Our current infrastructure is failing to meet community needs in a serious way.

  • Failing to meet national standards - we have 40% of the recommended amount of library space per person
  • Turning away children from literacy programs for lack of space
  • Not meeting community demand for meeting space
  • Losing out on partnership opportunities because we do not have the space to accommodate them
  • Falling behind digitally as hundred year old buildings cannot be improved, leaving us unable to meet the demand for more public computers and more hot desk stations.
  • Leaving behind our youth who have no proper space in our current buildings
  • Deficient in meeting provincially mandated accessibility standards
  • Not enough parking

Thunder Bay Public Library's Mission:

The Thunder Bay Public Library facilitates knowledge sharing and helps build a connected and healthy community by providing the space, collections, services and programs that residents need to learn, grow, create and be successful. Learn more.

The Library is an essential public service which depends on community funding to pursue its mission.

The Library is a civic institution with a mission deemed so vital to our collective well-being that it has been funded by taxpayers for almost 150 years. By promoting knowledge, literacy and social trust, the public Library system lays the foundation for equitable economic prosperity, cultural enrichment and strengthens the foundations of our democracy.

The needs of the community have changed since the first Library was built in 1912.  The addition of a new Central Library branch will let us grow to meet them.

Beyond basic updates to our buildings, the Library’s current infrastructure prevents us from keeping up with the evolving needs of the community.  Since the first branch, Brodie Library, was built in 1912, Thunder Bay has grown and changed drastically - both geographically and culturally.  The way libraries are used is vastly different from the way it was over a century ago.  While our physical collection of books and literature remains important, our programs and services have grown and become core to our purpose and central to community life. The failure to meet these needs means that we are turning away children learning to read due to a lack of appropriate program space; seniors face challenges accessing the services they need to stay engaged, and we routinely fail to meet the needs of community partners due to spatial shortfalls. The reality is that we need Library buildings that can bring us into the future, not trap us in the past. We need infrastructure that meets the reality of our city today and for tomorrow, not that of a century ago.

The addition of a Central Library to our system will bring us into the 21st century. It will allow us to have the children’s reading and programming spaces we just can’t fit into our old buildings. It will allow us to meet accessibility standards so that everyone can equally participate. It will allow us to offer better hours on evenings and weekends so working families can fully embrace all the Library offers. It will double down on what we know works - mixed-use space that brings our diverse community together in the centre of our city.

Get Involved with the Central Library Project

Sign up here to receive news updates about the Central Library branch, and use the handy feedback form to submit your comments about the project.

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