image of the outside of the meaford public library

In 1854 St. Vincent Council (which included Meaford) decided to found a library. Sixty British pounds were spent to buy books and distribute them to five locations throughout the township: Meaford, Griersville, Scotch Mountain, Cape Rich & Leaven's Corner.

The original Meaford library location was D.L. Layton's store and was open two hours per week. In 1869 the township was persuaded by the local newspaper editor to amalgamate the five libraries into one central location at the printing office of The Monitor newspaper in Meaford.

The first public organization to help in funding the library was the Mechanics Institute. It was a group formed by public-minded citizens who added books to the collection, gave lectures and held music concerts. In 1887 the fees for the Mechanics Institute were one dollar per year, or fifty cents for single ladies. 

By 1887, the library of about 1,000 volumes was located in Mr. and Mrs. MacKinnon's book and stationery store.

Through 1891-1900 the library was located in various places in town until it settled above W.W. Stephen's Drug Store. In the early 1900s the town attempted to take over the library and make it a public facility funded by tax dollars. The town lost in this decision by one vote. When the new town hall was built in 1908 the library moved to the north east corner of the town hall.

The library was to remain at the town hall until 1967, when the town acquired the vacated post office building at 15 Trowbridge Street. In 1972 the children's library was opened in an area separate from the adult library, and in 1982 a multi-purpose room was opened in the renovated basement. A new entrance was built and a wheelchair ramp was constructed.

In 2010 the library uses the entire building at 15 Trowbridge. The children's library is in the basement, the adult and reference collections are on the main floor, and administration offices and meeting rooms are upstairs.

A new library

In 2018 the Municipality of Meaford Council agreed to renovate a former grocery store, located at 11 Sykes St. North, to become the new home of The Meaford Public Library. Construction will start in 2019 and this will become the new hub of the community and be a fully 100% accessible library.

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