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.

Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021, the Ontario government issued a provincewide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes. These measures will be in effect until May 6, 2021. For more information, click here. Library services are as follows: No in-person services; Take & Make and April Break Crafts available by curbside pickup only; print services available by curbside pickup only; digital library available 24/7 with e-books, digital audiobooks, magazines, courses, and programming; the book drop is available 24 hours a day.

Hours of operation

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the library has modified hours. Library staff are on-site to answer your phone calls and schedule curbside pickup, Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contactless curbside hours

  • Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Holiday hours

  • Closed: May 24, 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.