For the Ong family, the Reading Room library at the Hospital for Sick Children has been “a blessing.”

 

Sisters Victoria, 15, and Jessica, 10, both had eye surgery at the hospital when they were weeks old and now come for monthly follow-up visits.

Together with father and brother, they have passed the time between doctor’s visits for one another in the library.

The hospital is optimistic it can keep that tradition alive even though Toronto Public Library is pulling its part-time librarian from the Reading Room.

“We’re worried, but we understand that Toronto Public Library has been hit with a budget that doesn’t allow them to continue their services across the city at the same level,” says Dr. Bruce Ferguson, the hospital’s director of community health systems. “The first thing we (will) do is talk about how we can maintain services for patients and families.”

Sick Kids is one of three Toronto hospitals losing its part-time library staff because of city budget constraints.