Service Alerts

Most library services have returned, including in person Storytimes, study rooms at some locations, The Labs and toys and activities in children's areas.
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New Year's Day, 1849, Eldon House

January 1st, 1849 excerpt from the diary of Charlotte Owen Harris:

Mamma, Amelia and Eliza went to church.  Jack went to the election in the Township of London.  We had about fifty visitors.  Mr. Hay & Mr. Butler had too much wine.  This is the first time anyone has called here in that state.

To learn more about Eldon House, attend the New Year's Day Levee from 1-4 pm.     

Century Old Christmas Greeting

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to our many customers and friends from H. Wolf & Sons, furniture business, 265 Dundas St.  (London Free Press, December 25, 1912).  Other businesses located at this address over the years included Starr Co. of Canada (phonographs), London Silk Shoppe, Singer Sewing Machine Co., Downtown Delicatessen and Gift Shop and South Pacific Clothing Co.  265 Dundas Street was demolished in 1988 and is now part of the library's Rotary Reading Garden. 


Happy Melvil Dewey Day!

photo of chocolate cake with 641.865 on it

The cake pictured above was from the Library celebration today, Mon. Dec. 10, for Melvil Dewey Day. Can you guess what subject the call number on top represents?

Brothers in Life, Brothers-in-Arms, Brothers in Death

While assisting a patron in the London Room, I came across two twin brothers who served in the Second World War.  Jerry Milton  and Malcolm John Bowern were born on September 28th, 1923 in Byron , the sons of Milton Bowern and Elizabeth Ann Crapp and brothers of Percy, Wesley, Flossy, Maggie, Edna Ada, Olive and Mabel.  Milton died on July 21, 1925 when his twins were almost two years

Security! Security!

60 years ago in March, 1952, the Policy and Personnel Committee of the London Public Library Board made the following recommendation:

that commissionaries be appointed and installed at a desk in the main lobby [of the Central Library]:

a.  to check all outgoing books, films, parcels, pictures. records, etc, to avoid losses and borrowing books without charging them [out]

b.  to act as building directors

c.  to check on undesirable transients in lobby and library divisions

d.  to check bags, parcels, etc.

Sit Down and Drive-In

Does the smell of hot buttered popcorn make you wish you were at the movies?  For 82 years, generations of movie-goers fulfilled that wish by attending the Capitol Theatre at 204 Dundas Street in London, Ontario.  The Capitol opened on February 23rd, 1920 as the Allen Theatre, part of the first national chain of theatres in Canada, founded by Jay and Jules Allen in the late 1910s.  It became the Capitol in 1924 and closed ten years ago during the summer of 2002.

Movie-goers in London today can still enjoy movies in the Alle

From Books to Sewers

Did you know that London Public Library's first branch librarian, Francis "Frank" Caldwell Ball (1896-1961), ended his career as chief sewer engineer for the City of London?

From October 1915 to August 1920, Frank, earning $35 a month, was the librarian for the new East End Branch [now Carson Branch Library, named after former chief librarian, William Oliver Carson], then located in the former East London Town Hall at Dundas and Rectory streets.

Returning to school in the Fall of 1

United Empire Loyalists

Do you know who these people are?

photo of woman
We've been busy digitizing the historic photographs and images from our London Room local history collection and we're inviting you to help us solve some mysteries.

In Search of our Roots

book cover imageHenry Louis Gates, Jr. has been interested in his family's history since his father showed him a photograph of his great-great grandmother, an ex-slave named Jane Gates, when he was 10 years old. As an adult, this scholar traced the family trees of 19 African Americans, such as Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Maya Angelou and Whoopi Goldberg, through U.S. history and back to Africa.