Exterior shot of the Main Library and the patio area

About Waterloo Public Library

Waterloo Public Library (WPL) has been serving the City of Waterloo since 1876. With a vast collection of books, digital resources, engaging programs and welcoming spaces, we foster a love of reading and inspire lifelong learning. Discover a world of endless possibilities at Waterloo Public Library.

Our Vision,
Mission & Values

Our Vision

We envision a thriving community that is multi-literate, engaged and welcoming to all.

Our Mission

We provide equitable access to lifelong learning and contribute to the wellbeing of all.

Our Values

  • Trust
    We are a trusted community resource for diverse information and perspectives where the needs and privacy of all are respected.
  • Equity
    We prioritize equity, access and inclusion in everything we do.
  • Joy of Discovery
    We spark and sustain a culture of creativity, innovation and self­-expression.
  • Future Readiness
    We support our community to address today's needs and tomorrow's potential.
  • Compassion
    We embrace the humanity in everyone and treat all with respect.
A staff person checking out books behind the desk at the McCormick Branch

Library News

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening at your library with the latest news and announcements.

1922 postcard of the WPL Carnegie Library

History of WPL

In 1876, the Waterloo Public Library started with a simple table of books in Town Hall and a dream to grow. The first dedicated library building was erected with the help of a Carnegie grant in 1905. Over 140 years later, WPL is still growing with four locations and more resources than ever.

Learn More

Meet the Team

Get to know the dedicated individuals who make up the management and supervisor team at Waterloo Public Library. Our team is here to provide exceptional service to the Waterloo community and beyond.

Meet the Team
A staff person signing up two young boys for library cards at the John M. Harper Branch

Your Library Story

Whether it’s a tale of discovery, learning, or finding your favourite book, we’d love to hear your library story! Connect with us and inspire others by sharing your thoughts on what makes Waterloo Public Library special.

I remember going to the [Main Library] every Wednesday with my mum as a kid. I love WPL for these formative memories and now I bring my own son to the [Main Library] and [John M. Harper Branch] and I know I’m making the same memories for him.

Access to physical and digital books, community programs, printing resources, games and movies. Immigrated to Canada 2 years ago and [have been] visiting WPL since. It has a lot of lovely memories associated.

I love going to the new [Eastside Branch] because I’ve found a nice and cozy place to study and do some of my writing!

Close up of the mural at the John M. Harper Branch

Statement on Race and Social Equity

As leaders of North America’s public libraries, we are committed to achieving racial and social equity by contributing to a more just society in which all community members can realize their full potential. Our libraries can help achieve true and sustained equity through an intentional, systemic and transformative library-community partnership. Our library systems are working to achieve equity in the communities we serve by:

  1. Eliminating racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies and practices
  2. Creating and maintaining an environment of diversity, inclusion and respect both in our library systems and in all aspects of our community role
  3. Ensuring that we are reaching and engaging disenfranchised people in the community and helping them express their voice
  4. Serving as a convener and facilitator of conversations and partnerships to address community challenges
  5. Being forthright on tough issues that are important to our communities

Libraries are trusted, venerable and enduring institutions, central to their communities and an essential participant in the movement for racial and social equity.

Originally endorsed by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council
Download the Statement in English & French

Get Involved with WPL

Join a passionate team dedicated to fostering literacy, encouraging curiosity and inspiring community connections. Discover how you can get involved and help create a welcoming space for all as part of the WPL team.