About the Friends of the Library

About the Friends of the Library

We are a volunteer organization of McGill Library advocates.  Founded in the late 1980’s by a group of loyal Library supporters and benefactors, our mission is to nurture community interest in the Library, build awareness about the Library’s resources and cultivate long-term support for its collections. 

Today, our Friends are students, alumni, staff and faculty, as well as a host of others from around North America. We are all deeply committed to promoting and enhancing McGill’s great Library.

Each year, we share our passion for the Library, learning, and the advancement of knowledge, by funding and hosting a series of three, free public lectures:

Our speakers -- great actors, writers, historians, judges and more -- entertain and inspire our guests in lively and relaxed settings, around the McGill campus. The Friends also host a series of smaller talks that provide a privileged opportunity for one-on-one talks with an array of noted speakers.

McGill’s Library is on the threshold of a major transformation. Fiat Lux, from the Latin “Let There Be Light,” carved on the lintel over the original library’s door, is the standard-bearer for a new vision of teaching, learning, and research. It will transform the Library into a visionary centre for teaching, learning, and research in the digital age. This ambitious project will double the spaces available for students and faculty so that they may study and share knowledge in revolutionary new ways.

By raising awareness and much-needed resources for this exciting project, the Friends, an early promoter of Fiat Lux, continue to be an enthusiastic partner in making this re-imagined library of the future a reality for all.

Join the Friends!  Be inspired.  Inspire others!


The McGill Library Collections

The McGill Library provides users with a superior one-stop discovery and delivery—combining the richness of library collections and an Internet-age user experience. There are over 7 million items in the McGill Library ranging from one of the best e-collections in Canada to internationally important rare and special collections. The Library makes many of its unique collections available to the world-wide community through digital images on its website including In Pursuit of Adventure: The Fur Trade in Canada and the North West Companythe Ming Qing Women’s Writing Project, and The William Osler Photo Collection, to name but a few. The Digital Collections Program is building McGill's virtual library. (For more information https://www.mcgill.ca/library/find/digitization)

The Library also holds over 3.6 million print volumes. Among them, the rare and special collections are one of the Library’s marks of distinction, offering an extraordinary range of materials from rare books and historical documents to architectural drawings, musical scores and political and sport memorabilia.

The Library owes much of the wealth and diversity of its collections to gifts from alumni, faculty and the community. Its many loyal benefactors through the decades include: Peter and Grace Redpath, Isabella MacLennan, and more recently, Dr. Richard Tomlinson, the Joan and Clifford Hatch Foundation, the Blachford family, Seymour Schulich and the Harold Crabtree Foundation. Today’s Library counts more than ever on gifts from a variety of supporters to meet its objectives for growth and innovation.

For more information https://www.mcgill.ca/library/about/donors.


McGill Library's Stories & People

Ever wonder what makes a library tick? From music to law, Islamic studies to engineering, rare books to management, the McGill Library has a blog for almost everyone!

Whether it’s getting details on branch-specific services or the scoop on a new digital resource, our blogs give librarians, library staff members and student contributors the chance to share information with the McGill community in a fun, informal and engaging way. Feedback is always welcome so feel free to leave a comment. Plus you can stay on top of it all by subscribing to one, two or all of our blogs.

Start exploring now by clicking here for our blogs listing and here for the Library's general blog Library Matters.

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