John Barley Library

Islington United has a Library/Resource Centre that contains books, periodicals and videos for children, teens and adults looking for support, inspiration and ideas on the ways in which to do God's work in today's world. There are also some excellent resources and aids for teaching children the stories of Jesus and how special they are to God.

Our function is to select new books, discard outdated material, and display and maintain the library. It is intended to provide spiritual reference items to all members of the congregation.

What is the John Barley Library?

Come on in and check out the library! Are you looking for help with planning a devotional for a group, extra material to teach a class in Discovery Quest, seeking Christian guidance for a personal issue, or maybe you would just like to find something enjoyable for a weekend at the cottage. Whether you are looking for books, CDs, DVDs or reference materials, you will find lots to benefit, entertain and inspire you and your family, regardless of age or interests.

The library is open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Monday to Thursday and from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Friday to Sunday. The library cart is accessible outside the Pastoral Care Office on weekdays and in the Stewart East Hall on Sundays. On Sundays, come down with your coffee, browse and possibly check out a book or DVD.

The Library Committee meets in the John Barley Library at 10:00 am on the fourth Monday of every month (except July and August). New volunteers are welcomed. The purpose of the Committee is to keep the collection up to date and in good condition, to communicate with the congregation about new acquisitions and events, and to further learning about our faith and the joy of reading at Islington United. 

Who is John Barley?

In 1956 the Rev. John Barley was appointed the first Minster of Christian Education at Islington. During that year the enrolment in the Church School reached a peak – 1281, with a Staff of 147.

Rev. Barley accomplished much in Teacher Training Programs and experimental teaching methods. The matter of securing additional space was always on his mind. For at least three sessions part of the Church School had to be housed in the Islington Public School on Cordova Avenue, and in the Islington Seniors’ Center on Dundas Street. We were honoured when he was chosen by the United Church Board of Sunday School Publications to prepare the new curriculum for the Junior Department in 1960.

The sudden death of Rev. Barley was a great shock to the congregation in October 1961. Rev. Stewart East, Senior Minister since 1947 referred to his passing in the Annual report as follows: “Words cannot express the feelings which moved us and stirred us on that occasion. (Memorial Service) We were more than a company of people who came to honour a respected and valued Minister. Rather we were a company of individuals who came with a deep sense of personal loss and were joined by others from far and near – from Syracuse, from Sarnia – those to whom the Rev. John Barley had become a real and personal friend”.

He was a great supporter of the library. At that time the library was named in his honour.

Searching Our Library Catalogue

How to Find Books Uisng Our Online Catalogue

Did You Know That You Can Now
Search Our Library Catalogue Online?

Thanks to ResourceMate, you can now browse the contents of our amazing and ever growing library. You may check out what's new on the homepage or search for books by keyword, title, author or subject. You can access the online catalogue by clicking here. If you find a book that you are interested in please visit our library to sign it out.

everyone welcome   

Book Donation Policy

The Library Committee is very thankful to members and friends of the congregation who donate books to our church library. Our policy regarding books to the library (Resource Centre) is as follows:

1. Books must be in good condition: no underlinings, markings or comments in the margins
2. No musty or yellowed pages
3. No books published before 1995 (with some exceptions)
4. Current books preferred
5. Christian/faith-based books preferred and books of good literary value
6. Non-fiction books of different topics welcomed

All donations are subject to the scrutiny and approval of the Library Committee. Books not suitable for the church’s collection will be diverted to other sources, namely: Christian Salvage, IUC book sales, Goodwill, etc.

Send suggested titles you would like to see in our library to:


Overdue Videos & Books

This is just a reminder that there are still many books and videos overdue at the church library. We are very happy to know that you enjoy using the library. Presently, there are still 100 items overdue. Please return the item(s) as soon as possible so that others may borrow them too.

Some items have been overdue for 3 years and you may not remember borrowing them. If you can’t find it at home, check the church library shelves. Sometimes patrons return books directly to the shelf and the circulation card is not inserted in the pocket. Consider the thought that you may have lent it to someone. Once you have exhausted these possibilities let Lynn Morrison or someone else on the Library Committee know. At that point we will indicate on our records that the resource is missing.

Please remember to write your name clearly on the library card along with the date and your phone number or email address. And beware! The Library Police may come looking for you!

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