Join us for the 125th celebration

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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!

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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

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What’s under the Library in North Gower?

We’re told this is “Trivia Tuesday” so this is as good a time as any to ask, Do you know what’s under the floor of the library space in North Gower?

Hint: the Library is in what used to be the Rideau Township fire hall, where the fire trucks were housed…and maintained.

Local historian Coral Lindsay honoured today

Karen Craig of the North Gower library and Bill Tupper of the Rideau Historical Society with photo of Coral Lindsay and the new Coral's Corner

Karen Craig of the North Gower library and Bill Tupper of the Rideau Historical Society with photo of Coral Lindsay and the new Coral’s Corner

“A great friend, an accomplished historian, author and librarian,” was how former MP Bill Tupper described the late Coral Lindsay at a special ceremony in the North Gower Branch of the Ottawa Public Library today.

Mrs Lindsay was being celebrated for her decades of work in the community, and a bookstore area at the Library was named in her honour.

The idea for naming the book area after Mrs LIndsay came from North Gower library supervisor Karen Craig. “Every day that Coral was next door working in the Archives,” Karen said, “she came over to the Library side to look over our cart of books for sale. In fact, she was our best customer! So it was only fitting that we honour her in this way. We all miss her.”

Coral Scharf Lindsay was active in the greater Kars area throughout her life as a teacher-librarian in the Carleton Board of Education; a member of  St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church,a leader and volunteer with the Ottawa Archives (Rideau Branch), and a volunteer with the Rideau Township Historical Society and Dickinson House.
Coral researched and published numerous histories of Carleton County people and events.  Her accomplishments were recognized as she was the recipient of Manotick Citizen of the Year Award (2009) the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), the Ontario Heritage Foundation Citation (1997), the Phi Delta Kappa Exemplary Teacher Certificate (1996), the Canada 125 Volunteer Award (1992), the Teacher’s Federation of Carleton County Silver Pin (1987), the Ontario Bicentennial Medal (1984) and the Lady Tweedsmuir Trophy (1964) for her role as curator of the Kars Tweedsmuir History.
Visit Coral’s Corner at the North Gower Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, 6579 Fourth Line Road, North Gower.
Jane Venus, manager OPL rural branches; Carol Cope, volunteer Friends of the Ottawa Public LIbrary; Bill Tupper, representing the Rideau Historical Society

Jane Venus, manager OPL rural branches; Carol Cope, volunteer Friends of the Ottawa Public LIbrary; Bill Tupper, representing the Rideau Historical Society

Celebrating 123 years of library service in North Gower!

Daughter Lane is among the first for cake while Councillor Scott Moffatt serves up; staffers Karen Craig and Louise Drouin-Backs look on

Daughter Lane is among the first for cake while Dad Councillor Scott Moffatt serves up; staffers Karen Craig and Louise Drouin-Backs look on

Library patrons, staff, volunteers and Rideau-Goulbourn Councillor Scott Moffatt celebrated the occasion of 123 years of continuous library service in North Gower today.

A chocolate cake decorated with multi-coloured candies was sliced by the Councillor for staff and visitors, including his daughter, Lane.

Councillor Moffatt remarked that the North Gower Library’s history of over a century of service was remarkable in the history of Ontario and that today, as part of the Ottawa Public Library system, library users have access to a huge range of materials.

“This library may seem small physically,” he said, “but it has large circulation numbers and is an important part of our community. My children enjoy coming here to read and play,” he said.

While the grown-ups were making speeches, several children were playing in the children’s area at the back of the library, where there are toys and three walls of shelved picture books. Other children were comfortable in chairs, reading graphic novels, waiting for the speeches to be over and the cake to be served.

Staffers Karen Craig, Louise Drouin-Backs, and Christine McKay were on hand for the celebration today.

The North Gower Library began on November 14th, 1891, when the Mechanics Institute convened a library service for local residents. The library was in at least six locations over the years, but since 1978 has been housed in the former Rideau Township Fire Hall, next door to the Rideau Archives in the former Town Hall.

Councillor Moffatt remarked that the upcoming 125th year will be one of celebration for the community, which prizes its library.

The 123rd celebration event was organized by the Friends of the North Gower Library.

friendsofthenorthgowerlibrary@gmail.com