George Herbert Locke was born at Beamsville on 29 March 1870.
He worked as an academic in the United States at Harvard
and the University of Chicago before he was appointed chief librarian of the
Toronto Public Library in December 1908. Locke was an prolific author and an outstanding librarian. He is justly remembered for his
development of TPL's branch library system after the First World War and
the international reputation this library attained under his direction in
the 1920s and 1930s.
Locke was president of the Ontario Library Association in 1916/17 and
president of the American Library Association in 1926/27. During his
ALA presidency, its annual meeting was held in Toronto in June 1927.
Locke died in Toronto on 28 January 1937. His contributions
are recognized by a federal historic site plaque
mounted on the wall of the local public library at his birthplace. As well, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of The
Library Association in 1931, an unusual honour for a Canadian librarian.
Photo caption: George Herbert Locke, no date
Photo source: Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, T-13722
Page created on 11 August 1997 (modified 10 Aug. 2007)