Carleton Place Public Library in 1896-97

Public Library Plans To Celebrate 110th Anniversary

Of Its Founding

From the Carleton Place Canadian, 16 February, 1956

By Howard M. Brown


The following material in connection with the Public Library has been found in copies of the Carleton Place Canadian on file in the Dominion Archives at Ottawa by Mr. Howard M. Brown.  In view of the library board’s intention to observe the 110th anniversary of the founding of a library in Carleton Place, these extracts from The Canadian are of particular interest.

Carleton Place Public Library

Transfer of Management from C. P. Mechanics’ Institute  to C. P. Public Library Board


Extracts from Carleton Place “Central Canadian”

By Howard M. Brown


1896, Thurs., October 22:

“Dr. May, Inspector of Public Libraries, appeared before the Board of Management of that body last Friday and laid before it a proposition for turning the limited Library into one that should be free for all.  He showed that the annual cost to the town would be only $250 more than the present municipal grant, which is $100, and in addition the library would receive an annual endowment from the Provincial Government of $200 for the purchase of new books.  Sixty libraries in Ontario have been made free during the present year, including the City of Ottawa, and the towns of Renfrew and Almonte have signified their willingness to make their respective libraries free on the first of January next.”

1896, November 12:

“Town Council Proceedings – in the Opera Hall last evening.  Mr. C. McIntosh and J. C. McNie appeared before the Council as a deputation from the Public Library and asked the Council to take it over with a view to making it a Free Library.  Moved by Mr. McNeely, seconded by Mr. Cram, that the Memorial presented by the Directors of the Public Library be adopted, and that a bylaw be introduced at our next regular meeting confirming the transfer and establishing the Library as a Free Library.  Carried.”

1897, January 14:

“Carleton Place Council.  The New Representatives Have Their First Meeting…….All were present except Thomas Begley, Reeve, and W. R. Williamson.  The following took the oath of office:  A. H. Edwards, Mayor; Abner Nichols, Deputy Reeve; James Warren, William Willoughby, Daniel Watt, William Shanks, J. F. Cram, S. J. Berryman, H. McCormick and William Baird, Councillors. 

Mayor Edwards outlined the important matters to be dealt with during the year, viz. The completion of the Town Hall, the purchase of new fire apparatus, the overseeing of the building of the new C.P.R. Shops, the revising of the assessment rolls, etc. 

The Council resumed on Tuesday evening, all present. 

Moved by W. Baird, seconded by H. McCormick, that the bylaw appointing the new Library Board, be now read the second time, and that the first blank be filled with the name of Charles Cato, the second with that of George Fulton, and the third with that of J. C. McNie.  Carried.

The bylaw provides that the present Library shall pass, in its complete form, into the hands of a Board of Management composed of three appointees of the Council and three of the Board of Education, who shall have full charge of the Library and manage it as was formerly done by the Council of the Institute, under the authority of the Town.  It will be free from the first of February.  The bylaw as read the third time and passed into law.”

1897, August 12:

“The adoption of the open shelf system by the Public Library is a step deserving commendation.  Most visitors to a library are unable to pick out the right book from a catalogue.  A few minutes before a case enables them to make a selection to their taste, and puts them on friendly relations with the contents of a library.”

1897, September 16:

The officials of the Public Library worked last week moving from the old to the new rooms, worked with the thermometer at 92 in the shade.  The thousands of books were safely transported and placed in ordered array on the new shelves.”


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