The Medicine Hat Public Library opened its doors 102 years ago. Like other communities, Hatters realized the importance of library services so they worked together to lobby for a public library. This work led to the birth of the Medicine Hat Public Library as two rented rooms in the Huckvale Block in 1915.
The Library grew quickly and by 1964 had moved to a new location overlooking the river. Continued growth had the Library Board considering expansion in the 1980’s but a lack of funding held the project over until it was finally completed in 1993. The Library reopened with nearly double the space, leaving the original 1960’s building intact.
In 1988 MHPL joined other libraries in the region to form the Shortgrass Library System. Under this partnership, our library welcomed the electronic age by offering public internet access and electronic resources.
Today the Medicine Hat Public Library has grown into a 21st century library offering a wide range of electronic services including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and streaming music, movies and TV shows. A range of diverse programs compliments our resource offerings and fulfills our commitment to lifelong learning. We also take library services into the community with programs like the Sunrise Rotary Ride the Road to Reading, homebound services, attendance at Canada Day, and our community speaker series Pecha Kucha.
For more than six years we have been working towards our goal of renovating our beloved theatre. With no accessible seating options, old audio/visual systems, and stained carpets, chairs and ceiling, this aging public space was well overdue for an upgrade. After winning two grants to improve accessibility, and receiving a generous $50,000 donation from the TD Bank Group, and other monetary donations, we began work on the theatre, but not without permission for a loan from the City of Medicine Hat. While we appreciate this offer of a loan, every dollar we have to pay back is one less dollar we have to spend on literacy initiatives. We need your help to complete this renovation debt-free.
One of our long term goals is to open a satellite library in another part of the city. The City of Medicine Hat has grown substantially since the Library’s last major expansion - especially in the south end. While we strive to take library services beyond our walls, we know that proximity is a major determinant of library use.
The Medicine Hat Public Library has always depended on partnerships with service clubs, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and individuals in order to succeed.
Municipal and provincial funding is important for the daily operation of our Library, but we need to foster additional partnerships if we want to grow and change.
The Medicine Hat Public Library is a positive force in our community, but it will take additional resources to meet the changing demands of our city. And so, like many other publicly-supported organizations, we have taken it upon ourselves to actively fundraise for renovation and expansion projects that we believe will add value to our patrons and to our community.
In our 100th Anniversary year (2015) we undertook our first-ever gala fundraising event, Lovin’ the Library. While we have seen success with this event for the two years it has been held, we still need to develop partnerships with community investors in order to grow the event and to provide support for our current and future goals.
The Library is a vital part of my life. They have met every need, when I have been unwell, when my Mom was alive my time was not my own. When I can’t get to the Library I get a little cranky and out of sorts. I have been coming to the library since I was 6 years old and am now 72. Thank you, all of you, formy quality of life. (2016)
It's a community meeting place! The librarians are my friends. It is a place where everyone is welcome and can find inspiration and amusement. The library is an integral part of the City of Medicine Hat. It is the one place that we've always been able to count on outside of our church since we moved here over 30 years ago. It has helped us raise 7 children. (2014)
The library not only saves hundreds of people hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, but encourages open mindedness, continued learning, connection to the rest of the world and genres, and connects the entire community of Medicine Hat and surrounding areas. The Medicine Hat library is truly the heart of the city community. Thank you so very much. (2016)
The library theatre has been a vital community resource for over 50 years. For five decades our theatre has hosted a myriad of community events including music concerts, movies, author readings, political debates, countless lectures, weddings, Christmas plays and music recitals.
Since October 2010 alone, the library theatre hosted more than 1,300 events.
After 50 years of service, our well-used and much-loved theatre is finally getting the upgrades it deserves. When the work is done we will have accessible seating options for those with limited mobility and a T−Loop for the hearing impaired. We will no longer have a leaky ceiling, or squeaky/stained/outdated chairs.
If you’re passionate about having accessible public meeting spaces in our community, please donate to help us complete this renovation debt-free.
What better way to let Hatters know that you support accessible public meeting spaces in our community than to purchase the naming rights to our newly renovated theatre? For a significant donation towards the total cost of the renovation, we will name the theatre after your business. Your return on investment for this donation will include the following:
Another way to go down in history as a supporter of accessible public meeting spaces is to purchase a theatre seat plaque.
For a donation of $125 you will have the opportunity to name one seat in our new theatre for yourself, for your business, or as a unique way to remember a loved one.
The plaque will remain for a minimum period of 10 years. You will receive a charitable receipt for $110.
If you’re inspired by our cause but have yet to find a sponsorship opportunity that fits your budget, please consider making a donation, in any amount, at the Library or on our website (mhpl.shortgrass.ca/i-want-to/donate).
All donations of $500 and greater will receive a plaque on our donor wall. We are happy to work with your business to make sure you get the recognition you deserve based on your donation amount.
Tax receipts are issued for all monetary donations of $20 or more.
On October 18, 2016 we had a celebration at the Library to honour the generous contribution made by TD Canada Trust to our theatre renovation project.
TD, a frequent sponsor of literacy initiatives, donated $50,000 to the project. We are so thankful for their contribution to this beloved community meeting space.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of CIRA's Community Investment Program in launching our Raspberry Pis and Kids coding project. Thanks to this support we were able to purchase Raspberry Pi educational computers, along with add ons like cameras, sensors, LED displays, gas sensors and wiring kits to teach kids the basics of computer programming through hands on learning and real world projects.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority aims to build a better online Canada and we are happy to partner with them to proactively increase digital literacy in the youth of Medicine Hat.
We would like to acknowledge these generous folks for donating to the Library in 2016.