The historic Françoise-Maurice library is an important part of Coaticook’s legacy. Founded in 1959, the library originally resided on the second floor of the city hall where they housed a small collection of books. As interest grew, the library quickly began to expand, forcing the town to consider purchasing a standalone location for their growing library. The library first moved to a building close to the old St-Jean church in 1961, later moving into the old Bell building in 1966, where Bar Ailleurs can be found today. It then moved to the old post office building, a protected Coaticook heritage site, in 1975 and where it resides to this day.
A community-oriented service has always been the library’s top priority; however, recently that hasn’t been so easy.
“We’ve been lucky to have been able to stay open throughout the pandemic,” said Benoît Bouthillette, executive director of the library. “However, at every wave, we’ve had to alter our operations and change the way we’ve organized our selection.” While they received fewer in-person visitors, book borrowing remained stable in the beginning, eventually increasing as demand for books grew. Keeping their book loaning services up was the primary concern for the library when the pandemic first arrived. In addition to all the basic precautions required by businesses, the library also reorganized how it displayed books, placing the newer, more in-demand novels in the entry way to limit the number of people exploring the library.
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