About Banff Public Library

Our Story

(Photo Credit: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies)

Banff Public Library (BPL) was founded in 1949 through the work of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. First located in the basement of the Banff Clinic, staffed by volunteers and funded by donations, its beginnings were small and humble. The original book collection consisted of approximately 2,000 volumes, mostly novels.

(Photo Credit: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies)

In 1962, Peter and Catharine Whyte along with their sister-in-law, Barbara Whyte, provided space for the Library in a private home at 111 Bear Street. The Library remained at that location until 1968 when, through the continued generosity of the Whyte Foundation, the Library moved to a shared space with the Archives of the Canadian Rockies.

In 1974, BPL became a full-fledged municipal library, financed by local taxes and government grants. By this time, its collection had grown to 16,000 volumes, a library board had been established, and a professional librarian was in place. In 1984, the Whyte Foundation, seeking a shaded space for its growing collection, offered the Library Board a sub-lease on its property west of the post office for the building of a new library. Through local fundraising, grants, and contributions, the new library became a reality, having its official opening in April of 1985.

In 2000, BPL became the first public library in Alberta to eliminate membership fees for local residents. At the Alberta Library Conference in 2002, the Honourable Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Community Development, presented BPL with the Creative Public Library Service Award for its aptly titled "Reaching Readers" initiative. This initiative made free library memberships a permanent policy in Banff and brought province-wide attention to the vital role that public libraries play in a democratic society.

Today, BPL houses over 37,000 books and audiovisual materials. In 2020, more than 1,700 community members had a library card and borrowed over 30,000 items directly from our location. Patrons also accessed over 15,500 items from other libraries across the province through The Regional Automated Consortium (TRAC) and Relais interlibrary loan systems.

The incredible community support offered by the municipal government and residents of Banff and the surrounding area allows Banff Public Library to continue to offer exceptional public library service.

Our Missions and Values

Mission

Banff Public Library enriches our entire community by stimulating lifelong learning, fostering connections, and encouraging a sense of belonging.

Vision

Inspire. Enrich. Connect.

Banff Public Library is a cornerstone of the Banff community, providing a welcoming meeting place as well as education, communication, and information.

Values

Banff Public Library values and supports:

  • Diversity
  • Empowerment
  • Connection
  • Community
  • Discovery
  • Barrier-Free Access

In our work, we are:

  • Innovative
  • Resourceful
  • Inclusive
  • Service-Oriented

Library Board

The Banff Public Library Board has full legislative authority over the management and provision of library services in the municipality. The Library Board approves annual budgets and has financial oversight of library operations. In addition, the Library Board determines service objectives for the library that are appropriate to the needs of the community and re-examines these objectives periodically. The Library Board also develops policies governing library programs and operations in consultation with the Library Director.

The Banff Public Library Board is appointed by the Town of Banff and oversees the operation of Banff Public Library in accordance with the Province of Alberta's Libraries Act, R.S.A 2000, Chapter L-11. Meetings are open to the public and take place on the last Wednesday of each month (excluding July and August) at 6:00 pm. 

Current Board Members

Library Board Chair: Ali Buckingham
Library Board Vice Chair: Monica Dominguez
Library Board Secretary: Courtney Maxwell-Alves
Library Board Treasurer: Dr. Elizabeth Seybold
Town of Banff Council Representative: Kaylee Ram
Town of Banff Council Representative: Ted Christensen
Library Board Director: Manuela Olibera-Dorn
Library Board Director: Melissa Carroll
Library Board Director: Candice Noakes
Improvement District #9 Representative: Alexandra Parkinson

To contact the Banff Public Library Board or to attend a monthly meeting, please send an email to: bplboard@banfflibrary.ab.ca.

Library Staff

Library Director: Sarah McCormack
Collection Development: Erin Zawisza
Communications: Nanako Emori
Community Engagement and Programming: Kim Mayberry and Kelly Turpin
Access and Inclusion Library Assistant: Jessia Arsenio 
Interlibrary Loans, Processing, and Donations: Liza Hay
Administrative Library Assistant: Diana Boyle

Part-Time Library Assistants: 
Chie Fujimaru, Kathy McNeil, Margaret Riordan, Linda Chisholm, and Jonathan Rollins
Student Library Assistant: Erin Anderson

To contact our staff, please call 403.762.2661 or email us at: info@banfflibrary.ab.ca.

chat loading...