This Week in JPL History: The Library in 1948

For a period of years the Library would publish an Annual Library Book. This publication was different and separate from its annual report and gave snapshot of Library over the past year and would include an introduction written by a local author. On March 21st the 1948 Annual Library Book was officially published. It`s introduction was written by Irving Layton.

In his introduction Layton spoke about the impact the Library had on many people, about the Library’s dedicated staff, and its full reading rooms. Most movingly however Layton wrote “…the most characteristically human creation is, after all, not a building, but a book; a library is not a collection of volumes arranged on shelves – it is an act of faith.”

According to this book, the Library at the time boasted 1329 members. A breakdown of the professions of these members was given, as well as the types of books which were taken out and in what languages. It also highlighted the goings on of the Library’s past year. During this time the Library had sent books to the patients of the Jewish General Hospital, several displaced persons camps in Germany as well as to “a number of young men who, coming from Europe, have found employment as lumberjacks in northern Ontario.”

The This Week in Jewish Public Library History blog series was made possible through the generous support of the Peter and Ellen Jacobs Virtual Archives Fund.

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