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    “If this service was a sight it would be the Grand Canyon. Or Mountains in the Dakotas.”

    The city forgets that in the 1930s the Toronto Reference Library reading room was filled with unemployed workers. Line-ups to borrow books stretched up the stairs and across the room.  The Toronto Reference Library (TRL) is Canada’s largest reference library.  Stacked end-to-end, the collection shelving measures approximately 82 kilometres.  The staff who work at this library answer information requests, teach people how to conduct research,  run special programs, direct library users to rare archives, keep collections intact and maintain the library as a comfortable work space for all.  The TRL used to be open 7 days a week but its hours were reduced in 1997 due to funding cuts. While most of the hours have been reinstated it is still closed on Sundays from July to Labour Day weekend.  Find out more about the sign the DEPARTMENT made to celebrate this rare and well-loved library.  We unveiled our two library signs during a forum on the future of the public library system at Toronto City Hall.

    The Toronto Reference Library has a rich history.  What will it look like twenty years from now? How will its collections have changed?

    Memory Archive   View the Sign

    Toronto Reference Library Sign Double