History

History of the Devon Public Library:

Here is an original Devon resident’s recollection of how our library began:

Delbert Stuckey and I came to Devon from Leduc to live in the new bachelor quarters in Devon that were built, where the Devon Glass and Car Wash are now, in 1949. These buildings eventually became the Devon Civic Hospital and Doctor’s Offices. 

We roomed two to a room, pretty crowded, and we each had a big suitcase full of books as we both belonged to Book of the Month clubs. When we received our May issues, Del asked me what we should do with all our other books. I answered that we may have to start a library. Del answered in his usual way, “Bang on!!!” Del was the new Esso fire chief and the Fire Hall and Esso Warehouse was right across the street from the bach quarters, where the R.C.M.P. now reside. 

There was a thirty-foot long shelf along the north wall of the fire hall unoccupied. We couldn’t ask for a better spot so two suitcases crossed the street right away. 

So started the Devon Library. 

Del would go out at the start of afternoon shift to let the forty or so operators know of the library. In about two weeks time, we had around 100 books, including a whole set of encyclopedias from Bruce Eaton and 10 or so of Zane Grey’s books. The library stayed in the firehall for about seven months and was moved to the small office in the left front of the theatre building. Del operated it in the evenings for some time and turned it over to two British war brides when he left to join the ministry in Calgary. Later on, it was moved to the basement of the Town Office and in 1955 it became the Devon Public Library. 

 -L.W. (Bill) Clemens

In 1955, the Devon Public Library was established in the Devon Civic Building basement on Main Street. There was some concern about the library’s future success. "This library is very new and was begun at the same time that TV became available here. There is a TV set in every second home here, so we feel that our circulation record is quite good for the circumstances,” explained Dorothy M. Crosby, the librarian at the time. However, it seems there was no reason for concern, as the library later had to be moved to Devon High School (now John Maland High School) in 1966, and finally to the Devon Shopping Mall in 2007, in order to provide the space for its growing collection and to better serve the community of Devon.

What started out as two suitcases of books has now become a library of 36,522 materials, plus e-resources. In 2004 the library joined The Regional Automation Consortium (TRAC), connecting its borrowers with the materials of over 170 public libraries across Alberta. And the story will continue as our library’s collection grows and evolves alongside our community and adapts to new technologies. Thank-you for being a part of our story!

Then & Now:

DPL in 1955

DPL in 2017

Population of Devon

1,600

6,578

# of Borrower Cards issued

548

2,539

Membership fee

10¢

Free in 2018

# of Materials Circulating

7,138

71,236

# of Materials in Collection

7,138

36,522

Milestones:

1955 - Moved to Devon Civic Building basement

1966 - Moved to Devon High School (now John Maland High School)

2005 - 50th Anniversary of DPL

2007 - Moved to the Devon Shopping Mall

2014 - Expansion - 2,500 additional sq.ft