William John Sykes was born at Campbellford, Ontario, in 1865. After
graduating from Victoria College, University of Toronto, he began a
teaching career. In 1912 he successfully applied for the position of
chief librarian at Ottawa and held this until his retirement in 1936.
Under his tenure, the main Carnegie library was expanded, services
modernized, and two branch libraries opened.
He was president of the Ontario Library Association in 1921/22.
Sykes held a keen interest in English literature and authored a number of
publications including the collected works of William Wilfred Campbell in
1923. He also published a book selection guide for libraries, Selected
list of fiction in English, in 1914. He died at Ottawa on 13 October
Photo caption: William J. Sykes, no date
Photo source: National Archives of Canada, C-27771
Page created on 5 June 1997 (modified 29 May 2000)