Friday, May 09, 2008

The Guelph Public Library is 125 Years Old

My librarian friends at the children's department of the GPL


Yesterday night I attended the GPL Gala at the Westminster Square Branch to celebrate all of 125 years and to promote the new main library which is yet to be born.
Sixty Guelph authors, guests and members of the public heard speeches from Norman McLeod the Chief Librarian, Susan Ratcliffe, Thomas King, the keynote speaker and Mary Mulholland of the Friends of the GPL. Dean Palmer unveiled the commemorative Triptych.
I didn't know that Guelph was home to so many authors and as our names were called we walked up the red carpet to applause. My notables were Bob Munsch, Linda Hendry, Janet Wilson and Jo Ellen Bogart, Dave Carter, Edeet Ravel, Stephen Hennighan, Amy Baskin, Jane Lewis and Werner Zimmerman.

30 million copies of books by Bob Munsch have been sold worldwide. WOW! I believe Linda Hendry and Janet Wilson have written and/or illustrated about 50 books each but the gathering wasn't about numbers and fiscal success, just simply about books and authors and the celebration of imagination. Our guest of honour, Tom King, said that writers didn't write for money. Well, making money while writing is very helpful especially if it is one's job or if one wants to spend more time doing it. But it is true that we write really because we feel we have something that begs to be said and also because we feel we can say it in such a way that people would like to read it.

There were trays and trays of cheese and grapes and so much left over at the end. The jazz by Bebopamoeba was electric, enlivening atmosphere. It was nice to meet new people and renew old acquaintances. I didn't take a camera but there were many photographers and am sure we can expect some photos on some internet site soon enough.

I would like to say thank you to the staff of the Guelph Public Library who put on a great gala and who went out of their way to celebrate Guelph authors on the anniversary of GPL, the very first public library in Ontario.

Happy Anniversary GPL!

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