Hemmingford community library

Céline Daignault for the Hemmingford Community Library Volunteers  (December 2016)

The Hemmingford Community Library as we know it is a forty-two year old institution. It’s extraordinary to realize that two of the volunteers responsible for it’s creation are still active today! The roots of its existence are much, much older than that however. They date back to the middle of the nineteenth century when Julius Scriver, an important character in our local history, inaugurated the first ‘Mechanic’s Institute’ in Hemmingford. This organization, formed in Scotland in 1821, aimed to help in the education of adults, specifically on technical subjects, with a view to improving workers’ skills. From that time on, Hemmingford has maintained a book collection, although somewhat more limited. In the 1970s, Beryl Tovim and Carol Petch, along with fourteen other volunteers, decided to take the bull by the horns and start a public library.

Carol Petch and Beryl Tovim at Hemmingford Elementary School 1975

In the beginning, the HCL was housed in a small room in the Hemmingford Elementary School. Then, it was a room in the basement of the town hall, until finally, twenty some odd years later, the library moved to its very own space. During all this time, the volunteers never stopped improving the library’s collection and services.

In the 1980’s, the library obtained a federal charity status, which is a particular type of non-profit organization, and gave itself a constitution. The HCL elected a board of directors whose responsibility it was – and is – to ensure a harmonious accomplishment of the organization’s mission, namely to offer to the community a permanent and expanding collection of literary, artistic and/or educational materials. The mission also states that the institution can sponsor cultural and informative projects for the benefit of members and the general public. Thanks to the continued support of the administrations of both the village and the township, and with the added guidance and participation of ‘Réseau BIBLIO’, the HCL eventually moved to its present home, complete with modern facilities and access to persons with disabilities and reduced mobility. The ‘Réseau BIBLIO de la Montérégie’ is a provincial organization whose mission is to develop and support a regional network of libraries. The Hemmingford Community Library serves a population of over 2,500 people.

DID YOU KNOW THAT : Our twelve volunteers facilitate your access to the 13,000 volumes (novels, large print books, comic strips, children’s books, books on local history, audio-books, documentary and reference books). Furthermore, we offer close to one hundred films and television series (DVD) and over 20 paper-edition magazines. At the library you can also take advantage of free access to the internet, book sales and numerous community activities.

Also, thanks to the ‘Réseau BIBLIO de la Montérégie’s PEB (Prêt Entre Bibliothèque)’ program, you have access to the literary collections of other libraries. That’s 235,000 French titles and over 50,000 English ones (paper format), plus 9,000 French digital books and more than 6,000 English ones, on top of the 80 plus collection of magazines and newspapers available for online consultation. www.mabibliotheque.ca/monteregie

Follow us on our developing Facebook page at : bibliothèque communautaire de Hemmingford
Or better still, come see us at 552 rue Goyette, Hemmingford or call 450-247-0010.
Email : hemmingford@reseaubibliomonteregie.qc.ca

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