Guelph Public Library welcomes the entire community – ensuring all Guelphites have access to the lifelong learning tools they need to connect with one another, important community services, and opportunities to enrich, improve, and transform their lives.

Over 3,000 people enter our doors each day seeking inclusive access to programs, technologies, resources, training, and outreach services. For people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, GPL bridges socio-economic, physical, and technological divides, affording the opportunity to explore, connect, and thrive for everyone.

Our library benefits the entire community providing endless opportunities to enhance wellbeing and sense of belonging, including:

  • helping newcomers to our community and country access resources, build critical language skills, and connect through ESL Conversation circles and groups;
  • keeping seniors and those with other barriers connected to important community and cultural resources through outreach services and specialized programming;
  • providing accessible devices and services for those with physical impairments;
  • enabling access to vital early literacy skills development for children who might otherwise miss out;
  • providing access to services and databases for job seekers, entrepreneurs, and students to better their career options;
  • offering access to computers, the internet, and technological training for those who would otherwise not have access;
  • ensuring a welcoming place for everyone regardless of status or background;
  • providing archival collections and cultural resources that connect us to our past, and programming, technologies, resources, and services that promote a better future.

Oak Tree funds would enable a ‘Story Teller in Residence’ program at Guelph Public Library, which would focus on Indigenous culture and the Canadian experience as we embark on Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Through which, Guelphites would have the opportunity to connect with this important part of our heritage, and promote inclusion and understanding of the various cultural groups and identities that make our community and country vibrant.

To nominate this charity, please scroll to the bottom of the page and complete the nomination form


  1. Lisa says:

    When I was a new mother, newly single, and with a young child, the Book Mobile was one of the highlights of our week. My daughter, now grown, still remembers our visits to the Book Mobile, and being able to take books out. It was a community service that I valued at a time when I didn’t drive, funds were tight, and I wasn’t living near the library proper. Fast forward many years, and I’m in a new neighborhood, close to the Bullfrog Mall branch that I saw from its infancy, having grown up in the neighborhood where it is placed, and I hear of a knitting group starting up once a week: Knit & Lit. Despite being anxious, somehow I made it to that first meeting. It was crazy! But wonderful. Now, something like six years later, it has evolved some, but Knit & Lit is still strong. It’s still a Wednesday morning haven for women (and men!) to gather and share community while they participate in handcrafts. We teach one another and newcomers. We share our skills. We donate back to the community. We’ve grown in friendship. On any given Wednesday, you can find ten-thirty women all sitting and knitting, and chatting, and drinking coffee, and sharing community with one another in an atmosphere that is nothing but welcoming and caring. And all because the Library has chosen to allow this activity and support with with their library space, and their library staff. If they were unwilling to do so, so much good would not be possible. There would be nowhere for us to connect with one another. Nowhere for newcomers to learn a new skill – and make new friends! There would be no winter mitten clothesline for anyone who needed warm hands to take a pair in the cold months. There would be no donations to the hospital of lap blankets. No donations to shelters of various items. No donations of pneumonia jackets for India, or knitted breasts for women with mastectomies. In short, there would be a great loss of community. At many times in my life when I’ve needed a place to go and be supported, the library was there. Without it, Wednesday be just another day, instead of looked forward to every week. Libraries are strong, vital parts of our community! Help them stay this way.

  2. Bruce says:

    The GPL is important to me as a resource for genealogy studies but more so as it is a community hub. The GPL is so dear to me that I was willing to invest 8 years of service on the library board. It allowed me to help the board further develop its understanding of First Nations material. I am proud to have been the first Indigenous chair of the GPL. I value the work being done by both board and staff to keep the GPL as a safe , enriching environment for all citizens

  3. Stacey says:

    I feel so at home at Guelph Public Library. When the doors shut behind me, disappointment, anger, frustration – gone. There are smiles and opportunities, but NO expectations. From my youngest years to today, for myself, my brother, and now my own children, it continues to be a place of discovery. From the second a person walks in the door, the imagination can go dashing in so many directions – to a staff members who can help you find the perfect resource, to a VR booth where a group laugh and explore, to a 3D printer where a young child is making his own creation, to the stacks where treasures are hidden, waiting to be discovered.

    I rest my mind at body at home. But it is at the Library when I can rest my spirit or let it fly free.

    Thank you for the sanctuary, the limitless opportunity, and the freedom to be myself.

  4. Lisa says:

    What would we do without our great library system? They provide access for everyone – whether it is collections, online services, gathering spaces, great programs, or a friendly smile. Libraries are an important cultural and community hub for our city. Just look at their recent Canada 150 film project to share “Our Stories” about Guelph’s rich culture and diversity:

    Libraries do matter. It is definitely a place for people to explore, connect, and thrive! Thank you to the staff for everything you do to help support the growth of our city.

  5. Kirsten says:

    Guelph Public Library is a place where everyone feels welcome. When I walk through the doors, I see people of all walks of life learning, exploring, and finding the tools they need to make their lives better. It’s truly a place that encompasses the values of what it means to be Canadian – accepting one another, nurturing each other, and celebrating diversity.

