My Canada... My Libraries

By Heidi Northover, BWG Public Library

Heidi Northover at work at the old Library on John St. West, in  Bradford, 30 years ago. Submitted

Heidi Northover at work at the old Library on John St. West, in Bradford, 30 years ago. Submitted

December 8, 2017, marks 30 years of working in this library community for me. I thought I would share some memories....
My Bradford library career started at the original library at 35 John St. West, currently the Bradford Animal Clinic. Being the “new kid”, there was no room to put my desk with the other 5 colleagues, so I was stationed in the Adult Fiction collection. Patrons would ask where certain authors were, like Sandra Brown or Tom Clancy, and I would literally point over my shoulder - “Over there” or “Behind me.”
This library was so small that the entire 900s section was housed in the basement in closed stacks. Staff had to get the books for the patrons.
It was welcome news to hear that a new library was to be built at 100 Holland Court (the building that is now the BWG Family Health Centre), in 1988. This location was huge in comparison. When the library was being built, we all walked by the Plaza Bakery, which was on corner of the strip plaza on Holland St. I smelled the aroma of fresh baking. After our tour, I yelled out, “Chelsea buns!” and all the library staff ran into the bakery!
I was at the “new” library for 23 years. Eventually, this building was bursting at the seams, so to speak, and we were running out of room.
It was the summer of 2010, at the Farmers' Market then being held beside the Bradford Post Office, that we heard a newer and larger library would be built, across from the Canadian Tire Store on Holland St. West. It would be given the name “Library and Cultural Centre.” We were ecstatic!
I've enjoyed working in this lovely facility for the past 6 years.
Before moving to Bradford, I was working at the Newmarket Public Library, during my teen years, and once I graduated, I completed my Library Technician diploma at Seneca College in Toronto. My earliest recollection of a library, as a child, was in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I must say I have seen a lot of changes in Bradford over 30 years, and I feel very honoured to have been able to work in 3 different libraries in one municipality. I have had the privilege of working with terrific people who really care about serving the community. The residents of Bradford West Gwillimbury should be proud of their library's history, and their wonderful new Library and Cultural Centre.
For Canada's Sesquicentennial year, The Bradford Times is asking readers  – both long-time residents, and newcomers to the country – to share some of their favourite places, events and memories of this country we call home. Stories, photos and comments can be sent to, subject “My Canada,” or mail to “My Canada,” Bradford Times, 74 John St. West, Box 1570, Bradford ON L3Z 2B8.