Pop-up Library, World’s Easiest Book Club, Stop, Drop and Write. These are only a few of the novel new programs that have recently emerged from the Hart House Library.

A vibrant committee oversees operations, and student curators are injecting the Library with creativity and innovation.

I was given free rein to come up with projects that would improve the library and engage students.

David Sprague, former student and library curator

As a way to share their love of writing and reading, the Hart House Literary and Library Committee has been developing several new programmes, through the support of a generous donation, that will appeal to all students and community members regardless of their passion for, or knowledge of, the written word.

Even if you’re not a keen reader, you may want to join Hart House on a walking tour of Toronto neighbourhoods such as Kensington Market and Allan Gardens to discover the uniquely Canadian stories that live in these places. Or you might visit Write Now, a weekly drop-in writing session, which is more about self-expression than flawless writing.

However, if flawless writing is your goal, you may want to attend the Hart House Literary Fair, or participate in one of the many practical workshops on how to get a “job with words” including how to secure a literary agent and how to get published. While Hart House storytelling circles, genre panels, book repair workshops and writing retreats all have their unique appeal, at core the focus of all this activity is to create a vibrant tri-campus community for the enjoyment of literary arts.

I think [Writing at Hart House is] an amazing opportunity for people to discover what they’re really interested in and to be encouraged to perform it.

Binnaz Posul, U of T exchange student

Let’s not forget about the Hart House Library itself. With a non-circulating collection of over 5,000 books, cozy nooks, breathtaking stained glass windows and a towering moulded ceiling, the Hart House Library is definitely worth a visit.

Once a bastion of Canadian classics, the library reflects evolving interests and now also includes a prominent collection of graphic novels and contemporary international titles. The library’s collection is maintained by student groups and volunteers. 

The Hart House Library and the Literary and Library Committee are working to build a lasting legacy, a community where words—written, spoken or read—are celebrated by all.