Nicholas Jennings in conversation with Brenda Lewis

We are very pleased to announce a new addition to the event “Jennings on Lightfoot” which happens on Monday November 27 in the downtown library. Renowned jazz singer Brenda Lewis has joined the event.

Lewis will lead a conversation with Jennings about the man behind the Canadian Railroad Trilogy and many other classic Canadian folk songs.

Nicholas Jennings is the author of the new and definitive biography of Gordon Lightfoot. He is a music journalist writing for Maclean’s magazine from 1980 to 2000.

Lewis is a publicist, professional musician and human rights advocate. For over two decades, she has been singing professionally, first as a folk/blues vocalist, then for most her career as a jazz vocalist, performing with some of Canada’s finest jazz musicians. She was the successful panelist at Guelph Reads 2016 with her spirited defense of Flint and Feather, a biography of poet Pauline Johnson.

Between them, Jennings and Lewis have extensive experience in different aspects of the music business, reportage and performance. Pairing them together will bring added depth and intimacy to the discussion about Gordon Lightfoot.

Doors open in the downtown library at 6:30pm with the conversation beginning at 7:00pm.

“Jennings on Lightfoot” is presented by the Friends of the Guelph Public Library in partnership with The Bookshelf, Guelph’s independent downtown book store.

Seats can be reserved through Eventbright.

Your feedback is important!

Please take a moment to complete our annual book sale feedback questionnaire. If you provide your email address your name will be entered into a draw for a prize basket worth $50. The winner of the draw will be notified by email in the first week of November. Enter to win! And thank you for your feedback!.

Book Sale Volunteers Ben and Norma…

Long time sale volunteers Ben & Norma have just emptied their car of book sale donations — 20 boxes collected from Bullfrog Mall Library. Thanks, Ben & Norma. And thanks to all of our great volunteers!

Would you like to help, too? Click here to go to our Volunteer Page where you can sign up to deliver posters & bookmarks around town, sort incoming donations, work on the sale weekend, and help us keep the sale site ship-shape.

Guelph Reads! And the 2017 winner is…

Well, it was a pretty even match, and the audience reacted just about equally enthusiastically to Jenn Haines’ choice, Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel, The Underwater Welder and Sara Sayyed’s selection, Alexis Andre’s The Hidden Keys.

A huge thanks goes to all of the panelists – Jenn, Sara, Marty Williams and Butch Carter (who was not able to attend at the last moment), for their spirited promotion of the books they selected. Thanks, too, to Marva Wisdom for another great outing as the evening’s moderator, and to Alan Pickersgill for organizing the event again this year.

So…Guelph. How about you read all of them!

Andre Alexis – The Hidden Keys

Martyn Burke – Music for Love or War

Jeff Lemire – The Underwater Welder (graphic novel)

Eric Walters – Walking Home


Lend us your brains!

We need your imagination. Help us to develop new and innovative projects, programs and services that would support our Guelph Public Library.

We are having a brainstorming session on Thursday, May 25th, for one hour beginning at 4:30pm in the program room on the second floor of the Main Library, 100 Norfolk St.

No special experience or knowledge is required. We will provide you with a 1-page backgrounder to help you think about future projects. You will also get a list of potential projects that you can rate for us.

If you have questions about this invitation or would like to participate please rsvp to: or phone/text 519-821-2793. Please leave your name and contact information. Beyond this brainstorming session, no further involvement will be asked of you unless you want it. For now we just want your thoughts and ideas.

The Friends of the Guelph Public Library is continually looking for potential projects to develop. We currently list the following as programs delivered by our members:

  • giant used booksale (over $500,000 raised so far in support of the GPL)
  • made the lead gift of $10,000 to establish the Library’s endowment fund.
  • supported the cost of two pieces of library-related art.
  • funded the purchase of the new cell phone charging unit in the main library.
  • supported the cost of the internal fittings for the new bookmobile.
  • agreed to fund a program to provide library packages including board books for each of the more than 1,600 babies born in Guelph every year.

No potential project idea is too small or large. Projects may be programs that we independently run or events that we develop in conjunction with the Library. They should have a target audience or beneficiary. Projects may have a strong partnership with other organizations/agencies. They could be a continuing annual/monthly program/event/contribution or a one off. They could have a fundraising component, or be solely for the enjoyment and benefit of participants.

We look to you for your experience and imagination to help us grow, make our organization even more relevant and valuable. The scope of potential projects is:
‘learning, experiencing and growing together’.

For more information or to sign up contact: Paul Young; phone/text 519-821-2793

The book sale needs a new home

The 2016 Friends of the Library book sale took place in the very large warehouse facility at 69 Huron St owned by the W.C.Woods family. The Friends are grateful to the Woods family for allowing us to use that space.
When the sale ended, we had reason to hope that we might be able to use the same site again in 2017. That possibility has not been eliminated entirely; however it cannot be confirmed at this time, and it has been suggested that we would be wise to seek another location.
We need to have the sale site confirmed no later than June 1 to allow planning to proceed, as hands-on sale preparation begins in early August. Time is, therefore, short for us to find another location. We hope there is someone reading this who has a connection that will assist us in our search. It would be disappointing in the extreme to have to cancel the sale after ten increasingly successful years.

The situation is as follows:

   We need a minimum of 20,000 sq. ft. of ground level space (we used 30,000 in 2016) with washroom facilities, reasonably good lighting and a loading door. We need this space for at least the months of September and October and preferably also for the month of August.

  We are insured by the City of Guelph, and we are good and responsible tenants, as previous hosts will attest. We leave things completely cleaned up and in at least as good condition as we received them.

  We cannot afford to pay rent, but we are a registered charity and could offer a tax receipt. Helpful leads will be very much appreciated.

Virginia Gillham, Chair
Friends of the Guelph Public Library

Guelph Reads!

Join us on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:00pm

at the Main Library, 100 Norfolk St.

Click on the image above for more details about this year’s 4 panelists and the books they will be defending

……and then tell your friends!


Thank you for your support!

The Friends of the Library acknowledge our ‘Friends’ and Supporters for the 2016,

10th annual book sale:

The John Wood family, Venue sponsors
Coldpoint Holdings Ltd – Susan (Wood) Frasson
Doug Langille, Kyle Langille

For a complete list of all of our donors, suppliers and supporters please click here.