History

Drayton Valley Library History 1957-2022

Drayton Valley Municipal Library is proud of its history of service to the community and residents of Drayton Valley and Brazeau County!  

1957

Our community library starts out as a volunteer project by the Women’s Institute with humble beginnings in a vacant school classroom. 

1959

The library relocates to the Town Administration building to become designated as a municipal library run by a volunteer Friends group under the name Drayton Valley Municipal Library.

1977

Drayton Valley Municipal Library joins Yellowhead Regional Library (YRL), founded only six years earlier, to support communities in providing rural residents with better and more complete access to library resources and services. Drayton Valley quickly becomes one of YRL’s highest circulating communities.

1980

The library moves to larger facility to accommodate increasing collection size and program activities to meet public demand.

Drayton Valley Municipal Library Board receives official registered charity status with Canada Revenue Agency.

1981

The Town passes Bylaw 81-08 to establish the Board as an independent corporate body known under the Libraries Act as the Town of Drayton Valley Library Board.

1989

The Library relocates to the newly redesigned Civic Centre for essential municipal services by placing the Library between Town Office and Fire Department. The facility has space to house both growing collections and family-focused programs.

Drayton Valley Municipal Library introduces technology services with the launch of an Integrated Library System (ILS) for automated tracking of circulation. Computers play an increasingly important and significant role in libraries and Drayton Valley invests heavily in technology for library information services.

1994

Drayton Valley Municipal Library achieves the distinction of being the first and only library in Canada to offer computer stations with individual dial-up internet as a public service. This unique and pioneering service was conceived and implemented by the library well before the Community Access Program (CAP) was launched.

This achievement was the result of a partnership between the Library Board, the Town of Drayton Valley, the Roman Catholic Separate School District and the Internet Centre of Edmonton: the Town of Drayton Valley provided funding for the project and the Internet Centre of Edmonton provided the high-speed line connecting to the Internet.

With the establishment of DVnet, Drayton Valley became the first rural town in Alberta to provide internet access to library users and residents!  The unique marketing arrangement earned then-librarian Nesen Naidoo the Creative Librarianship Award in 1994.

Drayton Valley Library was also the first in Alberta to offer an in-house service for residents to order books for purchase. The bookshop predates online book sellers, so this was a welcome service that continues to this day.

Drayton Valley Library also receives the 1994 Library Association of Alberta Award of Excellence in Library Service for the “Battle of the Books” (BoB) children’s literacy program. BoB continues as an annual program to this day.

2009

The Library Board, in partnership with St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division, and with support from the Town and Rotary Club of Drayton Valley, opens the Rotary Children’s Library in a wing of Holy Trinity Academy.

The Rotary Children’s Library provides a space specifically intended for young families to access early literacy collections, resources and programs.

2011

The Library Board acquires a minivan from a local dealership to serve as the community W.O.W Van (Words on Wheels). The W.O.W Van serves as a mobile library to deliver reading materials to local Seniors Lodge residents and some communities in Brazeau County. 

2019

The Library Board separates its financial management from the Town of Drayton Valley to become more autonomous. All aspects of business operations are handled internally including annual reports to CRA for GST rebates, payroll reports and charity returns. The Board hires its own bookkeeper and accountant to assist the Director with recording and reporting financial activities for audit.

2020

(COVID)

The global COVID-19 pandemic arrives in Alberta in March 2020 resulting in severe challenges for all businesses and service providers. All libraries were ordered to close their doors to the public for several months at a time on three separate occasions over the following year and a half.

The pandemic provided an opportunity for Drayton Valley Library to showcase it role as an “essential service” by connecting people in isolation to resources. Library staff continued to work through the several closures by providing curbside and delivery services to people quarantined at home while following protocols for safe handling of returned materials.

Library programs were adapted to virtual platforms until in-person activities were allowed in July 2021. Summer Reading Club 2021 was held entirely outdoors to adhere to social distancing rules. Many programs and activities remained partially or entirely virtual until spring/ summer 2022.

2021

The Library Board responds to advice from municipal councils to reduce operational expenses by permanently closing the Rotary Children’s Library as of January 2021, a move that shocked many young families. The children’s collections are re-absorbed into the Municipal Library leading to overcrowded shelving and activity areas.

After stream-lining operations to one service point, the Board also decides to sell the WoW Van to further reduce operational expenses.

The Board begins looking at options for a new and larger facility to accommodate the growing collections and expanding social role that the library provides to community residents.

2022

The Friends off the Drayton Valley Library Society is officially incorporated after several decades of dormancy.

Drayton Valley Municipal Library proudly celebrates its 65th Anniversary of service to the community.