Unveiling of historical plaque commemorating the Niagara Library Details
On November 17, 1977, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library gained formal recognition as the first circulating library to be established in Upper Canada. In the other major centres of Upper Canada, York and Kingston, comparable libraries were not established until 1810 and 1813 respectively.
The Honorable Robert Welch, the Minister of Culture and Recreation, unveiled a plaque at the front of the Library's Court House location on picturesque Queen Street in the Old Town.
One hundred and seventy-seven years earlier, on June 8, 1800, forty-one prominent Niagara residents met to form a subscription library, which they named the Niagara Library.
Founding declaration reads:
"Sensible how much we are at a loss in this new and remote country for every kind of knowledge, and convinced that nothing would be of more use to diffuse knowledge amongst us and our offspring, than a library supported by subscription in this town; we, whose names are hereunto subscribed hereby associate ourselves together for that purpose, and promise to pay annually a sum not exceeding four dollars to be laid out on books as agreed upon by a majority of votes at a yearly meeting to be held by us at this town on the 15th of August annually, when everything respecting the library will be regulated by the majority of votes."