Storytime resumes March 29 at North Gower

Family Storytime resumes at the North Gower Branch on Wednesday, March 29th at 10:30 a.m.

Songs and rhymes, stories and games for the little ones — drop in, no registration required.

This session runs until May 4th.

613-580-2940 for information


Join us for the 125th celebration


One week today is the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the formation of the North Gower library.

The library is open next Monday from 5:30-8:30 PM, and the formal celebrations take place from 7-8:30. Chair of the City of Ottawa Library Board Tim Tierney will be there to mark the occasion.

Staff is dressing in fashions from different decades over the 125 years, so if you have a costume or vintage clothing, put it on and drop in!

Formed by the Mechanics Institute –educational institutes designed to provide education to working men (and an alternative to gambling and drinking)–the library became a service for the general community. The North Gower Library moved several times in its lifetime, once it was in the General Store, and for another period it was in the coach house of the local doctor, but it has provided continuous library service for 125 years.

The North Gower Branch of the OPL is now housed in what was the Rideau Township Fire Hall. Next door are the Rideau Township Archives, in the former Town Hall.

Drop in, and celebrate, and show how much North Gower loves our Library!


NOTE: the distinguished and beautiful lady pictured in the 125th anniversary bookmark is the late Coral Scharf Lindsay, local educator and historian. Also pictured is OPL staffer Julie, and below, co-chair of Friends of the North Gower Library and Coral’s Corner bookstore manager, Jane Wilson

North Gower Artist of the Month: Ted Burnside

L-R Art coordinator Sheila King, Lorraine Burnside and artist Ted Burnside. A lifelong study of animals.

L-R Art coordinator Sheila King, Lorraine Burnside and artist Ted Burnside. A lifelong study of animals.

Ted Burnside, professor emeritus at the University of Guelph and now a local resident, has made a lifelong study of domesticated animals, and has published extensively on this subject.

On retiring, Ted began painting in acrylic on canvas and of course, animals were his subject. The paintings seen in the North Gower display reflect some of the work done, including the breeding of Holstein cattle for higher butterfat content in milk. One of the paintings depicts famed bull Johanna Rag Apple Pabst, who was the Foundation Sire for the work of Thomas Bassett Macaulay.

A number of paintings on display are also of draft horses, showing teams pulling walking and sulkey plows at the International Plowing Match in Finch, r015.

Ted Burnside is a member of the Manotick Art Association.

You can help WRITE a book!

In this, the 170th year of North Gower’s history, the Rideau Township Historical Society is working on a history of the village, and needs community input.

If you are a current or past resident of North Gower, the Society would like to hear from you, and see any photos or memorabilia you might have.

They will be doing this throughout the rest of September.

Drop in to the Archives any Tuesday 9:30-4:30 or email Susan McKellar at

You can pick up an information flyer at the Library or view the questions here:

While we have lots of historical documents, personal stories/memories paint a better picture. Think of the sights, sounds, smells, everything you can remember. What was the context/situation? Who was there? What year was it?

Can you tell me a story about an event in North Gower (e.g., a fire, a storm, a news-worthy event, etc.) and how it affected your life?

Do you have a memory of your school? Your church? The library? Any other building?

If you grew up in North Gower, tell me a story from your childhood, or your teenage years.

Describe a memory of spring in North Gower.

                        “           summer

                        “           fall

                        “           winter

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Do you have old pictures or documents that would enrich the book?

Three rural libraries to close in United Counties

August 27, 2016 —Today is a sad day in Dalkeith as a farewell party is scheduled for the library, which the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Library Board has decided to close. In fact, three rural libraries in the United Counties are slated for closure: Dalkeith, Morewood, and St. Andrews West.

This excerpt is from a report prepared by writer Tom van Dusen for the current edition of Ontario Farmer.

Hope is waning for three Eastern Ontario communities hoping to preserve their libraries as key centres for educational, social and children’s activities.

The libraries are at Dalkeith, Morewood and St Andrews West. All are small rural hamlets with little left at their cores but the libraries….Closure dates for the three branches has been given as September 3.

Dalkeith library: usage was up, and there is no “bailiff at the door,” say residents

The Board has blamed its decision on costs, insurance considerations and safety standards. It previously closed two other branches, at North Lancaster and Moose Creek. Once threatened, branches at Williamsburg and South Mountain remain open after residents manned the barricades.

Branch defenders caim book borrowers are increasing and operating costs are minimal. For example, a part-time librarian in Dalkeith costs $17,000 a year.

Supporters such as Leo Lehtiniemi feel the rug has been pulled out from under them, A member of Friends of the Dalkeith Library, Lehtiniemi said that, over the past year, borrowers have increased by 36 percent and visitors by 11 percent.

“That’s what we were asked to do,” he says of the spike in library use. “There are no safety issues and there is no bailiff at the door. Closing the library is like ripping the heart out of Dalkeith.”

St Andrews West branch: also on the chopping block

Renovated North Gower Branch open today

New seating area and racks for DVDs and magazines at North Gower --Photo Friends of the North Gower Library

New seating area and racks for DVDs and magazines at North Gower –Photo Friends of the North Gower Library

After what felt like two very long weeks (we LOVE our Library!!) the North Gower Branch of the Ottawa Public Library reopened today.

Dozens of people had dropped by in the first hour, including Councillor Scott Moffatt, to see the new space, and new features for library patrons.

The space feels fresher and brighter said some visiting, including retired North Gower librarian Karen Craig, who couldn’t wait to see what the new space looked like.

Staffer Louise Drouin-Backs was kept busy showing how easy it is to use the new self checkout feature — everyone can still go to the service desk and ask staff to process books, though, if they wish!

Coral’s Corner used books is also back in operation, with a small supply of gently used books for sale. Once “back of the house” operations are straightened away, the renovations will be truly complete.

Staff member Louise Drouin-Backs and Councillor Scott Moffatt. "The staff here are amazing," says Moffatt.

Staff member Louise Drouin-Backs and Councillor Scott Moffatt. “The staff here are amazing,” says Moffatt.