Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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Schools have always been a source of library books for students, but library service for the general public was first made available through the Manitoba Pool Elevators.

In 1926, at the first annual meeting of the Manitoba Pool Elevators'' provincial organization, funds were set aside to establish a Pool library . To make this library more available to the rural areas, a travelling library service was organized in 1939.The Brookdale Pool Elevator passed a motion at a meeting held February 13, 1941 to put up a shelf in the elevator office for books from the travelling library. Minutes of an April 18, 1941meeting record that the shelf was up, that considerable material had been received from Winnipeg and that it was already being used. The local Pool agent looked after the distribution of the books.

In 1948, the province enacted the Public Libraries Act which enabled municipalities to establish libraries so in 1949 the Manitoba Pool Elevators turned over their 5000 books to the province. The rural areas were then served by the University Extension Library through which anyone not served by a public library could order library books by mail at no charge - even the postage was paid.

In 1966 meetings were held and petitions were circulated regarding the establishment of a public library to serve Carberry and the R.M. of North Cypress. At the election held October 17, 1966 a bylaw passed establishing this library and it opened in Carberry on August 17, 1967 as part of the Western Manitoba Regional Library. Helen Mitchell has represented the Brookdale area on the board since its establishment.

In 1968 the library board and Beautiful Plains School Division allowed Helen Mitchell to put books from the Carberry Branch in the Brookdale School for the use of the children and adults of this area. One quarter of these books rotated each month. Helen maintained these rotated books for the students in the school until she retired as school librarian in 1982. The Brookdale School also has a good collection of books. In 1979 when the Brookdale Drop-In Centre was opened, books of interest to the adults were moved to that building.

A grant of 200 books was received from the Canada Council in 1978. Numerous donated books have also been added to the collection in the Drop- In Centre.

The Western Manitoba Regional Library has branches inBrandon, Carberry, Glenboro, Neepawa and Shilo. Residents can make use of the resources which include books, films, cassette tapes, records, micro-fiche records and magazines at any of these branches at no charge. In 1985the library system is supported primarily by a provincial government grant of $3.50 per capita and a local municipal levy of $3.75 per capita.


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