Meet my new library! #43: 2010
It is my pleasure to introduce to you the Guelph Public Library (www.library.guelph.on.ca) located 60 miles southwest of Toronto in the beautiful rolling hills of Ontario. Guelph is a community of 110,000 residents with a large university that supports the rural communities of Ontario with big veterinary, home economics, and agricultural colleges. It is a vibrant community rich in history, art, and students!
In 1832, the first circulating library began operation. Fifty years later, the Free Libraries Act was passed and allowed municipalities to establish tax-supported public libraries. The City of Guelph was the first in Ontario to take advantage of the new Act, founding the Guelph Public Library on February 10, 1883. One hundred and twenty six years later, GPL has a main downtown branch (crammed to the rafters and in desperate need of replacement) and five neighborhood locations. Guelph is a reading community with circulation of more than 1,700,000 and a Friends books sale that nets over $40,000 annually.
Over the last few weeks, folks have been asking me why I decided to move to Guelph (besides the obvious answer that they hired me). Well, there are several reasons.
I see many similarities between GPL and ALS, including the passion to provide the very best in library service and to explore new ways to improve service. I like the website and how they reach out to the community. The library considers itself a family, just like Alliance. Also, I like the GPL board. This may sound unimportant, but liking the folks you work for is really, a really big deal! I was so truly fortunate to like and respect the Alliance board. As I started looking for a new job, I wanted that same fit, and I found it in the Guelph board.
When I first met the GPL search committee in April, I liked them. When I met GPL’s staff a few weeks ago, I liked them, too. They are a gregarious group. Just like the Alliance family, they are animated, have fun, work hard, and love to eat. I know I will fit in!
Have a great week. It’s snowing here in central Ontario!
Kitty Pope #43 December 2010