In November of 1903, Colborne Council gave the library a grant of $25.00. The Enterprise’s account of this cited “A deputation of Mr. C.J. McCallum and A. Scougale appearing on behalf of the Public Library asking for a small grant in aid of the library”, indicating that the library may have had a library board at this early point. Another brief mention in the newspaper also noted that the Public Library was presenting a concert to the community.
The earliest known newspaper reference is from the April 16th 1903 edition of The Enterprise. It reads: “The Librarian of the Public Library has a number of standard novels which are damaged but reading is complete which he will sell at a very low price also a large number of magazines and illustrated papers.” This short passage indicates several things – first, that this early librarian was male; second, he was trying to raise money for the library; and third, that the library offered its patrons books, magazines, and illustrated papers.
There are several mysteries attached to the earliest days of the Public Library in Colborne - the exact year it opened, where it was located, and who was the first librarian. If pre-1903 newspapers are ever located we may be able to answer some of those questions.