Fred C. Israel
Librarian, Library Director, library planner.
Fred C. Israel was born in 1933 in Kitchener, Ontario and attended grade school there. After graduating from high school, Israel studied at St. Jerome College which was affiliated with the University of Ottawa. He received his B.A. from the University of Ottawa in 1957, and then went to the University of Toronto to study Library Science.
He worked for a while at the Kitchener Public Library, and there met his future wife, Callie. He accepted a position as cataloguer at the Canadian Department of Agriculture. In 1959, he moved to Richmond Hill and became the chief librarian. There, he built a new main library. He then moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, and became the chief librarian. Under his supervision, the central library was completely renovated, and he designed two branch libraries which were situated in shopping malls.
In 1968, Israel became the director of the Windsor Public Library. In Windsor, he spearheaded the plan to replace the old Carnegie Library which had been built in 1903, and was too small for the collection of books. The new location was to be on Ouellette Avenue (850), and the new library was opened in 1973. In the mid 1980’s, Israel took the initiative to convert the library’s circulation system to a computerized system. This included the circulation system, and a computerized catalogue. Finally, on June 10th, 1986, the old card catalogue was sealed, and replaced by the new catalogue.
Mr. Israel was a firm believer in free library services to the public. In 1992, he received the W. J. Robertson Medallion from the Ontario Library Boards’ Association for outstanding leadership in the advancement of public library service in Ontario. He also retired from the Windsor Public in this year.
“Library Chief Named: Fred C. Israel.” Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario), September 25, 1968, 1st Section sec. (no link available)
Van Kuren, Susan. “The Israels Enjoy ‘quiet Living'” Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario), January 29, 1977, 1st Section sec. (no link available)
McMahon, Tom. “Israel … the Original Bookworm.” Windsor Star (W), November 23, 1973, 1st Section sec. (no link available)
Gordon, Hamish. “Library Cards ‘filed’ Forever.” Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario), June 10, 1986, 1st Section sec. (no link available)
Palser, Lee. “Fred Israel: The librarian’s librarian.” Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario), August 4, 1990, sections E1 and E8 (no link available).
“Israel closes book on career.” Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario), June 2, 1992, section A5 (no link available).