The County of Vulcan Library board was formed and the first meeting held May 28th, 1981 with representatives from each of the six recreational areas present. From this starting point, Ella Hayes, Cordelia House and Mary Block (with the help of Louella Greenfield) formed the Arrowwood Library. The Board consists of and has consisted of many hard working volunteers who donate endless hours without remuneration.
The doors were opened on Wednesday, November 30, 1981 to a closet-sized room in the Community Hall. The inventory of books consisted of a few paperbacks and hard covers stored in cardboard boxes - brought out each library day and displayed on tables along one wall. At the close of the day, the books were packed into their boxes and stored until the following week. As the collection grew, so did the number of boxes to store them.
In October 1985, the library moved into the Quonset building on Centre Street; a much larger facility that has enabled our inventory to grow considerably. More shelves were added to contain the increasing collection. Eventually the typists had to be moved from the book area into the back room as space was at a premium.
Alberta Culture was a great help in showing how to sort and catalogue the large number of books that had been acquired. What the library had was a group of well-intentioned housewives trying to learn how to process books when the word "process" had no meaning beyond the canner in the kitchen. But, perseverance prevailed, and the typists soon became very proficient at putting information on little cards.
The members of the board have attended many workshops to enable them to learn new ideas that could be implemented in the library. It could be said that the Board has gone from " groping in the dark" to " almost knowing what they are doing!" The library board is made up of nine volunteers who give freely of their time. The first board consisted of: Ella Hayes - Senior Citizen Representative, Judy Forestell - School Representative, Verlyn Culp - Village Representative, Mary Block - Village Representative, Roger Montgomery - School Principal, many others have served since then, and their names along with the current board members appear on a plaque in the library.
Our library joined the Chinook Arch Library System in July 1992. This enabled us to share resources and technical services with them. Joining Chinook Arch was a great boon to the "typists in the back room" because the system took care of putting the information on those cards.
Generous donations from the community and available grants have enabled the board to bring interesting authors to the village to discuss their books and experiences. The Children's Summer reading Program has also been a huge success, keeping young minds and bodies active during the school holidays.
Through the years the library has had displays showing the diverse talents of many people in the community, such as their artwork. For this, we would like to thank Laqueeda Norton who put a great deal of effort in to the preparing of these displays.
Fundraising activities include an annual flea market held the third Saturday in May with the library hosting a bake table and an annual raffle with prizes. These activities have allowed the board to purchase extras for the library.
The Arrowwood Library is part of the Community Access Program which has enabled the board to offer internet access to the public at no cost. This program has brought two internet accessible computers to the library and has the Chinook Arch Library System overseeing all aspects of the project. In some years, grants have been made available to hire a student intern to teach the public how to use the computers and internet.
The library has continued to grow during its over 30 years of existence. The future looks good as the inventory increases and accessibility to other libraries also increases. Our little library in Arrowwood will continue to improve on its service to the community.