2021 Book Sale – CANCELLED

In light of the need for complex Covid-related organization, a current lack of space, and the ongoing possibility of a Provincial requirement for cancellation at the last minute, no Book Sale is planned for Fall 2021.

The Book Sale committee is engaged in ongoing discussions about next year’s sale.


Donations for the Book Sale

The 2021 book sale has been cancelled, but we continue being asked about donations.

—  Book Sale Sorting Coordinator, Sandi Wilkes says:

“Thank you so much for thinking of Friends of the Guelph Public Library in looking for a home for your book donations. We hate to lose out on the opportunity to receive these contributions. Unfortunately, we do not have any provision for storing books for a future sale and, as you can appreciate, right now we do not even know when that might be. Our only suggestions are Salvation Army or Goodwill. We sincerely appreciate your asking and wish you the best of luck in finding a new home for your donation if you need to dispose of it now.”  


Alan Pickersgill, 1946-2021

The Friends of the Guelph Public Library mourn the recent passing of our staunch friend, Alan Pickersgill. Alan passed away after a fight with cancer on February 3, 2021. From his obituary in Guelph Today, “Alan was a writer and photographer. He was a voracious reader and knew the value of public libraries to their communities.” Alan was also an Executive Member and Treasurer of the Friends of the Guelph Public Library for many years. He played a crucial role in making the annual book sales successful. Anyone fortunate enough to have known Alan will remember his ever-present smile, mischievous sense of humour, and deep commitment to social justice. The sympathies of the Friends are with Lynne and his family.   [Photo credit – Guelph Today]


Your donations are welcome!

Did you miss the Giant Book Sale as much as we did?

October just doesn’t seem right without it!

Book sale profits have grown every year for the past 14.  After expenses, most of the revenue is invested in the Guelph Community Foundation with the intention that when the City finally breaks ground on the new main library the Friends of the Library will make a substantial gift to the Library.

Presently, the investment totals nearly $900,000.  Had the 2020 book sale taken place, there is little doubt we could have put it over $1,000,000!  What an accomplishment that would have been in this sad year!

If you are one who reviews you charitable givings at this time of the year with a view to your year-end tax situation, please consider donating money you would have spent at the Book Sale, to the Friends of the Guelph Public library, to be added to the investment.

It works best for us if you make your donation through Canada Helps. You will receive a tax receipt immediately.

Covid willing, the Giant Book Sale will be back next year.  In the meantime, please consider this alternative.

Thank you!


The New Main Library Gets the Green Light!

By an 8-5 vote, Guelph City Council voted on October 7 in favour of proceeding with the new main library project. Read all about it here.

Thanks to everyone who wrote letters, spoke to the Councillors, or delegated at the recent meetings. Your overwhelming show of support was invaluable in moving this project forward.


If you care about the new library you need to act now!

Alternative Location – New Main Library


On October 5 and 7 City Council will meet to accept the staff recommendation report  to proceed with the new alternative location plan for the downtown Guelph Public Library. In recent days there has been some concern that some members of Council will try to re-open the debate about its affordability, aiming to reject the new proposal based on its cost.

Now more than ever your support for this project is needed. Please speak up and have your voice heard!

Write a letter to the Mayor and City Council indicating your support and send it to clerks@guelph.ca before 10am on Friday, October 2. If received before then your letter will be included in the Council’s package of correspondence for this meeting.

The meetings will be streamed live at guelph.ca/live and on Facebook. While the Committee of the Whole meeting starts at 2 p.m. on Monday, October 5 there are agenda items the Committee will work through before debating and deliberating on the Baker District report, so you may want to tune in a little later in the afternoon.


The New Guelph Main Library is Neither Cancelled nor Delayed!

There is, unfortunately, misinformation circulating.  Please do what you can to disseminate this correction.

The new main library is a key anchor of the planned Baker Street development.  That has not changed.  When the Baker Street redevelopment proceeds, the Library will proceed.  The Library was NEVER dependent upon Federal funding.  City staff recommended a funding plan based on development charges, proceeds of sale of the existing library and property taxes. This was approved by Council on September 16, 2019, https://guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/council_agenda_091619-revised.pdf

Council authorized staff to apply for Federal funding but the funding strategy put forward by City staff did not factor in funds from other levels of government.  Any funding from the Federal government would have been a bonus!  Over $16 million of Development Charges is available and was factored into the strategy.

The funding plan is in place.  The project will proceed with no additional tax burden on citizens beyond what has been incorporated into the Baker Street Redevelopment Project from the beginning.

There will be information coming to Council in early October. We will need your help and support to continue to move this important community project forward.


2020 Book Sale – Cancelled

The steering committee of the Friends of the Guelph Public Library Giant Book Sale has taken the devastating decision that, to protect the health of volunteers and the sale’s many, many supporters, the 2020 sale must be cancelled.

This is particularly disappointing this year, as the committee had hoped that profits from the 2020 sale would put the gift-for-the-new-library investment over $1 million.

The Friends of the Library appreciate sincerely the community support for this event over the past 14 years, and the fact that that support mirrors community support for the Library as an institution and Guelph’s need for a new main library facility.


If donors are able to retain potential book donations to 2021, the committee would be very grateful.

Those wishing to continue to support this worthy cause by donating some of the money they might have spent at the sale in 2020 can do so through The Friends website. Look for the “Donate Now” button on the home page.


Annual General Meeting – Postponed


 The constitution of the Friends of the Guelph Public Library indicates that an Annual General Meeting will be held in April of each year.  This meeting has always been open and public, and has taken place at the main downtown library.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that in light of the circumstances imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic, such a gathering is not possible in the immediate future.

The AGM will be rescheduled with plans to be announced as soon as the public situation for the immediate future becomes clearer.  We are hoping that a meeting can take place in the Fall of 2020.

Virginia Gillham, Chair
Friends of the Guelph Public Library
4 April 2020


“Open Minds” – POSTPONED


The Olive Experience: Intro to the Mediterranean Diet!
Rick Zuccato will conduct an informal education and tasting session, explaining the harvesting process, the intricacies of true Extra Virgin Olive Oils and real Balsamic Vinegars and their histories. Participants will get to sample and pair between a select set of Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars that have specially selected for them to “Experience”! Guests will also taste a delicious drink made from one of the balsamics with sparkling water! These same olive oils and balsamics will be available in bottles and gift sets to purchase.

He’s the Top: Cole Porter
One of the greatest composer/lyricists of the 20th century, Cole Porter is revered for his witty lyrics and musical sophistication. Jordan Klapman, pianist/musicologist extraordinaire, covers Porter’s extraordinary life, including classic original recordings and video clips of Porter’s greatest Broadway and Hollywood songs that occupy a very prominent position in The Great American Songbook.