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History

Year         Event
1854Establishment of the Mechanic’s Institute, committed to sharing information
1884First free public library opens in the Town Hall with newspapers, periodicals, and 3,000 books
1902Carnegie Foundation grants $15,000 for a new library building, plus more for furniture
1904Berlin Public Library opens on January 8
1908Mabel Dunham hired as the first professional librarian in charge of a library in Ontario; a pioneer in children’s services
1912Dunham introduces Children’s Story Hour
1916Separate Children’s Room added to the library
1944Mabel Dunham retires, and Dorothy Shoemaker is appointed as Chief Librarian
1962Main Library (now Central Library) opens
1971Community library in Stanley Park opens
1973Lynn Matthews appointed as Chief Librarian
1976Forest Heights library opens
1978Addition to Main Library, and introduction of first automated catalogue
1982Pioneer Park library opens
1984Kitchener Public Library celebrates its 100th anniversary with the opening of the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History
1993Margaret Walshe appointed as CEO (formerly known as Chief Librarian); led the library through a time of rapid technological change
2001First public access computers at the library, paid for in part by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
2004Country Hills library opens
2004Sonia Lewis appointed as CEO
2010Official groundbreaking ceremony to begin Central Library renovation and expansion project
2014Central Library renovation and expansion completed
2015Mary Chevreau appointed as CEO