History of the Main Library
In the late summer of 1978, a group of concerned citizens felt there was a need for library services in the Buckhorn area. At the time, Harvey Township did not have a by-law enabling a library board to be established. This group of 25 citizens circulated a petition throughout the area that read: “Would you be in favour of and use a library if established in this area?” Within two weeks the petition had over 500 signatures.
The founding mothers and fathers of our library were Devon Manley, Jean Detlor, Grace Selvage, and Glenna Rome. In the beginning, most of the books were donated and we were housed in the Community Centre.
The library was established in 1978 and first opened its doors to the public in 1979, in the Wintario Room of the Community Centre. The collection was made up of a few hundred books, mainly donations, and was staffed by 20 volunteers. The room could hold a maximum of 3000 books.
By 1983, circulation was up to 2500 books and the library held 6 children’s programs with over 90 children attending. In 1985, the Main Library, growing and expanding, moved to its present location in Buckhorn, in a turn-of-the-century, two-room schoolhouse. By this time, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) had been hired, as well as other library staff. The 20 volunteers had grown to 30.
In 1986 a library branch started in the Cavendish Township Firehall kitchen.
In 1994, after a three-month closure due to construction, the library re-opened its doors into a newly expanded and enlarged building. The new and the old were blended beautifully. The cost of the expansion was $260,000. The Province of Ontario contributed $60,000 through a grant, and the remainder was raised locally by hard-working volunteers.
The 1990s were an important time for both the Main Library and the Cavendish Branch. The two libraries were formally amalgamated, which meant that both libraries began to share a common database of material and membership.
In 2004, at a ceremony in Toronto, the Buckhorn Library became fully accredited, which means that it met the Library Standards and Guidelines set for libraries in Ontario.
Today, the combined libraries have in excess of 17,000 books and the collection is always growing. Over the years, these thousands of books, magazines, videotapes, audiotapes, and DVDs, have brought knowledge and entertainment to residents and visitors of Buckhorn Trent Lakes. Our computer section is busier than ever, with people surfing the Internet, doing research, and staying in touch with e-mail.
Fundraisers over the years have included fashion shows, pet shows, and more. At the 10th anniversary of the Buckhorn Art Festival, the library was involved in a parade and the library’s float was based on famous characters from children’s literature. The float was awarded First Prize and a trophy.
Today, the fundraising and volunteering continues. Both libraries hold events such as book sales, flower and plant sales, bake sales, flea markets, and hidden auctions throughout the year. One of our largest fundraisers is the volunteer-operated Good Buy Room. The library receives in excess of $20,000 a year from this enterprise. Please drop in the next time you’re in Buckhorn. Hundreds of past and present volunteers are the keys to our continued growth and success.