Oshawa Public Library

at 65 Bagot Street, Oshawa, ON

Oshawa Public Library
65 Bagot Street
Oshawa, ON
Contact Phone
P: (905)-579-6111


Oshawa Public Libraries is a public library system that serves a population of more than 155,000 people in the City of Oshawa, Ontario. OPL has 4 branches, each serving its respective region of Oshawa, and sharing its collections in common amongst all the branches within the system. The City of Oshawa is situated on the Lake Ontario shoreline approximately 60 kilometres east of downtown Toronto.Services and CollectionsOPL services include an extensive collection of Genealogy and Local History resources. OPL’s collection of online resources has expanded rapidly, and now features over 30 databases covering a great variety of topic areas.HistoryIn 1864, library services were first provided in Oshawa with the formation of the Oshawa Mechanics Institute, located near the intersection of Simcoe Street and King Street, in what is now downtown Oshawa. This organization served as a reading room, sitting behind the D. Allin Bookstore, and offered free courses, as well as a collection of books and magazines. Serving as President was William McGill, and as librarian, William Dickson.In 1906, a purpose-built library was developed to serve the municipality, thanks to Andrew Carnegie, whose philanthropic support for the development of libraries provided necessary funding for the project. The 1906 Oshawa Public Library was built at the corner of Simcoe Street South and Athol Street West when Oshawa had a population of 5,500. In 1948, the same library in the same building served a citizenry of 29,000, housing over 30,000 books compared to 4,000 books in 1906. In its first year of operations, Oshawa Public Library had about 250 subscribers using its facilities and a circulation of 8,200. In 1948, there were 16,093 subscribers and a circulation of 143,463 volumes, showcasing the tremendous use made of the library by the citizens of the community. This large increase in books, subscribers and circulation mandated the need for a new and bigger library. A proposal was made and the citizens of Oshawa participated in a campaign to have a new library built.

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