Have you ever wondered about the person for whom this booming little branch by the North Hill Shopping Centre is named? Louise Riley (1904–1957) was the daughter of the distinguished pioneer Riley family who found her own way to be a pioneer with the Calgary Public Library. Always concerned with the needs of young readers and how to reach them, she found a solution with a live radio broadcast, The Children’s Story Hour.
She was also an accomplished children’s author in her own right, winning the Canadian Library Association’s book of the year in 1955 for Train for Tiger Lily. Sadly, she died prematurely in 1957 and two years later, the branch, located on land donated by her father, Ezra, in 1906, was named in her honour. Always a busy branch, it expanded to the nearby Community Health Services building in 2009. Customers still reminisce about the immunization shots they received in what is now the new program room!
Come and celebrate Louise Riley’s legacy by attending some of the new intergenerational programs and gaze at the 1964 portrait by renowned artist H.G. Glyde. Check out the Calgary Public Library Archives for more pictures of this remarkable woman and the branch over the years.