The Big Valley Municipal Library has had an interesting history since some enlightened community members formed the first library board in 1986 with the goal of establishing a library here in Big Valley. They met with success and in April of 1987 when a very, very small library was opened in the back room of the Village Office. Their first official annual report proudly stated t28 library members and by 1989, the library was moved to its present location, the converted fire hall adjoining the Village Office.
In the year 2000, thanks to the Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program, the library received a much needed renovation, and in 2003 a bequest enabled the board to convert an unfinished back room into an office and storage space.
Big Valley’s Village Council approved membership in the Parkland Regional Library System in 2006 and library usage soared thanks to access to all the additional materials. Then with the coming of the Supernet, our small library became the communications hub of the village and surrounding county.
In 2006, the Friends of the Big Valley Library Society was formed as the fundraising and advocacy arm of our library. Over the years, they have worked tirelessly to elevate the profile of the library’s services to this community.
In 2009, the library celebrated its twentieth anniversary with hopes to move to bigger and better quarters. The 610 square feet of floor space seemed no longer adequate to serve the community’s needs. A children’s section, a meeting room, reading area and electronics room suitable for computer teaching, distant learning and gaming were the new requirements. The Friends Board produced a community cookbook with the goal of raising funds towards this new goal.
Three years ago the Friends participated in a casino event through AGLC which allowed them to finance another renovation of the Library. By reconfiguring their space and with the addition of mobile bookcases, the library now has a small children’s section, a dedicated electronics area and the ability to provide meeting space within their small space. Programming opportunities have soared and they can now boast library sponsored activities including teen game and movie nights, a book club, garden club, a sit n’ stitch group, ladies night out, a painting classes and much more, all within their tiny space.
This year as Big Valley prepares to celebrate its Centennial, the library celebrates its 25th year with three major projects. First is the 25th anniversary expanded edition of their very successful cookbook. Second, they are in the midst of creating the “Centennial Wi-FiPark”, a very welcomed addition and beautification of an underutilized space within the Village; and third the Big Valley Library Board and staff and the Friends of the Library Society will be hosting a “penny carnival” to entertain the children during Big Valley’s Centennial festivities.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the countless volunteers who have so generously given of their time and labour to help to make these projects possible.
BIG VALLEY BULLETIN