The Port Colborne Public Library is committed to providing the services necessary to meet the needs of our user communities. Our vision is to empower, enrich and educate. This website is our virtual branch. From here you can access our catalogue, digital resources, services, programs and information on how to use the library.

The library is fully accessible with an elevator and accessible parking. Free parking is available on King Street and Elgin Street and two free public parking lots are within a block of the library.

The library has a large collection of books, DVDs, audiobooks, periodicals, video games, board games and digital resources. The library hosts revolving art exhibits in the atrium — a relaxing space to read, work, and collaborate.

Curbside and in-person browsing by capacity

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Public computers will be available for 60-minute sessions and limited by capacity:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Masks are required. All visitors to the library will be actively screened prior to entry into the building in accordance with municipal requirements. There is no in-person programming at this time.

Holiday hours

  • Closed: August 2, 2021
  • Closed: September 6, 2021

Administrative contacts

Learn about our Board and our policies.

History

The library was first established in 1876 when The Mechanics Institute of Port Colborne opened at Town Hall. The library changed locations throughout the years until finally, in 1957, the Arabella Williams Memorial Library opened at 310 King Street.

The block of land was originally purchased by John Williams from William Hamilton Merritt for $825 in the 1860s. In 1948, Arabella Williams deeded the land to the Town of Port Colborne. The gift was conditional that her home be turned into a library, and the rest of the property be used as a park. The gift was made in memory of her brother Emanuel.

The library soon outgrew Arabella’s home. The current building was built where the family orchard once stood. The new library featured outdoor seating, large windows, and an auditorium. Renovations over the years added an atrium, access ramps, and moved the main entrance from Elgin Street to King Street.

The library is nestled on what is now known as the Cultural Block. It is bounded by King Street to the east, Catherine Street to the west, Elgin Street to the north, and Princess Street to the south. The Cultural Block consists of the Public Library, the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, Arabella's Tea Room, the Carriage House, L.R. Wilson Heritage Research Archives, a park, and a host of historic buildings.

Libraries in Niagara Cooperative (LiNC)

The library is part of LiNC. See what being a LiNC patron means.