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.
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/or virtually) seeking the learning tools, opportunities, and resources necessary to remain connected, to explore, and to thrive.
- over 1.99 Million items were checked out in 2021 (an increase of +42.6% sine 2020)
- 5,312 new members joined our system
- 72,197 questions were answered
- 636 virtual programs were offered to 13,055 people
- technology use increased by another 3.6% over the past year
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 changes, and closures dramatically reduce previously available public supports and spaces.
As a result, as the world continues to change 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 enable access to crucial library, educational, and employment opportunities, and offering vital community supports like technology training, virtual court dates at GPL locations, loanable Cognitive Care Kits, and help with vaccine registrations and passports.
In short, no other institution can do what a public library can.