Our History

In the spirit of reconciliation, the Brockville Public Library acknowledges the land on which it was originally established, and the work that it does, takes place on the territories of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinabek Peoples. 

We are grateful for the significant and invaluable contributions First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples have made and continue to make across Turtle Island despite the historic and ongoing effects of colonialism.

As part of the Ontario Library Association, the staff and leadership at the Brockville Public Library are committed to active participation in reconciliation by amplifying Indigenous voices year-round, listening, learning, and providing resources so that we may work towards fulfilling CFLA-FCAB’s Truth & Reconciliation Committee Recommendations.

The Brockville Public Library (BPL) was established in May 1895, an out-growth of the collections and services developed by the Brockville Mechanic’s Institute.

The library was founded in 1842 with the purpose “to collect books of interest to clerks, apprentices and craftsmen; to sponsor lectures on a variety of subjects; and to conduct experiments in natural philosophy (essentially, physics and chemistry)“, wrote Canadian Historian Ian MacPherson. Membership to the Institute in 1894 was “One dollar for a single ticket and Two dollars for a family ticket” (Brockville Mechanics Institute By-Laws).

A library building grant from Andrew Carnegie in 1902 (one of 111 such grants in Ontario) resulted in the opening of the Carnegie Library (later the Brockville Public Library) in 1904.

The Library underwent two expansions and renovations in 1971 (east on George Street) and 1996 (south on Buell Street) to create the building we use today.