Calgary

Calgary library renamed after local family's $1.5M donation

The Alexander Calhoun Library officially became the Giuffre Family Library on Saturday, with donors Mary and Joe Giuffre in attendence.

Mary and Joe Giuffre moved to Calgary in 1955, the year after the library opened

Calgary's Alexander Calhoun Library has been renamed the Giuffre Family Library, after a donation of $1.5 million from Mary and Joe Giuffre. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

A southwest Calgary library has been renamed to recognize a $1.5 million donation from a local family.

The Alexander Calhoun Library officially became the Giuffre Family Library on Saturday, with donors Mary and Joe Giuffre in attendance. 

The library, which was named after Calgary's first librarian, is located at 3223 14th Street S.W..

It opened its doors in 1954, the year before the Giuffres first moved to the city with their eldest son.

Since then, the family has grown to include six more children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"Mary and Joe have always loved reading … they believe as we all do that libraries are some of the greatest treasures," said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi at the event.

"Focusing on libraries is such an important part of building communities. This library has seen record usage, even in the age of the internet and everyone having information at their fingertips its even more important to have access to good information."

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi announces the renaming of the Alexander Calhoun Library to the Giuffre Family Library on Saturday. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

Bill Ptacek, the CEO of the Calgary Public Library, said the community hub's new name is fitting.

"While it's not the largest library, it's become a gathering place," Ptacek said. "It's so appropriate this library should be named for a family, because it's what it's all about, it's for a community, it's for a family."

The Giuffre's donation pushes the library past $324 million of its $350 million fundraising goal.

The CPL said in a statement that later this year it will announce plans to continue honouring Calhoun's contributions to Calgary.

With files from Audrey Neveu

now