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Info at a Glance

 

 Business Hours:

Monday to Thursday  10am to 6pm

Friday                    10am to 5pm

Closed Saturday, Sunday & Holidays

 58 Main Street

Flin Flon, MB, R8A 1J8

Phone # 204-687-3397

Fax #     204-687-4233

 

The Flin Flon Public Library offers Books, Audio Books, Magazines and DVD's for lending

A beautiful, newly designed children’s area, complete with Lego table, and toys for your enjoyment

►History of The Library

"In 1929 the Flin Flon Community Club set aside space to be used as a library and reading room in the newly completed community club building. Donations of books and magazines were invited - the first listed was made by "Ma" Bell who supplied Flin Flon's readers with the ten-volume Harmsworth Self Educator. The library branch of the Community Club charged a fee of fifty cents per club member for library privileges - non-members were asked to pay a two dollar fee. One of the first librarians mentioned in the Club's records was Miss Doris Griffith who presided during the afternoon and evening hours for borrowers in 1937.

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Children's library facilities in Flin Flon's three schools left much to be desired when, in 1936, the Women's Institute undertook the task of supplying the schools with books, a service they provided and maintained for several years. Stocks of reading material available to the public came from two other sources in the thirties

. One lending library of over six hundred books was located at Jack Marantz's Club News Agency in the Rex Theatre building in 1935; the other, a small library of books supplied by W.S. Dougall's private library chain from Winnipeg was operated by Jean Young in the MacKenzie-Wright Limited store at 87 Main Street. An exchange of books was made when the librarian considered that everyone interested had read the volumes on hand. A fee was charged for each book borrowed through this service conducted from 1938 to 1940.

Meanwhile, the Community Club library continued to enlarge its supply of books and periodicals to provide as complete a reading service as possible. Miss Ethel Dobson was librarian in 1939. The expanding community club activities necessitated moving the library service to various parts of the building before it was moved to a location at 120 Main Street, vacated by radio station CFAR. It remained there temporarily before locating at the sewing room of the Jubilee Hall in November, 1943. The system was changed to a borrowing fee of ten cents per book at this period when Mrs. George (Kay) Martindale was appointed librarian. Mrs. Martindale faithfully tended the library until 1957 when the lack of available funds and an outdated stock of books forced closing of the service. Flin Flon Public Library was established in 1958; over five hundred of the old volumes were donated by the Community Club to help fill out the book stock.

The history of Flin Flon Public Library is emphasized by a strong commitment on the part of several citizens whose volunteer work involved dedicated effort toward providing the town with an adequate and up-to-date library. At the time of initial planning for a library, the dream of having a new building constructed was unrealistic due to various reasons including that of financing. A review of events leading up to the establishment of a public library in Flin Flon brings to light the role played by the District Council of Home and School Associations. The organization was credited with being the guiding force behind providing a library for Flin Flon from the initial tentative suggestions, through the period of trial summer libraries (when books from the University of Manitoba Extension Library were circulated from various depots manned by volunteer workers from the Home and School Associations), to the drawing up and circulating of a petition calling for establishment of a public library. Three ladies, Mrs. R.G. Hopkinson, Mrs. A.R. Fraser, and Mrs. R.A. McLachlan, had worked actively with the Home and School Associations' campaign for a library and served on the first library board along with Orson F. Wright, Q.C., as chairman; John B. Kines, then principal of Hapnot School; and Gunnar Folkestone, a member of Flin Flon Town Council. Mrs. Fraser had resigned from the board to become assistant librarian in May of 1958, at which time Mrs. McLachlan took a place on the board.

These people were present among many others who attended the official opening of Flin Flon Public Library at the Community Club building where a large room, measuring twenty-seven by fifty-five feet, fitted with adequate lighting and shelves for four thousand books would be enjoyed for almost ten years. Mrs. G.V. Watson, librarian, paid tribute to Miss Majorie Morley, the provincial librarian, whose assistance was considered to be invaluable. Miss Morley officially opened the library for public inspection on May 7, 1958.

