Peterborough Public Library

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Peterborough Public Library
Peterborough Public Library.jpg
Aylmer St main branch building opened in 1980, prior to 2017 renovations.
TypePublic Library
Established1868 (1868)
Location345 Aylmer Street North
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
K9H 3V7
Coordinates44°18′15″N 78°19′09″W / 44.304099°N 78.319254°W / 44.304099; -78.319254 Coordinates of temporary main branch at Peterborough SquareCoordinates: 44°18′15″N 78°19′09″W / 44.304099°N 78.319254°W / 44.304099; -78.319254 Coordinates of temporary main branch at Peterborough Square
Items collectedbusiness directories, phone books, maps, government publications, books, periodicals, genealogy, local history,

The Peterborough Public Library is a public library system that serves the community of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.


The Main Library is a full service library with a well-stocked current circulating collection of books, CD audio books, Music, DVDs and magazines. The Reference Collection includes a local history collection, government documents, electronic resources and microfilms selected to answer the information needs of the community. Additional material can be obtained from other libraries and for those who are unable to come to the library, visiting library services are offered. Programs such as reading clubs are also available for the public to join. Access to the Internet is possible via the library's workstations. Visit the Children's area for storytime programs, play a game on one of the computers, or to grab a book to read together.

List of services: Information and reference services, access to full text databases, community information, Internet access, reader's advisory services, programs for adults and children of all ages, library materials delivery to home bound individuals, Interlibrary loan, free downloadable electronic materials, and much more.


The Carnegie library built in 1911 fronting George Street

Peterborough Mechanics Institute, established in 1868, was one of a series of Mechanic's Institutes that were set up around the world after becoming popular in Britain. The Peterborough Mechanics Institute housed a subscription library that allowed members who paid a fee to borrow books. Mechanics Institutes were established across Ontario to make education universal and accessible to all citizens. The Mechanic's Institutes libraries eventually became public libraries when the establishment of free libraries occurred.[1] In Peterborough, the Institute and the Library were located on Water Street. In May 1895, the Mechanics Institute became the Peterborough Public Library. The library remained on Water Street. Later, the Peterborough Public Library received funding from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation and the new Carnegie Library located on George Street opened in 1911. This building is currently the Carnegie Wing of City Hall.


In February 1949, a branch library opened in the south end of Peterborough. It was situated above a hardware store and was a room 50 by 20 feet. It was divided into two sections – one for boys and girls, the other for adults. The DelaFosse Branch Library opened officially on December 1, 1965. The Peterborough Examiner declared that this branch at 729 Park Street S., made "south end residents the envy of the rest of the city." Currently, it holds a recreational reading collection of approximately 14,000 books and a variety of media formats for all ages.

The collection of the Kawartha branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is also located at DelaFosse, offering personal research assistance on Thursday afternoons. This branch library is named in honour of Frederick Montague delaFosse, who was the Chief Librarian of Peterborough Public Library from 1910 to 1946.

The Main Library at 345 Aylmer St. N. opened on Tuesday, September 2, 1980. The library was built on the site of the old fire hall and had about triple the floor space of the old Carnegie building. The opening ceremonies were held on September 17 and featured Robertson Davies, Master of Massey College, University of Toronto, as the keynote speaker. A report in 2013 determined that the Aylmer St building no longer met community needs, and the city council of Peterborough in 2015 approved the demolition of the building and construction of a new building at the Alymer St site. A temporary main location at the Peterborough Square complex opened in May 2016, and demolition of old Aylmer St building began in July 2016.

On January 30, 2018 the renovated Peterborough Public Library opened to the public.


  • A scene from Jumper was filmed here

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Michael. History Of Libraries In The Western World. 4th ed. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1995, p. 153.

External links[edit]

Media related to Peterborough Public Library at Wikimedia Commons