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The Community Libraries


the sisters' library at the Toronto Convent

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

– from Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

This is a pretty accurate description of the Sisters’ attitude toward reading. Reading is an important part of the Sisters’ spiritual discipline, a focus for our ongoing education, and a source of entertainment as well.

We have a library in each of our houses, with books on spirituality, prayer, Bible, theology and literature, but also excellent collections of non-fiction as well as fiction.

The main Convent library houses about 16,000 volumes. There is also a library with another 2,000 books housed on the second floor of the Guest House, specifically for our Associates and Oblates, who may take books home from that library.

Other guests are welcome to use both the Sisters’ library and the Associate/Oblate library and may sign out books to use while in residence at the Convent, but they may not be taken out of the Convent.

Some of the newest books are kept in the Sisters’ Community Room and may not be available in the library until the Sisters have had a chance to read them.

The library offers a good reference section, study tables, comfortable reading chairs, wireless internet connection for laptops, and two desktop computers for the use of our guests.

Above right: The Sisters' library, available for in-house guests to use while on the premises