Toronto Public Library Celebrates a Century of Children’s Services
Library remains a champion of early literacy and the joy of reading
TORONTO (Tuesday, June 5, 2012) - Toronto Public Library has been improving children’s literacy for a 100 years and will mark the occasion with a special slate of kids’ programs over the next month. Families and classes are invited to join special guests authors Ruth Ohi, Martin Springett, Shane Peacock, storytellers Rita Cox, Gail Nyoka and Applefun Puppetry, storyteller-poet Bob Barton, percussionist Jamie Bird and musician Andrew Queen in this celebration of literacy, the library and fun.
It was 1912 when Toronto Public Library hired Lillian H. Smith, known as the first professionally trained children's librarian in the British Empire, to head the library's newly established Children's Department.
“Lillian H. Smith had a passion for children’s literature, was a champion of early literacy and always strived to make libraries warm and welcoming environments for children of all ages and their families,” said City Librarian Jane Pyper. “Although many things have changed since 1912, the library still focuses on the same important children's services that Lillian advocated back in her day: promoting the joy of reading, helping young students succeed at school, and providing children and their families with spaces in which to play, learn and thrive.”
“The library hopes to share this incredible milestone of ours with as many children and families as possible.”
A special exhibit, The World Was All Before Them, mounted at the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books (4th floor, Lillian H. Smith Branch, 239 College Street) showcases the early years of children's services at Toronto Public Library as well as the best-loved books through the decades. The exhibit wraps up on Saturday, June 9 and everyone is welcome to visit.
For a detailed list of programs, visit torontopubliclibrary.ca/100yearsforkids. Please note that some of these programs require registration. Also available on the website is the timeline of children’s services at Toronto Public Library, a booklist of carefully chosen children’s classics and links to the library’s year-round children’s programming. A limited quantity of free, commemorative print booklists, 100 Books for 100 Years of Children’s Services 1912-2012, will also be available in local branches.
100 Years of Children’s Services celebrations have been generously funded by the Toronto Public Library Foundation.
Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Every year, more than 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow over 33 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at torontopubliclibrary.ca or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. For all the latest buzz about the library follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.
Melanie Boatswain-Watson 416-397-5936