The London Public Library (LPL) is the public library system of London, Ontario, Canada. All 16 locations city-wide offer services and programs for adults, teens and children residing in London and the surrounding counties of Oxford, Middlesex, and Elgin. The branches includes art exhibits, author readings, a summer reading program, and health-oriented activities.
LPL provides many services to its patrons, such as the following:
Information and reference services to assist patrons in locating specific library materials
Community resources (connecting patrons to community partners who may meet the specific needs of the patron)
Internet access (through library computer stations and WiFi)
Reader's advisory services for read-alike suggestions
Programming for children, teens and adults (such as book clubs, activities, and discussion groups)
Visiting Library Services (delivery of library materials to homebound patrons or branches where they can be easily picked from by family/friends)
Interlibrary Loans (ILLO) for materials not available at LPL but found in another library system outside of it
Book Club in a Bag (a bag with 10 copies of a book selected from over 200 titles for private book clubs)
Borrowing - Memberships, Limitations, and Fines
In order to borrow materials from the library, both physically and electronically, a membership is needed to the London Public Library. The library card provides access to materials at any of the 16 branches in the city, as well as access to many digital resources through the library's website.
Library cards are free to all London and area (Oxford, Middlesex, and Elgin County) residents, excluding Woodstock
Paid subscription membership cards are available to those who live outside of the areas mentioned above (monthly and yearly options available)
Books (fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, dual language and international languages, etc.)
Audiobooks, books in mp3 format
DVDs and CDs
Newspapers and Magazines
*Wireless Hotspots and Laptops must be returned within the seven-day loan period to ensure charges for the device are not applied to account.
In addition to over 140 scheduled programs, the LPL offers year-round programming as well. Some these programs include:
Book a Librarian - offers individual, 1-on-1 help for anyone seeking to learn how to use the library and/or library resources for their research. One hour sessions are available in person (or by phone or email arrangement) at the branches, with a maximum of two sessions/person each month. In the first year of this pilot program in 2015, over 220 "Book a Librarian" sessions took place.
Library Settlement Partnership - multilingual LSP workers assist newcomers with information regarding housing, immigration, and healthcare at Jalna and Beacock locations
The Welcome Centre - in June 2017, the LPL in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, began an outreach program that sees two mental health workers hosting a table on the 3rd floor of the Central branch every Wednesday from 9:30am-5pm.
Based on an economic impact model developed by the Martin Prosperity Institute, the London Public Library estimates that for every dollar invested, Londoners receive $6.68 in value. In total, the LPL creates over $102 million in total economic impact for the city each year.
The Mechanics Institute in London,Ontario circa. 1860-1877
London Mechanics’ Institute was one of a series of Mechanic's Institutes that were set up around the world after becoming popular in Britain. It housed a subscription library that allowed members who paid a fee to borrow books. The Mechanic's Institutes libraries eventually became public libraries when the establishment of free libraries occurred.
The London Public Library opened in November 1896. The present-day Central Library was built in a remodeled space that formerly housed a Hudson's Bay outlet. The Central library opened in this location on August 25, 2002. This not only allowed for an economical expansion of the branch, but also offered the library a more central location in the city's downtown core. Additional outside donations enabled the construction of the Wolf Performance Hall, a concert hall which hosts music and theatre performances. The Central Library is also home to the Reading Garden which is equipped with seating and multiple water features.
From 2016 to 2017, the Central Branch was extensively renovated, its first major overhaul since it moved into CitiPlaza. As part of this renovation, a portion of the branch's northern section was remodeled to become CBC Radio One's CBCL-FM's new broadcast studio for new local and regional programming such as London Morning and Afternoon Drive and as well as digital content.
Susanna Hubbard Krimmer is currently the 11th CEO of the London Public Library and only the second woman to hold that position.
Westmount branch of the London Public Library
The London Public Library now has 16 branches open to the public. The branches are: