20 years as history resource worthy of celebration
Linda Gula is celebrating her 20th anniversary as Local History Resource at Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library.
The library board and staff are pleased to invite everyone, especially local history enthusiasts, to a coffee party to be held in her honour Thursday, Dec. 9 from 2 to 4 p .m. The party will be held in the Board/Craft Room of the library but, of course, will overflow into her natural abode, the Janet Carnochan Room.
The New Oxford Dictionary of English defines resource as staff and other assets that can be drawn on in order to function effectively; personal attributes and capabilities regarded as able to help or sustain in adverse circumstances; the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties; a teaching aid.
How aptly these definitions describe Gula at work. People come from near and far depending upon her to advise them on how to discover the truth about what appears to be lost in time past. Often her advice leads to discoveries within this research facilities with a new and different approach. There are probably an equal number of occasions when, in truth, the searchers are very far afield yet she is quick and clever about finding ways to make those lost in impossible spellings of a name never heard in the annals of Niagara feel welcome in our library. She lifts spirits with tales of others' daring searches to elicit a smile for the long journey home — only a few searches hit gold. Many novices cross her threshold with high hopes and nothing else.
Gula works nine busy hours a week and everyone who wants help must be a willing worker. In a blink, those novice hands are busy under her guidance. It's rather like a one room country school where every learner is expected to help the others. Or, as some of her regulars say, it's like sitting around her kitchen table with everyone talking at once, each working on an individual project but always with the time and interest to see what everybody else is doing.
Once in a while there is a call to order but the apparent chaos is order in the Carnochan Room of Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library under Gula's tutelage.
The origin of resource is the Latin resurgere, which means to rise again and again and yet again. All who work with Gula know that is exactly what she does — she continually rises to the many challenges of discovering the secrets of our colourful local history.
Do come and join us in celebrating her 20 years with the NOTL Public Library.
Published by The Niagara Advance. December 4, 1999