activities & events
by Doreen Lindsay, president of the Westmount Historical Association
doors open : Friday evening, January 13, 1911.
- All citizens of Westmount were invited.
- Guests were served refreshments and entertained by an orchestra.
- Mr. Rutherford, the new Mayor and Mr. Trenholme, the retiring Mayor gave speeches.
- Also in attendence : Mr. F. S. Maclennan, chairman of the Library board, Mr. Fred Evans, a trustee, Mr. C. H. Gould and Mr. W. D. Lighthall.
postcard from Mary Saxe, Library Director to Mr.W.D. Lighthall
reminding him of the opening of the Children's department.
Dated January 9, 1911.
courtesy of Westmount Historical Association.
Westmount children loved their new Library
- Four hundred children joined the Library between January and November of the first year.
- Two hundred children registered in each of the next two years.
- By 1918 there were 2,147 books in the collection.
membership book and acquisition book from 1911
the building: designed by local architect Robert Findlay
- Respected local architect Robert Findlay designed the Children’s Library.
- The department was a separate building with its own librarian Miss Scarff who was chosen for her special aptitude with children.
- The Library was a single room 37 by 24 feet having a similar elaborate design as the adult library. Two large leaded bay windows included the names of famous authors of children's books.
- The large fireplace featured coloured tiles with characters from Alice in Wonderland and the words "There's no frigate like a book to bear us leagues away" - from an Emily Dickinson poem.
Mary Saxe, Library Director
- A children's reading room had been part of the initial plans for the library when it was proposed as a lasting celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee of 1897.
- Unfortunately it was eliminated when the plans had to be reduced to lower the cost of building.
- The Chief Librarian Mary Saxe began asking City Council for a Children's Reading Room every year.
- When it was finally built eleven years later Miss Saxe, The Library Committee and the City of Westmount found it to be the greatest event in the Library’s history since it was established in 1899.
Miss Emma Jenkins
Miss Gwendoline McEwen
1954 – 1967
Miss Catherine Fraser
Tuesday, January 25, 2011