HISTORICALLY SPEAKING the Niagara Library is the oldest Public Library in Upper Canada. Founded in Newark in 1800, it flourished for 20 years, continuing to operate throughout the devastation of the War of 1812. Forced through lack of funds to disband in 1820, it was refounded in 1848 as a Mechanics Institute. For many years it was housed in various locations throughout the town. Not until 1895 did it find a permanent home at the rear of the Court House in the Market Square Building. The library shared these quarters with the fire department until in 1912, the fire department established residence in the old Fire Hall. The library then expanded to use the whole of the Market Square Building. Thus it has remained, unchanged, to the present.
Facts you should know:
1. Book circulation increased from 15,000 in 1969 to 40,000 in 1972.
2. Queenston Book Deposit opened August, 1971, is now in the newly-restored Queenston Library Building.
3. Virgil Book Deposit successfully opened February, 1973.
4. Services to schools have been extended and broadened.
5. Library open hours will soon be extended from 19 per week to 37 per week, including Sunday afternoons during the winter months.
Special Library Services include:
1. Record loan.
2. Free film loan service -16m.m. and 8m.m.
3. Inter library Loan Service.
4. Story Hour - Activity Group.
5. Craft Groups.
6. Special film and puppet shows for children.
In the past 61 years Niagara-on-the-Lake has expanded many times; the library has not. The present facilities allow:
1. no office space
2. no work room
3. no multi-purpose room (Children's craft groups, story hours, film showings, study groups)
4. no washrooms
5. no storage areas
6. no room for our valuable historic collection
Now - to provide space for all the above needs we are expanding into the basement of the Old Court House. The present library will be redecorated and restored and a handsome new entrance will be made off the Market Square. The over-all estimated cost of the project is $58,000.00. The Municipal Council has approved a grant of $10,000.00 and we have a total of $31,000.00 in funds available from the Federal Government under the Local Initiatives Program. The balance of some $17,000.00 must be raised through public subscription. We need your support. Please give generously.
Make your contribution to:
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
Box 430, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
A receipt for Income Tax purposes will be issued for all contributions of $5.00 or over.