Elgin County Library provides a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment that fosters lifelong learning, creative expression, community engagement and cultural vitality in harmony with a rural way of life.
Elgin County Library will enhance the quality of life in Elgin County by providing spaces, collections, services and staff to meet the community’s changing needs.
5 Pillars of Elgin County Library
We provide and champion friendly, innovative, flexible and accessible spaces that reflect our community needs.
We support lifelong learning and intellectual freedom through free access to diverse collections, programs and technology.
Creative & Cultural Vitality
We support access to our cultural heritage through collaboration and programming with galleries, museums, archives and cultural organizations.
We empower our welcoming staff to connect to our community and cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships.
We facilitate effective governance by Elgin County Council and our municipal partners in alignment with the County’s strategic goals.
Many of Elgin County Library’s branches originated as Mechanics’ Institutes, which provided adult education particularly in technical subjects to working-class men. In 1883, the Ontario Free Public Libraries Act enabled the conversion of larger Mechanics’ Institutes into public libraries. In 1895, supplementary legislation allowed chartered institutes to change their official names to “Public Library.”
Effective 1986, the Elgin County Library Board was formally dissolved and replaced by Elgin County Council as the library’s board after the passage of a private member’s bill by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Elgin County Council remains the library’s board to this very day, one of the few systems in Ontario that operates in this manner.