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Throwback Thursday - Arts Beat January 2018 - 1
Stephen Near

arts beat throwback thursday 

Hamilton Public Library "Growing With You"

January 1989

Hamilton Public Library is 100 years old. To celebrate the occasion a variety of events are planned and everyone is invited.

The theme of this centennial year is 'growing with you'. All festivities will emphasize the enduring connnection with the Hamilton community and the valuable role the institution has played in the city's development. However, the concept of a public library did not always receive universal support.

in 1885, the mere suggestion of establishing a 'free library' as it was then called was met with vigorous opposition. Public-spirited citizens coalesced to voice their concerns. Some felt that the proposed library was a "scheme to let women read novels while their children were being taken care of at the kindergarden".

When the issue was finally put forth for formal consideration, the debate ended with the statement, "all those in favour of taxing poor people to buy books for the rich to read, and also want to waste the city's money, hold up their hands". Needless to say, the motion was defeated. 

Fortunately, library advocates did not relax their efforts and on January 7, 1889 a by-law was carried establishing the Hamilton Public Library.

A century later the library is still a hot topic. For those interested in literature, music, film or, learning of any kind, there's no questio that this is the place to be. If you haven't checked out the services and programs offered by your branch, there's no time like the present. Consider yourself invited. 

Bunka, Debora., and Graziani, Robert., and MacKenzie, Dianne. “Hamilton Public Library “Growing With You”.” Arts Beat, vol. 2, no. 5, Jan.-Feb. 1989, p. 10.