Elgin County Library fonds - Branch Libraries - Dutton series
10 cm of textual records
History / Biographical
The Dutton Mechanics' Institute was established in November 1892, largely as a result of the organizing efforts of Neil A. Campbell, Principal of Dutton Public School. The Institute's reading room was originally located in the Leitch Block on the west side of Main Street, and housed the entire collection of books, purchased with $112 raised in members' subscription fees and a $25 loan from the firm of Hockin and Pool.
On April 7, 1893 the entire Leitch Block was destroyed by fire, along with the reading room and the entire collection of the Dutton Mechanics' Institute except the 60 books then in circulation. The Institute was quickly re-established and re-opened its library in 1894.
In 1897 the Dutton Mechanics' Institute was re-organized as the Dutton Free Library, funded by the Dutton Village Council through an annual fifty-cents per capita levy on the taxpayers of Dutton.
Prior to 1922 the Library was housed in a small room in the old Dutton Hall. In 1922 the Library was relocated to temporary accommodations in the Sons of Scotland Hall, pending the construction of the new Memorial Hall. In 1923 the Library moved into a room in the new Hall, which it occupied until 1987.
The Dutton Public Library joined the Elgin County Library Association in 1940, and continued as a member of that organization when it was re-formed as the Elgin County Library Co-Operative in May 1947.
The Dutton Public Library Board administered the Library until it was disbanded in 1965 as a result of legislation amalgamating all Elgin County municipal public library boards under the authority of Elgin County Council. Dutton Public Library became the Dutton branch of the Elgin County Library effective January 1, 1966.
Major interior renovations were completed at the Library in June 1978.
By the mid-1980s, after more than 60 years in cramped conditions in the Memorial Hall, the library needed to expand to best serve the people of Dutton. On March 2, 1987, following an extensive fundraising effort led by the Dutton and District Lions Club and the Optimist Club of Wallacetown, Dutton Public Library opened for business in newly renovated premises at 231 Main Street, Dutton, and an official opening ceremony was held October 24, 1987.
In 1992-1993 the Village of Dutton and the Township of Dunwich jointly sponsored the construction of a new 5,000 square-foot library building to serve as the West-Elgin service hub of the Elgin County Library system. The Dutton-Dunwich Reference Library at 236 Shackleton Street, Dutton was officially opened October 23, 1993.
On October 15, 2003, the library was officially renamed the John Kenneth Galbraith Reference Library - Dutton Branch.
Long-serving supervising librarians have included Mrs. John Bambridge (August 1926-1951), Naomi Green (April 1951-September 1970) and Mary-Lou McMillan (May 1983-March 2014).
Scope and Content
Series consists of correspondence, scrapbooks, reports and miscellaneous records documenting the operation of the Dutton Mechanics' Institute, the Dutton Public Library (including its participation in the Elgin County Library Association and Elgin County Library Co-Operative), and the Dutton-Dunwich branch of the Elgin County Library.