October 17, 1966 was a significant day in Calgary history when Alderman Roy Farran opened the Southwood branch.
City council had finally granted the wish of a determined group of 1000 residents who signed a petition insisting on a library in their neighbourhood. Some 95 percent of the customers were children who would grow up with the library. Library staff have identified several 3 generation families who continue to visit regularly. With Southwood at the heart of its community, many customers stop regularly just for a chat, greeting staff and neighbours by name. An incredibly successful campaign of “staff picks” encourages regular customers to seek out specific staff members for their recommendations.
Southwood has developed a community garden for the Library’s centennial, harking back to the legacy of first chief librarian Alexander Calhoun, who was instrumental in developing the Vacant Lots club to help sustain many in the city during the hard times of World War 1. Check out more amazing pictures of the branch over the years in the Calgary Public Library Archives.