To begin serving the public, Flin Flon's library subscribed to some twenty-five magazines and periodicals, accepted gifts from individuals, groups and companies, such as the collection of seventy books and a number of pamphlets written in the Ukrainian language and donated by the Ukrainian Self Reliance League. Over the years, individuals have presented books from private collections to place on Flin Flon Public Library shelves for the enjoyment of borrowers.

In April of 1959, Mrs. R.H. (Edna) Hopkinson became librarian upon the departure from Flin Flon of Mrs. G.V. Watson. The membership stood at 3, 665 while the circulation was 50, 178. Services continually expanded with displays of art work, children's story hour and a summer reading club. By 1964, the library membership was over forty-five hundred, and services included the supply of books to Cranberry Portage, Denare Beach, and the Town of Creighton which began paying a fee based on the number of members from Creighton. The Flin Flon Film Council was conducted through facilities and staff at the library by this time, and librarian Edna Hopkinson, her assistant Marianne Krahn, and later Florence Barnes, were providing Flin Flon with a personable service that continued to expand as the library staff assisted with various cultural aspects of community life.

So encouraging was the growth of Flin Flon Public Library that when a project for Canada's centennial year was considered, the construction of a brand new building was undertaken on the lot known as 58 Main Street. Vacant for a number of years, the lot was backfilled, covered with gravel and used as a town parking lot for a time, until the location became an obvious choice for the new Centennial Building. The services provided therein are readily accessible to the public.

Flin Flon Centennial Building was officially opened on Sunday, July 2, 1967, with unique ceremonies in which pioneer citizens and youth participated. The Centennial Building was planned to provide a modern library on the main floor, while a lower level contained random use space. A large tiled area with a separate entrance was to have been used as public restrooms until it was determined that costs of maintenance would be too high for the City to absorb. The room was subsequently used by the Flin Flon Pottery Club who installed a potter's wheel and a large electric kiln. A meeting room was completed by the Rotary Club, and in 1972 the Flin Flon Historical Society established Flin Flon Archives. The Centennial Building, consequently, services the cultural, social, and educational aspects of Flin Flon, as was the intention when centennial projects were planned and financed.

Membership in Flin Flon Public Library has dropped by over one thousand during the construction period of the new building, but soon soared to 8,694 in 1969. Mrs. Fred (Florence) Barnes was appointed librarian in 1969, though her assistant Marianne Krahn, became acting librarian at the time of Mrs. Barnes' death in 1971. Mrs. Krahn served in this capacity until a trained librarian Mrs. Dave (Margaret) Hanna was hired in 1972.

A peak of enthusiasm in borrowing, according to the annual reports filed in the library, was attained in 1961 just before the advent of television service in Flin Flon. Average daily distribution was 309 when the circulation desk was often piled high with as many as 850 books passing in and out. Book repair was a never-ending task, and, for a time, a volunteer service known as "friends of the library" took books and magazines to the Association Hospital, to Rotary Court for senior citizens, and assisted with children's activities at the library.

Financing of Flin Flon Public Library has been conducted in the following way since the inception of the service. In 1958, a municipal levy of $7,063.85 from the year 1957 was combined with the 1958 levy in the amount of $7,153.83 for a total of $14,217.68. In addition, the provincial government allowed a grant in the amount of $2,000 for the year 1958. This grant has been paid annually since 1958 and supplements the city's levy amounting to $10,959.91 in 1971 plus a special grant of $4,540.09, a Province of Saskatchewan grant amounting to $1,057.15, a Town of Creighton grant of $999, and a further Manitoba special grant of $3,629. From its First Annual Report when revenue totaled $16,217.68 to its present operation with revenue of $25,072.60, the Flin Flon Public Library stands with fixed assets of $63,245.42 including books, films and records, furniture and equipment. The Library Board for the years 1973-74 included chairman, city representative Gunner Folkestone, secretary Mrs.W.Urich,Town of Creighton representative, J.Sattleberger; Mrs.C.V.Gilmore, Mrs.W.Duncan, Mrs.D.Hanna, and Murray Smith." 

                {Taken from the book "Flin Flon"  by,  Flin Flon Historical Society 1974}