DIDSBURY – The Didsbury Municipal Library and the Town of Didsbury are writing new history for our local library … a history that began over 100 years ago.The recent announcement made by the Town of Didsbury to essentially double the size of our existing facility will ensure that the already long-standing legacy of library services and programs within our community will continue well into the future.
Established in 1908 by Didsbury Councillors and business people, the Didsbury Free Library was the first town in Alberta to earn a grant under the Public Libraries Act, granted by Premier Rutherford in 1909.
The 1980s, was a decade of growth for the library. The Library Board raised and saved enough money to contribute to the construction of a much-needed larger facility, and our current location opened in 1987.
The 1990s was a time of networking and technology growth. Libraries were charged with “bridging the digital divide”. Well, that digital divide just keeps expanding and diversifying and libraries keep building more bridges in the form of equipment, instruction, and access. 1999 saw the introduction of The Alberta Library (TALOnline) and a promise from all Alberta libraries to share and connect making their collections fully accessible and breaking down barriers.
We have modified and adapted to be as flexible as we could over the last 15 years, but we can squeeze no more out of this space. We can no longer provide the quiet spaces and meeting places that are often needed by our citizens.
“As demand for library services continues to increase, especially in such tough economic times, it is so exciting that we will be able to create a new, larger space that can be responsive to the changing needs of our community,” said Didsbury Municipal Library Board Vice-Chair Carolyn Massel. “The new library will be an engaging, innovative place that encourages lifelong learning and provides opportunities for everyone.”
The Library Board, staff and volunteers, are all overjoyed to see our long-standing continuous support and relationship with the Town of Didsbury strengthen and evolve to meet the diverse needs of our community. The Library Board is also very pleased to remain centrally located – a community hub belongs in the centre of the community.
A recent conditional offer on an existing facility within Didsbury will see the Didsbury Town Office, and Didsbury Neighborhood Place, relocated, allowing for expansion of the Didsbury Municipal Library into the existing Town Office. The Town of Didsbury anticipates extensive renovations on the library to begin in mid-2017, and for the new library facility to open to the public in early 2018.