History of the Library
In 1965 the Legion Auxiliary decided the Town of Manning needed a library. The Auxiliary ladies went door to door and collected books from community members. The Town of Manning gave them a small space that had once been the Town Office to open a library, and it was then operated by dedicated volunteers. In 1967 the Town of Manning took over the library and in 1968, they opened in a new location. The Town of Manning Library joined the Peace Library System in 1986. Over the years the building received upgrades and updates;
- 1992: first computer and printer were purchased
- 1993: The basement area was upgraded to be used as a children’s library and two washrooms were installed.
- 1996-2003: four free public access computers were added, Peace Library System networked all the regions to make inter-library loans easier.
- 2002: A 16 foot addition and wheel chair access were added to create a large and more accessible space for patrons.
Water runoff in the spring of 2014 resulted in the library basement being flooded. Staff, board members and community members came together to get the mess cleaned up. All the furniture, books, and craft supplies moved from the basement to upstairs. Shortly after, the library was closed promptly and indefinitely due to concerns with air quality and mould. The board and staff did not have chance to find a new space, or to pack the library collections and furniture before the closure. The senior’s centre next door generously let the library staff operate inter-library loans out of their building. In December, the town of Manning purchased a building on main street for the library to move into. With the help of staff, board members and community volunteers, the library was open for business in February 2015. Unfortunately, this new location was much smaller (we could only hold a dozen people at a time), and required an expansion in order to properly serve our community for programming and events. In 2018 we began our extensive renovation and added 2,000 square feet of space, enough room to incorporate new shelving, equipment, proper sectioning, and space for kids’ programming. We were also able to connect to Alberta SuperNet, for improved digital capabilities, and to procure all-new furniture for the entire space.
Reopened in January 2019, our revamped library is able to provide improved services to our community while increasing the longevity and sustainability of library operations. The Manning Library is visited more than 10,000 times each year, and we expect this number to grow now that we’re running at full capacity.