What is a “Carnegie library” and why was one built in Hespeler? Join historian Dr. Matthew Griffis as he tells the story of Carnegie libraries and how they impacted the development of public libraries in Ontario in the early 20th century. Drawing on years of research, Griffis will explain why Carnegie libraries were built in some locations but not others, why some Carnegie libraries shared architectural similarities while others seemed more unique, and why some Carnegie libraries have survived over a century of service while others have been closed or demolished. The presentation will include many images of library buildings from across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
About our Speaker
Matthew Griffis received his PhD in library and information science from Western University in 2013. He specialized in the study of libraries as places, particularly the origins and development of modern library building designs. For over twenty years, Griffis has maintained an interest in the history of Carnegie libraries and an enthusiasm for their preservation. He has spoken on the subject previously at academic conferences and at public libraries in Ontario and the United States.