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History


North Vancouver's first library service began in January 1869, but it wasn't until November 12, 1924, that the Public Library Association was officially chartered and a small fee-for-service library opened. For many years thereafter, a small group of women operated the library in various places in Lower Lonsdale. Members borrowed from its stock of donated books or those purchased from the proceeds of afternoon teas and card parties. Closure often threatened due to lack of funds and inadequate premises.

For a while, the Association received small grants from the City and the province, but during the depression of the 1930's, these fell, and finally ceased. Sheer determination kept the library going, and by 1945 a monthly circulation of approximately 600 was achieved. The City's annual grant had been renewed, and had grown to $240 per year. This relative affluence enabled the Association to employ a few paid workers. In 1949, with the help of governments at all three levels, the old Wartime Administration Building on 131 East 2nd Street became the library's new home. By 1950, circulation had topped 20,000, and City Council was asked for increasing grants each year.

 

North Vancouver Centennial Library 1958 As part of the 1958 British Columbia centennial celebration, the City built the North Vancouver Centennial Library at 132 West 12th Street. In a December, 1964 public referendum, the library became a free, tax-supported municipal library. In 1966, a new wing and a separate children's department doubled the building size.

 

 North Vancouver City Library 1975 In 1975, the library moved to a new Civic Centre at 121 West 14th Street, and became the North Vancouver City Library. Located next to City Hall and built in the same style, it grew in popularity as the population in the City increased.

 

North Vancouver City Library 2008 On September 2020, our current library, a magnificent 36,000 square-foot building, opened on the Civic Plaza across from City Hall, reflecting the City's continued growth and aspirations.

 

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