Monday, December 15, 2008

Woodstock Public Library, Woodstock, Ontario - My World Tuesday

Here in Woodstock we are lucky enough to have a great library which also happens to be a Carnegie Library. In 2009 we will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of this lovely building.

Here are some details about the history of the Woodstock Public Library from the Library website:

1835 February 12, formation of Reading Society:

$2.00 yearly membership fee for residents

$4.00 yearly membership fee for non-residents

One book at a time

Fines for overdue books sixpence daily

No novels or books of moral controversy

1836 Name changed to Woodstock Subscription Library, Membership 21

1837 First novels, those of Walter Scott, allowed into collection

1840 Membership of 60, Branches in Princeton and Embro

1852 Merger with Woodstock Mechanics Institute, Location in home of James Simpson, Riddell Street

1858 Reading Room at Mechanics Hall, northeast corner of Adelaide and Wellington Streets

1868 Mechanics Hall sold for mortgage, Reading Room moves to various upper floors on Dundas Street until the turn of the century, Library merges with Oxford Literary Society

1904 City of Woodstock passes a by-law for the establishment of a public library and donates land at northeast corner of Hunter and Graham Streets for a library building

1905 Carnegie Foundation awards City of Woodstock a grant of $24,000 for the construction of a library

1909 Carnegie funded library building opened

1929 Children’s Department established

1932 Children’s Department moved to separate quarters on ground floor

1935 Membership 3,341

1967 Centennial addition opened, including Art Gallery and Reference Room

1969 Library begins to collect Local History material

1972 Library acquires former Lutheran Church north of Carnegie building and relocates Children’s Department there, Art gallery expands into former Children’s Department area, Audio-visual Department created

1976 City of Woodstock designates Carnegie library a historic building

1982 Computer terminals installed to link Woodstock Public Library with London Public Library, conversion of card catalogue to computer database begins

1983 Art Gallery moves to former Knox Presbyterian Church manse on Hunter Street

1984 Membership 8,100

1985 Library’s sesquicentennial year

1989 Automated borrowing of library materials begins

1990 On-line access to library catalogue begins

1996 Major renovation and addition to library building completed, public Internet access computers installed, Friends of the Woodstock Public Library established

1999 $250,000 fundraising campaign successfully completed
This is a view looking up from the lower level Check-in/Check-out area.

Would you like to read about more interesting places? Visit My World Tuesday!


  1. What a fine looking building. I have only been to Woodstock once even though I drive by frequently on my way to London.

  2. What a very interesting and extensive History making it quite the historic landmark.

    Happy Holidays...

  3. Without my local library my blog just wouldn't survive. It has more local history than the net and the net when home is unusable. Excellent post of a very important place in your world.

  4. I love the Carnegie Library buildings. They are all interesting architecturally and I think it's great many are still in use as libraries.

  5. Very beautiful.. i love the history of these old building.. glad to see they are taking care of this one.. thanks for sharing

  6. what a great looking library, I would love to spend a day there reading everything they got.
    My World

  7. A beautiful library building. They certainly did not do anything by halves!. Interesting snippets of information.

  8. how interesting., completely different to ours in england.

  9. Great looking library, I love this type of architecture. Great pic!!!

    Regina In Pictures

  10. Elaine: What wonderful gifts were give to cities in the form of libraries for learning.