Library History

The Vauxhall Public Library began as a small children's library in 1948 in the Vauxhall School. Years ago, Nels Malm collected money from the community to help defray the expense of hiring a Registered Nurse for the community of Vauxhall, as the nearest doctors and hospitals were in either Lethbridge or Medicine Hat, Alberta. Later on, the Alberta Government placed an R. N. in Vauxhall, so Nels received permission from the government to donate the remaining funds to a children's library. Mrs. A. Hildenbrand, Mr. Ralph Ringdahl, Mr. C. D. Kelly, and Mrs. Violet Malm used this fund to establish a Children's Library in the school.

During this time the Library bought 3,535 books, made possible by membership drives, rummage sales and teas, proceeds from the Carol Festival, a grant from the Taber School Division, and donations.

In May of 1963, an organizational meeting was held with the purpose of forming a community library association. This was accomplished in cooperation with the Taber School Division, the Home and School Association, the principal of the Vauxhall School (Ralph Ringdahl), the school librarian, and three elected board members, Mrs. Vi Malm, Mr. J. Bell, and Mrs. Kennedy. The Library was used by school children and was open to the public three days per week, using volunteer help from board members and the community.

In 1966 a Memorial Fund was established. A memory book was purchased and those who wished to donate to the Library in memory of a deceased person could have that person's name inscribed in the book. The Memory Book is on display in the Library.

The Library became a Public Library in January of 1982. The books were moved from the High School to a rented building downtown (east of Bruno's Barber Shop). Volunteer librarians operated the Library for the first three years, but as interest grew, a part-time Librarian, Mrs. Vera Lowen, was hired.

In 1987, the former Transalta building was purchased for $20,000 and renovated for $10,000 more, to house the present library. All the books and supplies were moved in August of 1987 and it is now our present location, on Main Street, beside the Medical Centre.

The grand opening took place on October 22, 1987, with Mayor Lois Porter cutting the ribbon and M.L.A. Ray Speaker and other dignitaries and patrons in attendance.

In 1988, the Library celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a very successful open house and art show, featuring local artists. The Vauxhall Public Library operates 20 hours per week, with a part-time librarian and a ten member library board. It offers fictional and reference books for all ages, magazines, videos, and talking and large print books for the visually impaired. The circulation ranges from 600-800 books per month.

Annual events include a summer reading program for children, an October Open House in conjunction with the Potato Festival, a parade float, and holiday contests. The Glenbow Museum houses interesting displays, which are changed three times per year.

A milestone was accomplished in the spring of 1994 when the Vauxhall Public Library officially became a member of the Chinook Arch Regional Library System, along with most other regions of Southern Alberta. This liaison facilitates the ordering and processing of books and streamlines borrowing from other libraries in the System. It also increases the availability of information.

The Library moved into its current building in 2015 after extensive fundraising efforts, and continues to offer access to a wide variety of services and programming to the community.