The Terrace Bay Public Library originated in 1948 in a small room that served as the recreation building during the construction of the Kimberly Clark Mill.
In 1950 there was a move to another small room in the back of a retail outlet in the downtown core.
In 1963 it settled in the Terrace Bay Community Center and moved three times within that complex.
In 1980 when major renovations were undertaken in the Community Center, the library was relocated to a new area in the centre complete with built-in circulation desk and adequate shelving to house the collection.
Terrace Bay celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1997. The library celebrated along with a new fully automated card catalogue and circulation system.
In 2004 (Ontario Early Years) and 2005 (Trillium Foundation) the library received grants to begin replacing metal shelving with new oak shelving in the children’s section and adult non-fiction areas.
The Terrace Bay Public Library received its accreditation under the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Program and was successful in the renewal of the accreditation in 2008. In 2008 the library joined with other northern libraries in an integrated library system. (JASI)
The Terrace Bay Public Library is located on the north shore of Lake Superior and serves a population of 1,250 people as well as the outlying areas of Jackfish, Schreiber, Rossport and Pays Plat. The library currently has 1,886 active users.
In partnership with the Superior Seniors and Township of Terrace Bay, the library board applied for, and were successful in securing, a Canada Build grant in order to renovate an existing structure in the community into a Cultural Centre. The centre consists of the public library, seniors’ activity centre and a community hall. The library moved into its beautiful new facility in the fall of 2010.
The new library, comprised of dedicated spaces, opened up many avenues of programming that weren’t previously possible. The Programming Room, allows for lessons and training opportunities. A meeting room, complete with director’s table and chairs and a Promethean Interactive Whiteboard allow groups to hold meetings and workshops. Among these groups is the cemetery committee, the Metis Association & Dilico. Quiet and privacy are provided. The youth area allows students to gather after school hours to socialize and to work on group projects. The fireside room is a special place for people to gather. A single brew coffee machine allows the library to offer beverages. This creates revenue for the library but it’s also a place for people “to go” as there is no coffee house in our town. Many people sit by the fire and socialize or read. A children’s space allows families to visit, play & learn together. Our family Storytime program takes place here weekly. The barrier free washrooms complete with change tables are family friendly. A computer lab houses a Community Access Site that provides public internet access and has created jobs for youth. Local history, once in storage, now has a home in the archives room. Community members, so excited to see this material out in the open, formed a Historical Society. Two full time positions were created, through a grant, to digitize the collection. The library offers a Books Are For Eating program that allows children to explore different cultures through stories and preparing food. Future plans are for local artist displays & an artist in residence program. The library has indeed become what is referred to as the third place. There is home, work and the third place being community.