    I use the library in many ways and have witnessed the value it brings to so many lives; from the job seeker using the public computers to find jobs, the young families enjoying early literacy programming for their youngsters; seniors attending various ‘coffee’ hours; students bettering their lives through study; newcomers meeting others through specially designed programs for them; and others seeking solace in a safe place to rest.

    Many people don’t realize all that the library does. A good functioning library actually helps to boost the economy and solve many societal issues – serving as a preventative measure towards many other issues (for example, helping someone find a job and reduce their own personal poverty struggle, providing resources for others to better their lives).

    Guelph Public Library matters and this funding will help the services it provides thrive!

  6. Steve says:

    I’ve always used libraries and always will. They are an anchor and reference point in my daily routine. I could never afford everything I read nor do I want to own it. Libraries Matter!

  7. Robin says:

    Richard Wagamese’s books and life story made me realize just how important the library is to indigenous people. if one more person can be supported this way this money will go to the best possible place.

  8. Jen says:

    When I think of libraries I think of one other word: opportunity. Libraries offer opportunities to people who may not have them otherwise. Whether it is access to reading material, programs, the internet, technology, the librarians’ expertise, or a familiar, smiling face- whatever they offer, at the end of the day, they are offering opportunities to explore, connect, and thrive. I’m so happy the Guelph Public Library is one of the pillars of our community, bringing people together and encouraging all to pursue a life full of learning.

  9. Marcia says:

    When I was young there were not a lot of planned summer activities. You were told to go outside and play. My “outside play” meant a long walk downtown to the public library. Selecting a week’s supply of books was the equivalent of Christmas…it was that exciting! The librarians were my heroes and I could not wait to follow in their footsteps one day. Summer reading club was a great motivator, and spurred my love of reading and literature. My childhood experiences affected the way I parent, as I read to my children and encourage my kids to read on their own and discover their personal favorites. What I appreciate about Guelph Public Library is that it is still the great equalizer. It does not matter how wealthy you are…you can access the same books, courses, technology, and programs.

  10. Amy says:

    Libraries are the great equalizers in a community; they provide access to materials and a space ‘free of expectation’ that all community members and visitors to that community can share and use to grow and learn.

  11. Suzanne says:

    Libraries are essential to the functioning of a democratic society. Libraries are the great symbols of the freedom of the mind.

  12. Deb says:

    The public library was my not-so-secret stash of LM Montgomery books that I could borrow again and again. I had Anne of Green Gables, but the library had so many more… It was magic! And it continued to foster my life-long reading habit.

  13. Adele says:

    I have been a library member since I was a small child. My mother would bring me weekly for the Saturday children’s program and to refresh my supply of Peter Rabbit and Babar books for the week ahead . Throughout my years I have lived in many different types of communities: from semi-isolation, to tropical island, and larger metropolitan cities. The one aspect they all have in common is that within each of these communities stands a public library. The smallest of these libraries was a one room library that opened its doors one day per week, for a few hours, on Saturday. It offered few available resources but did offer an interlibrary loan service that would connect its patrons to additional resources. It could take a month, minimum, before a book could arrive with little else to whet one’s appetite in the waiting.
    My experience of this small island library is one of the reasons I so greatly appreciate the vibrant experience, thriving community connections and numerous resources offered by the Guelph Public Library. Sometimes it is in the absence of something that one comes to realize just how important and valuable it is. Do you want access to the latest winner of literary prizes? It’s there and in numerous formats! Do you want to research your family tree or the history of your home? Are you unemployed and looking for work? The librarians will help you with that. Do you want to learn how to repair small engines? There is an electronic database to help with that. If you like to connect with others in your community, the library is the place for you! What’s that? You say you are homebound and can’t make it in to the library. A librarian will deliver your resources right to your door. There is so much more!
    These days, I have the added pleasure of bringing my grandson with me, introducing him to the world of the Guelph Public Library. So much fun! In witnessing his experiences at the library I am reminded of myself at that same age many years ago and I feel so grateful to my mother for enriching my life in this same way.

  14. Guelph Public Library says:

    The Guelph Public Library caters to all people by offering a wide variety of free materials and programs. It’s the only organization in town that truly does this. As such, the Library belongs to everyone and exists to support everyone. It’s a place of welcome that strives to nurture and grow people and ideas. In a world where things move (too) fast, the Library is a place that takes stock of the present, dwells in the moment, and helps point towards the future. Oh, and I really love seeing parents and children reading together on comfy couches!

  15. Brenda says:

    I love that the library branch I use is in walking distance to my home. My parents would not have allowed me to go to the library when I was younger if I had to take the bus and change stops. Everything I need I can access at the library – and I love how everything is available to me online when I am at home, or away. I love reading the magazines from my home country online via the website. I only need my library card to access all these wonderful things!

  16. Venkatesan says:

    I am very proud to be a member of this library family. I have been attending ESL Conversation circle since last year that is very useful for me to develop English. they conducting many events and programs for all age groups. they are doing very fantastic services for our communities. it has many intellectual properties for kids and others. I have opportunities to interact with native people. It is very legible mentor for new comers. All library staffs are doing good and lovely approach. Lot of thanks to GPL.