provides a visual history of the key events in our city’s and country’s past.
Reason 50. The Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre houses one of the world’s authoritative collections of Canadiana.
Reason 51. The library celebrates the diversity of Toronto by hosting Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month and Aboriginal History Month events at branches across the city.
Reason 52. “I love the library because it provides my family and community with a space to grow and learn as members of society providing free resources and friendly faces anytime you need them.” Beth W.
Reason 53. Youth Hubs provide students in grades 7-10 with free, tutored after school homework help in math, science, English and French.
Reason 54. Free accreditation materials help newcomers prepare for professional exams and resume their careers.
Reason 55. Historians and the Toronto Heritage Preservation Services rely on the library’s online photos of Toronto city scenes and buildings.
Reason 56. Where can kids climb through the alphabet or read on an elephant? At KidsStop Interactive Early Literacy Centres. These spaces encourage preschoolers to explore reading through fun and play.
Reason 57. “The Library has established itself as the place for public discourse, civic engagement, discussion and debate.” Vickery Bowles, City Librarian.
Reason 58. You can meet the Canadian writers everyone is reading at The eh List Author Series.
Reason 59. With a Toronto Library card, you can borrow materials from just about any library in the world – delivered to your local branch.
Reason 60. You can access online courses like Lynda.com for free with a library card.
Reason 61. How many steps do you take per day? Toronto Public Library in partnership with Toronto Public Health, has pedometers available to borrow with your library card.
Reason 62. A visit to the Native Peoples’ Collection will give you a deeper appreciation of Canada.
Reason 63. With books, magazines, DVDs, newspapers and e-collections in 40 different languages, newcomers can stay connected and feel welcome at the library.
Reason 64. Produce your own sci-fi movie using the green screen at the Digital Innovation Hub at Toronto Reference Library.
Reason 65. MAP Family Saturdays brings some of Toronto’s top museums and attractions – like the Toronto Zoo and ROM – to branches across the city. Kids learn and explore through crafts, games, artifacts and fun activities.
Reason 66. Opera Atelier, Cargo Cosmetics and Balzac’s Coffee Roasters were birthed at the library. The founders of these enterprises used the resources and spaces of the library to develop their visions.
Reason 67. TPL Teens: Summer Edition is an online teen summer reading program that is completely free and totally fun.
Reason 68. The library is accessible to everyone. Large print books, audiobooks, talking books, descriptive videos, closed captioned videos and a variety of e-materials cater to the needs of people with visual impairments, physical disabilities and learning disabilities.
Reason 69. The library’s extensive e-collection of books, music, movies and magazines is available for free from the comfort of your own home.
Reason 70. Toronto Public Library has programs, services and materials to help people transition through important life stages such as starting school, finding a job, changing careers and entering retirement.
Reason 71. The library’s large and trusted consumer and mental health collection enables people to take control of their health.
Reason 72. Learn about the latest in health and technology at the annual Cutting Edge lecture or one of the health talks at a library branch.
Reason 73. Of course all branches have free wifi and internet access. 58% of Torontonians use a library computer or access the library’s wireless network.
Reason 74. Many of the 100 branches are historical architectural treasures – like the 10 Carnegie buildings, or have been designed by world-class architects.
Reason 75. What to do on a rainy afternoon? Learn something new at craft afternoons for adults.
Reason 76. People who don’t speak English can still get help from librarians who use a dial-in service that provides immediate translation with a real person.
Reason 77. The Writers’ Room is where writers go to write. What a novel idea.
Reason 78. The library’s ten adult literacy offices provide free, one-on-one tutoring in basic reading, writing and math.
Reason 79. Contemporary social justice issues are explored in depth by leaders in their field at the annual June Callwood Lecture.
Reason 80. The TD Summer Reading Club provides fun in-branch and online activities that keeps kids reading through the summer. Kids return to school with a renewed love of reading.
Reason 81. 1 in 12 Torontonians has moved to Canada in the last five years. The library is one of the first stops for newcomers.
Reason 82. There are a host of programs available for teens to connect with other teens, be inspired by leaders, express their creativity
and grow through volunteering.
Reason 83. Keep up with the latest styles and trends by downloading current popular magazines. Yep, it’s free.
Reason 84. The library’s Sun Life Museum + Arts Passes (MAP) program lets families experience the city’s top museums, galleries and attractions for free.
Reason 85. The entrepreneur-in-residence is a resource for budding entrepreneurs who want personal advice on how to make their small-business dream a reality.
Reason 86. The Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection is a powerful cultural record.
Reason 87. The Norman G. Hinton Learning Theatre in the Reference Library provides ideal space for instruction, poetry readings and class visits.
Reason 88. If your eyesight isn’t what it used to be, the library has LARGE PRINT BOOKS.
Reason 89. Librarians visit kindergarten and grade 4 classes across the city to introduce children to the wonderful world of the library.
Reason 90. Many community groups rent meeting spaces at library branches because of the reasonable costs and the welcoming environment.
Reason 91. Professional health providers at the Toronto Reference Library and Yorkville branch connect the homeless and those with mental health disorders to helpful resources.
Reason 92. When helping your kids choose books, turn to the Great Reads for Kids booklet available in all branches. There’s plenty of recommendations to keep the kids enthralled for months.
Reason 93. There’s no need to read alone. The library has loads of book clubs in multiple languages for various age groups.
Reason 94. Coming to a branch near you, a Pop-Up-Learning Lab (PULL) where you can learn how to program a robot or make a 3D artificial limb.
Reason 95. Torontonians love the library! 94% of library users are satisfied or very satisfied with the library.
Reason 96. Thought Exchange is an eclectic collection of free lectures and discussions at branches across the city.
Reason 97. Learn how to save on taxes, follow a budget and plan for the future at one of the many personal finance classes.
Reason 98. Become more “green”. Attend a Fragile Planet talk.
Reason 99. The IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities is for, and about, exceptional kids and teens.
Reason 100. Donors to Toronto Public Library make life-changing programs possible. You can help grow a city of readers, grow a city of learners and develop a city of creators by donating today.