What kind of library is this?
Because most of the books in the collection have been donated, it’s not the kind of library where you come looking for a particular book, although somebody may have donated it! It’s the kind of library where you come and browse and let a book “find” you.
This characteristic dates from the Library’s beginnings in 1928 and even back to 1913, when summer residents donated and shared books kept in a room made available in the home of Mrs. Frank Freda.
While there are some old books in the Library, such as those Zoe’s personal collection, donations over the years and to this day ensure there is always a selection of newer books available. The Library has never had a budget to purchase books.
A wide variety of books, old and new, are available for borrowing or enjoyment at the table in the Ondaatje Reading Room. Explore the shelves for a good mystery, a biography or a delightful surprise. There are books on the sea and sailing, history and gardening. The newest donations are on display on a small table in the Book Room.
There is no fee or cost for membership or to borrow books. One of the stipulations made by Zoé’s sister when she made the gift of the property is that it always remain a “free community library”. To borrow books you need only to be a resident of the Municipality or visiting someone in the community.
The Library receives donations of books every year. Due to space limitations, we can only accept books that are likely to be read by those who use the Library. The books we can accept are recent hardcover / higher-quality paperback fiction, non-fiction or history on current topics or local subjects, biographies, any classical literature, or any book suitable or interesting as summer reading.
We cannot accept encyclopedias, reference texts, condensed books, cookbooks…these books are no longer borrowed or consulted because of the internet. If you are unsure of whether some books are suitable for donation, please contact the librarian.
New Books For Children
There is also a large selection of children’s books for various ages and reading levels. Miss Merle Stanford, one of a group of schoolgirls known as “CHUMS”, passed away many years ago at the age of thirty. The other members established two trust funds that would be used for buying children’s books for the Zoé Vallé Memorial Library in her memory.
The Hallie Stanford and Catherine Mitchell Trusts are administered by descendents of the original group, who also purchase the books and deliver them to the Library. Their thoughtfulness and dedication have meant that the Library regularly receives a good selection of children’s books. The “CHUMS” books are very popular with the children who use the Library and their smiling faces are a fitting memorial to Miss Stanford and the other “CHUMS”.