Canada has a great history and part of it includes the collection of libraries that the country has.

The Beginning

Some believe that during the British colony years that Canada was the first to establish libraries. This is based on historical evidence that dates back to 1779 when a subscription library existed in Quebec. The hopes were that the collection of about 2,000 volumes would unite the French and English.

In regards to previous collections, there isn’t too much known about this except for a collection that dates back to 1606. Then in 1791 and 1792 collections were established in Upper and Lower Canada. Then finally in 1796, it is deemed that the first public library was established in Montreal. From that time on libraries began to spring up in other provinces throughout Canada.

The Public Libraries

Although Canada is proud of the public libraries that it does have, it does not compare to those in the US or England. However, the public libraries in Canada are divided into categories such as municipal or county and even regional public libraries. It is hard to do an actual count of public libraries because of the way they are categorized but it is estimated that there are about 595 public libraries including branches throughout Canada. The majority of the public libraries provide their services to the various cities and towns.

The Importance of Public Libraries

One may think that with the technology of the internet that the public libraries are not as important as they once were. But this is not the case. At one time many of the public schools in Canada each had their own library. Due to budgets and cost factors many of the schools no longer have these on their premises and students rely on the public libraries for their ready and research materials.