The Guelph Public Library benefits the entire community by providing lifelong learning opportunities.
We believe in the freedom to read, learn and discover.
The Guelph Public Library Board and staff envision a future where:
- Customers visit us regularly in person or from the comfort of their home
- Your library card is well used because reading is a part of your daily life
- You trust us when you need reliable information
- You are proud of us and share the library's story with friends and visitors
- You believe the Guelph Public Library makes Guelph a better place to live
The following values guide our decisions and actions:
- Accessibility: we believe in making library services available to all
- Accountability: by ensuring library services are efficient and fiscally responsible
- Balance: we make decisions that balance the needs of customers and employees
- Diversity: we gain strength from our differences
- Excellence: we do whatever it takes to deliver excellent service
- Innovation: we are constantly recalibrating and capitalizing on opportunities
- Integrity: we support intellectual freedom and universal access to information
- Lifelong learning: we believe in the power of information
- Reading: we believe that our passion for reading and learning should be shared
- Wellness: we contribute to a strong and healthy community
Our customer service pledge
The Guelph Public Library Board and staff are dedicated to providing:
- Welcoming, courteous, and efficient service
- Balanced and diverse collections that enrich, educate and entertain
- Community gathering places that celebrate culture and local history
- Accurate and convenient information services
We define excellent customer service as:
- Respecting our customers, partners and peers
- Engaging in direct and prompt communications
- Always smiling and saying thank you
Did you know that the Guelph Public Library is one of the oldest public libraries in Ontario? Over 1,500 people use the library every day and check out over two million resources annually. We are the most used recreational facility in Guelph.
|Explore our history through the years.
1830 to 1849
- 1832 - The first Guelph library began in the back room of a Wyndham Street store. There was a fee for checking out books. This library existed for fifteen years but later closed.
- 1848 to 1850 - Guelph had no library available.
1850 to 1899
- 1850 - The Guelph Farmers' and Mechanics' Institute was established with a small book collection. There was also a reading room for members only.
- 1882 - The Ontario Free Libraries Act was passed. This by-law allowed any city or town to establish a library supported by local taxes.
- 1883 - The City of Guelph passed a by-law on January 18 to create the first public library in Ontario. On February 10, the Farmers' and Mechanics' Institute donated its book collection to the Guelph Free Public Library. It was located at 137-145 Wyndham Street. Library services were available to everyone in Guelph.
1900 to 1949
- 1900 - The library board decided to move into a larger building.
- 1905 - The first Guelph library was built on the corner of Norfolk and Paisley streets. This project was funded by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. It served 12,000 Guelph residents with its classic dome building and front pillars.
1950 to 1999
- 1951 - The library was in need of an expansion. It was determined to be unsuitable to serve a city of 27,000 by the inspector of Public Libraries for the Province of Ontario.
- 1964 - The Carnegie Library was demolished on December 7th.
- 1965 - Construction of a new main library began on the same location. In November, our current main library opened its doors at 100 Norfolk Street.
- 1975 - The main library needed more space once again. It expanded to 29,500 square feet and 3 levels at its current location.
- 1976 - The library's first bookmobile service began.
- 1984 - The library's branch services were created. Our Bullfrog Mall branch opened on September 4.
- 1986 - Guelph's second branch library opened on November 12. Our Scottsdale branch opened with 15,000 items at 650 Scottsdale Drive.
- 1990 - The library's bookmobile was replaced with a modified truck. It had air conditioning and traveled over 130 km around Guelph each week. The library's first logo was also created in-house.
- 1999 - Our first website was designed in-house to share our local history and kids programs.
2000 to 2009
- 2001 - Guelph's third library branch was opened in June. Our West End branch is located in the West End Recreation Centre at 21 Imperial Road South.
- 2002 - A second version of our website was created. It featured easy access to our catalogue.
- 2003 - Unfortunately the bookmobile was broken into and set on fire. It was beyond repair.
- 2006 - A new bookmobile was on the road. Thanks to support of the Guelph Lion's Club, we were able to provide services for people unable to access the library due to age, mobility, or other restrictive conditions. Our third library branch, Westminster Square, opened its doors on November 4 at 100-31 Farley Drive. This is the largest library branch in Guelph.
- 2008 - A third version of our website and a special logo were created to celebrate our 125th anniversary.
2010 to present
- 2010 - Our East Side branch opened its doors in May at 1 Starwood Drive.
- 2012 - We launched our fourth website. This website was created in-house with the assistance of two co-op students.
- 2013 - Our archives digitization project started. Over 3,000 Guelph Mercury photos were added to the [archives photo database (Insert hyperlink to local history page)]
- 2015 - The Tech B@r opened at the main library with a 3D printer. We also unveiled a new brand and logo in October encouraging people to explore, connect and thrive with their library.
- 2017 - We launched a new bookmobile and website to better serve our community.