Guelph Public Library

Guelph Public Library is a public library system serving the city of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The main library downtown, five branches, and a bookmobile (seven branches total) serve about 123,000 residents in Guelph. The current CEO is Steven Kraft.[1]

Guelph Public Library
Vision:Guelph Public Library - Explore · Connect · Thrive.
Guelph Public Library Old.jpg
Carnegie library building in Guelph 1905-1964
Location100 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario
N1H 4J6
Items collectedbusiness directories, government publications, non-fiction and fiction books, periodicals, genealogy, local history, DVDs, CDs
Other information
DirectorSteven Kraft, CEO
WebsiteGuelph Public Library


  • Bullfrog Mall
  • Bookmobile
  • East Side
  • Main
  • Scottsdale
  • West End
  • Westminster


In 1883, the Guelph Public Library was the first public library in Ontario established under the Public Library Act of 1882.[2] The collection of the Farmers and Mechanics Institute library, which had been a free public lending library since 1850, was contributed to the newly founded Guelph Public Library.[3]

The first library building was completed in September 1905 at the corner of Norfolk and Paisley streets downtown, partly through a Carnegie Foundation grant of $24,000.[4]: 30–31  The neo-classical (Beaux Art) structure, had been designed in 1902 by W. Frye Colwill.[5] According to a University publication, "The library permitted free access, used the Dewey Decimal system classification, and provided a card catalogue. The motto, "Floreat Scientia" ("Let Knowledge Grow") was carved above the stone entrance. A special Guelph feature was its dome, one of the few built in this fashion in Canada".[6] It was demolished in 1964 in spite of public opposition, and replaced with the current structure on Norfolk St.[7][8]

A new public library may be built near the Baker St. parking lot, which is to be redeveloped as the Baker District. Preliminary discussions about a new main branch had taken place by summer 2017 with some decision expected to be made in 2018.[9][10] Construction is expected to begin in 2024.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved 2016-05-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Ontario Public Libraries". 28 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-05-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Fear, Jon; Masterman, Chris (2018). Flash from the past : 140 photographs from the Waterloo Region Record (First ed.). Biblioasis. ISBN 1771962739.
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  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-05-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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