Librarians of Prince Albert

1912-1928: Annie Keyworth

Annie Keyworth

Annie Keyworth, Librarian 1912-1928. Photo courtesy of the Bill Smiley Archives, Prince Albert Historical Society.

Annie Keyworth immigrated to Prince Albert with her family from Yorkshire, England in 1892.  Annie served as Librarian of the Prince Albert Public Library from 1912 until her passing in 1928.  She was also a very active member of St. Alban’s Anglican Cathedral and taught Sunday school there for over 35 years.

Click here to view the stained glass window located within St. Alban’s Cathedral which honours Annie Keyworth’s memory and her contributions to the community of Prince Albert.

1929-1950: Muriel MacArthur

1951-1955: Marion Gilroy

Marion Gilroy

Marion Gilroy in the early 1950s. Photo courtesy of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.

Marion Gilroy grew up in Springhill, Nova Scotia and studied at McGill, the University of Toronto and Columbia University.  She arrived in Saskatchewan in 1946 determined to bring the regional libraries concept to the prairies.  Marion’s tireless and passionate character was instrumental in the creation of the first Provincial regional library.  Despite bureaucratic obstacles and accusations that regional libraries may actually be “propaganda agencies for the socialists” (StarPhoenix, January 1947), Gilroy held true to her vision of bringing library service to the people of Prince Albert and the rural areas surrounding it.

Gilroy was indeed so persuasive that one Melfort mayor once declared: “Lady, I wish I could talk like you.  I’d be Prime Minister” (Braithwaite, p. 57).

Gilroy later became Supervisor of Regional Libraries for Saskatchewan, a post from which she resigned in 1963.  She went on to become a Library Science professor at the University of British Columbia and spent her later years traveling to exotic locales such as Russia and the Canadian North.  She passed away in 1981.

1955-1973: Grace Campbell

Grace Campbell

Grace Campbell’s retirement party, 1973. Photo courtesy of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.

Grace Campbell served as public and regional librarian in Prince Albert from 1955 to 1973.  Born in Scotland, Grace obtained her Library Science degree from McGill University and worked as a librarian in Prince Edward Island for many years.  Encouraged by her friend Marion Gilroy, Grace migrated to Prince Albert in 1950.

During her tenure, Grace advanced the library’s presence in the community and oversaw the expansion of the regional library and the design of the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library.  She retired to Victoria, BC in 1973, a few weeks before the grand opening of the Cuelenaere Library.  The Library’s art gallery was named in her honour.

Grace passed away in January, 2013.

1973-2008: Eleanor Acorn

Eleanor Acorn

Eleanor Acorn, circa 1988. Photo courtesy of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.

Eleanor Acorn hails from the Prince Albert area and holds degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto.  She began her career at the Prince Albert Public Library as Head of the Adult Department from 1964-1965.  Eleanor took some time off to raise a family before becoming Chief Librarian at the newly opened John M. Cuelenaere Public Library in 1973.

Eleanor observed many changes at the Library and assisted in library automation and technological advancements such as the change from card to online catalogues.  She initiated a Prince Albert Library group in the 1990s and was essential in the founding of the Multitype Library Board.  She retired in 2008.

2008: Sharon Karr

Sharon Karr

Sharon Karr in 2008

Originally from the Edmonton area, Sharon Karr obtained her Library and Information Science degree from the University of Alberta.  She spent one year as Acting Director of John M. Cuelenaere Public Library before continuing her career at the Edmonton Public Library.  While in Saskatchewan, Sharon enjoyed biking and exploring the outdoors.

2009-2013: Jaclyn McLean

Jaclyn McLean

Jaclyn McLean, 2010.

A Regina native, Jaclyn McLean moved to Prince Albert after obtaining her Library and Information Science degree at the University of Western Ontario in London, ON.  As Acting Director, Jaclyn initiated an ongoing policy review program and helped advocate for more professionally trained librarians at the Library.  In 2010, Jaclyn became the Deputy Director at JMCPL.

Jaclyn continues to contribute to public libraries in Saskatchewan at the University of Saskatchewan.

When she is not writing reviews of kids’ books for Resource Links, Jaclyn enjoys baking and taking trips to Europe.

2010-Present: Alex Juorio

Alex Juorio

Alex Juorio, circa 2011.

Alex Juorio was born in England and moved to Saskatchewan as a child.  Alex attended the University of Saskatchewan as well as the University of Western Ontario.  Alex was Assistant Director at JMCPL for seven years before accepting a library position with the Forest Service.

Alex returned as the Director of JMCPL in 2010 where his focus is aimed at creating a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) service system whereby patrons can obtain reference and circulation assistance at one location.  Alex was instrumental in the establishment of the Bernice Sayese Centre Library Branch on the West Side, as well as various renovations projects at JMCPL. He is still the current Director of JMCPL.

In his free time, Alex enjoys tinkering with computers, learning about technological developments and traveling to the West Coast.


Sources Consulted

* The Prince Albert Historical Society was a very much appreciated and essential resource in the compilation of this history.

Braithwaite, M. (1965). Like being a millionaire. Prince Albert: Wapiti Regional Library.

Kerr, D. (2005). A book in every hand. Regina: Coteau Books.