Shelburne Public Library 100th Anniversary Exhibit
7/4/2012 5:36 AM
The Shelburne Public Library celebrated its 100th anniversary last weekend as part of the Heritage Street Festival and the Dufferin County Museum & Archives was thrilled to be asked to take part. Lauren, the Library’s summer student, put in some research time at the Archives and gathered together some really interesting items from the DCMA’s collection to put on display. You can check out the grant application written to the Carnegie Foundation for monies to turn the “Mechanic’s Institute”, into a “Free Public Library”. Mr. Carnegie agreed to give them a grant of $6000 to build the library building in 1911.
For a population of only 1200 in 1907 they read a lot of books; over 4600 books circulated that year and there were 2832 books in the library’s holdings. The account book, meticulously maintained by Mr. T.F.E Claridge, the original owner of the Shelburne Free Press and Economist – incidentally he lived in that beautiful house on Andrew St. with the round porch that previous owners have lovingly restored – shows that it cost $361.95 to run the library for a year in 1912 and that the Caretaker actually made a higher salary than the Librarian and it cost more in coal to keep the building heated than it did for a Caretaker!
As the Mayor of Shelburne likes to say, “We are the fastest growing small town in Ontario”, but back in 1931 the population was still around 1000 people and everyone knew everyone else. Where else could you list your residence, instead of a street address, as “Dick Marshall’s” or “Town” and they knew immediately where to find you to get back that overdue book? And don’t worry; the Librarian would come to your door to get it too!
The display is up for another 2 weeks in the lobby of the library. Go to http://www.shelburnelibrary.ca/ to check out their hours and drop in…maybe check out a book or sign up for a program too.
The Dufferin County Museum & Archives and the Shelburne Public Library are proud of the heritage of Dufferin County and look forward to many more partnership.