Library History Timeline


1948 The library opened its doors as the I.O.D.E. (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire) Library in a small space at the Town Office. Membership fees were $1.00 for individuals over 16 and free for those under 16. The library had 31 adult members and 91 members under 16.
1958 Emily Mclean was appointed as the first librarian.
1964 The new Town Office and Library opened on October 8, 1964. Effective on October 23rd, the Library would no longer be open Tuesdays. Four short years later, the first Library Board formed.
1968 Membership grew to 370 patrons.
1971 The library joined the Parkland Regional Library.
1978 Esther Dube was hired as the first full-time librarian.
1979 Membership grew to 516 members and 10,042 items circulated in the library.
1980 The library officially became the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library. That year, 12,212 items circulated, and the library opened three days per week.
1983 Two part-time staff were hired to accommodate increased library usage.
1984 The library relocated to the New Town Office, and the Summer Villages of Norglenwold, Half Moon Bay, and Birchcliff joined the Library Board.
1994 Esther Dube retired as librarian and was replaced by Lynn McLoughlin. Alice Swaby was also hired as librarian.
1995 The Sylvan Lake Library Foundation received a charity number and status, growing to become the Friends of the Sylvan Lake Library.
1996 The library purchased its first computer, a laser printer, and Encarta 96. The annual membership fee was raised to $10.00, and a $1.00 fee for story hour was introduced. Fines for late video materials were $1.00 per day. Internet for Library patrons became available in March of 1996, but public access to email and "chat" was forbidden. A second computer was added for public use that April, and consent forms for patrons under 18 were required.
1997 Data entry of library materials began using the Mandarin system.
1998 Internet fees for library patrons were eliminated, but non-members were required to pay $3.00 to use the internet. Annual membership fees were raised to $12.00, and a senior rate of $10.00 was introduced. In November of that year, the family membership fee was raised to $15.00, and a new logo was adopted.
1999 The library agreed to participate in The Alberta Library Card program, and F.O.I.P. became a reality.
2000 Construction of a new library building began. Dynix OPAC became available for patrons, circulation went up 39%, and memberships went up 150% in the month following the opening of the new building. The library's website went live in August.
2001 The new building hosted its grand opening, and circulation began with the new Dynix system in June of 2001. The County of Red Deer joined the Parkland Regional Library system.
2002 The Library began its practice of charging fines on all overdue items on January 1st, the Cards for Kids program began, PRL rolled out the new Horizon software, Supernet arrived at the Library, and a CD collection for the Library was also approved.
2003 Alice Swabey was named Parkland Regional Library's Librarian of the Year for 2002, and the $3.00 fee for using public computers was eliminated. Barb Bulat was hired as library director.
2004 The Library began opening on Mondays.
2006 Sundays were added to its regular business days.
2007 The Sylvan Lake Film Society showed its first film in February, run by the Friends of the Sylvan Lake Library.
2008 Shannon Sword was hired as library director.
2009 The café counters were removed from the reading lounge, and a new logo was adopted.
2010 PRL began lending eAudiobooks, utilizing NetLibrary, through support of The Alberta Library.
2013 eMagazines became available through Zinio in October, and worldwide newspapers became available at the Library through Library Press Display.
2014 Art Attack was introduced, Caroline Vandriel was hired as library director. The ME Card went live in the spring. Hoopla, a digital platform for borrowing music, movies, TV series, and audiobooks, went live in June. OneClickDigital (RB digital), a digital platform for borrowing eAudiobooks, and 3M, a digital platform for borrowing eBooks, went live in June and September, respectively.
2016 The Little Free Pantry started.
2019 Andrea Newland was hired as library director, and the library purchased 5 public laptops.
2020 The library switched from RBdigital to Overdrive, closed for COVID, started virtual programming and curbside pick-up, went fine-free for COVID relief, and installed a new projector/sound system in the program room.
2021 The library officially went late fine-free and started a board game collection.
2022 The library got new display shelves (purple), new children's shelving, new flooring in the main library, and wireless printing.
2023 Haley Amendt was hired as library director, and the library expanded its Library of Things and got MeeScan self-checkout.