By Nick Fonda
Richmond’s first library, the Craig Public Library, was not a bricks and mortar structure but a group of early settlers, each of whom owned a few books—relatively rare commodities at the time, and who exchanged those books among themselves.
Richmond’s Daniel-Ménard Library, a not-for-profit organization with an entirely new board of directors, is going to be in a comparable situation as it rejoins Réseau BIBLIO de l’Estrie, a much larger non-profit that interconnects the libraries of more that fifty towns and cities across the Townships.
“The decision to rejoin Réseau BIBLIO was made by the municipal councillors and mayors of Richmond, Cleveland, and Melbourne,” says Myriam Beaulieu, the president of the new seven-member board of directors, six of whom are mothers.
“It is a little more costly for the municipalities,” she continues, “but it gives all library card-holders access to a much greater number of books. One indication that people here wanted access to more books is that about a third of the people we polled informally over a period of a few years held library cards from libraries in other municipalities like Valcourt, Val-des-Sources, and even Sherbrooke.”