About Libs Today | Digital docs | Ontario history | Photo gallery | Blog  

Children's Story Hour, Sarnia, 2 March 1907

In the first decade of the twentieth century, many public libraries had not yet established children's services. At Sarnia, Patricia Spereman was appointed to assist with new services in 1904 and began to promote children's work in the following years. She is considered to have conducted the first public library story hours in Ontario.

The children in this photograph are standing at the side entrance which led directly to the children's area inside the new Carnegie library. Patricia Spereman may be standing in the centre but her identification is not certain. She left Sarnia in 1908 to begin working in the Ontario Department of Education: her principle duty was to catalogue books and assist with the establishment of children's services in public libraries that requested her services. She remained with the department in various capacities, retaining her early interest by publishing "Selected list of books for older boys and girls," Ontario Library Review 15 (1931): 119-21. She died at Toronto in 1946.

Photo caption: After the storyhour, Sarnia Public Library, 2 March 1907
Photo source: Archives of Ontario, S-2058
Page created on 10 May 1997
Last modified on



Created February 1996 | Book requests or comments to: Libraries Today | top of this page |