Guelph Public Library helps build a thriving community every single day – ensuring free, inclusive, and equitable access to lifelong learning opportunities for all that enrich, improve, and transform lives. Open to everyone, GPL welcomes people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and socioeconomic status’.
We strengthen people and neighbourhoods by providing endless ways for community members to explore the world, enhance their well-being, and connect with others and important resources.
Building on historic roots, while also evolving services to support a growing and changing community, the GPL system is the most-used public facility in Guelph with its main library, five branch locations, and mobile Bookmobile service. We offer accessible resources, programming, technologies, and services in a variety of formats that educate, engage, and entertain, and access to collections and tools that few in the community could afford on their own.
We believe in a thriving community, created together – and know that a strong community is created when people come together to share ideas and build on them for the benefit of all, elevating people into something greater than themselves through access to lifelong learning opportunities.
Our library system is more vital than ever attested to by steadily rising usage levels and the 1000’s of people who access our services every day (in-person and virtually) seeking the learning tools, opportunities, and resources necessary to connect, explore, and thrive.
- nearly 1 million people entered our doors
- over 2.13 million items were checked out (an increase of +6.7%)
- 7,248 new members joined our system (up by +36.4%)
- 124,957 reference questions were answered (+73.1%)
- 1,138 programs were offered to 27,223 participants
- 1.49 million technology usages occurred (including usage of in-library computers and devices, WiFi sessions, and GPL’s online resources)
- 4,426 people used our Makerspace to discover, experiment, and create (up +48.1%)
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the key role of public libraries as community hubs, and their importance in bridging divides, empowering lifelong learning, and ensuring citizens remain connected, supported, and entertained especially during challenging times. This is particularly important for those at risk of falling into digital and socioeconomic divides who are especially more vulnerable if lacking access to the tools they need to stay connected as the way we live, work, and communicate continues to change, and closures have dramatically reduced previously available public supports and spaces.
As a result, as the world continues to adjust due to COVID-19, our library system has come to life in a variety of new ways to ensure continued access to safe, free, and inclusive spaces and tools for all. We’ve adapted to meet growing and changing community needs by expanding digital services, developing virtual programming and training, creating PPE, increasing at-home learning opportunities, lending more technology to ensure access to crucial library, educational, and employment opportunities, and offering vital community supports like technology training, virtual court dates at GPL locations, and loanable Cognitive Care Kits.
Simply put, no other institution can do what a public library can.