Locally, the history of the Guelph Public Library (GPL) is not told without mentioning the significant contributions of Eileen Hammill, a Board member for 30 years who retired in 2011. Eileen was always very well prepared for Board meetings, taking a businesslike approach to the many challenges facing the GPL. She was keen to hear about and research the latest trends in public libraries. Eileen understood that a free and accessible public library makes a significant difference in the lives of children and adults. In Eileen’s 30 years on the Board, the library increased its circulation from 400,000 to 1.8 million and grew from one location to six. The GPL was more successful than many other municipal libraries in the province. This was, in part, due to the strong leadership of board members like Eileen.
In the 1980’s Eillen played a lead role in the establishment of the Southern Ontario Library Service. In 1990, she was recognized as Trustee of the Year by the Ontario Public Library Association.
Eileen was and continues to be a strong advocate for a new main library in our Downtown. It is long overdue.
Eileen was also very interested in Guelph’s history and heritage buildings. In the 1960’s she served as the President of the Guelph Historical Society.
Thank you Eileen for your many years of determined and dedicated advocacy! Libraries matter! May your dream of a new home for our wonderful GPL be realized soon.