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George H. Locke, 1870-1937

Toronto chief librarian, 1908-1937

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
Last modified on

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