Melita Library celebrates their 60th Anniversary

Early years of having a library in town included a collection of books that in 1953 the Women’s Institute received that could be borrowed by the public. In 1958 the Town and RMs of Edward and Arthur met with Arthur and Melita voting to establish a library. A board was formed and the library opened on August 18, 1959, with 1,800 books and Mrs. Hilda Ross serving as librarian. This was in the Sures Building or the other half of the Happy Chopsticks building.

In 1970, Rose Fewings became the librarian and they moved up to the south part of the Bowling Alley with 10,000 books and magazines. The Village of Napinka joined in 1977 with a very small branch in the Napinka Drop-In with Peg Sutton as the librarian. Pierson opened a new branch in 1978 in their RM building with Sandra Sterling as librarian. Barb Walker became librarian after Rose retired. Val Wray became the head librarian in 1982, retiring in 2011. Sandra Sterling was hired as librarian with Bev Johnson assisting until 2012 when Elissa Greenlay became the assistant.

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In 1997 the Library moved to 149 Main Street with a completely renovated building. More recent upgrades were the accessible electric doors, central ductless air conditioning and redecorating of the interior space in 2013 using a matching grant from Western Economic Diversification.

Many different staff members, students and volunteers helped at the checkout desk over the years and we have photo albums that include most of these people. Our present Library Board consists of Lynda Hammell (chair), Aileen Tucker, Bob Renwick (Two Borders), Grant Hume and Keith Jones (Melita), David Van Mackelberg (vice-chair) and ClaraLea Green (Brenda-Waskada). Our bookkeeper is Brenda Banks and secretary is Roberta Brown.

Servicing the reading public with books, magazines, audio books, e-books and DVDs is our main goal but additional programs such as the Book Club, children’s events and class visits, art displays and open houses are all part of today’s Library. We offer free Wi-Fi for people to use their own devices but also provide two public computers and printing, faxing and photocopying services.

The Library is a meeting place for locals, newcomers and visitors who are looking for recreation, information and services. We are fortunate that a group of individuals had the foresight to start a Library in the 1950s and trust that there will be many more anniversary celebrations in the future. 

© Melita New Era