Women of Interest – Lillian Helena Smith

Lillian Helena Smith was born on March 17, 1887 in London, Ontario, and died at the age of 95 in 1983. In 1912 Smith became the first trained children’s librarian in Canada. At 25 years of age she began working at the Toronto Public Library, children’s collection, where she remained for 40 years. She introduced many changes and improvements to the children’s collection, including extending children’s services to 16 branch libraries, 30 schools and two settlement houses. As well, Smith initiated story hour which attracted hundreds of children back in the 1920’s and 30’s. In 1995 the Toronto Public library named one of its branches the Lillian H. Smith branch. Following the creation of a library school at the University of Toronto, Lillian Smith taught children’s literature courses until her retirement.

“The love for a good story, well told, lies deep in every human heart.” – Lillian H. Smith.