Wheatland Regional Library
Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence
have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
.....Marcus Tullius Cicero……
children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the
wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to
learning are always open.” … Laura Bush
Come Celebrate with Warman Community Library
On Tuesday, August 29th, 6:30 p.m. Warman
Community Library will be celebrating Wheatland Regional Library’s very
important milestone of 50 years of service. Come out and join the Library
staff, board, and friends of the library for an evening of reminiscing, some
cool silent auction items of the libraries past, and of course Birthday Cake.
History of Wheatland
In the early 1960s, three rural women from the Stranraer
district, Edith Stephenson, Helen McCuaig, and Erna Wiens began their journey
to organize a regional library in west central Saskatchewan. The regional
library system had been tested elsewhere in Saskatchewan, but not in the west
Established in 1967, the Wheatland Regional Library is part of a
province-wide public library system. Wheatland Regional Library is located in
west central Saskatchewan and provides library service to over 95,000 people
living in 130 communities. The Wheatland
Regional Library Headquarters is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The Wheatland Regional Library is committed to building strong
communities by serving information needs, promoting literacy and lifelong
learning, and developing a love of reading.
The Launch of the Bookmobile
In July 1963
a demonstration bookmobile was provided to the region for a maximum period of
two years. This gave patrons the ability to borrow books regularly and to see
the large number of books a regional library would provide.
bookmobile began its service on May 25, 1964. The official inauguration of the
service took place at Stranraer on September 28, 1964. The schedule provided
stops at 27 towns, villages, and hamlets, with over 1,600 books inside the
bookmobile. The bookmobile met with great response. The two-year experiment ended on May 31, 1966
with the establishment of Central Services in the basement of the Saskatoon
The Wheatland Regional
The Provincial Government proclaimed the Wheatland Regional
Library (WRL) on March 1, 1967. It had taken seven and a half years to
The work began to process 18,000 books purchased from the pilot
bookmobile and an additional 10,000 books purchased to meet demands. Sixteen
branches were opened between October 5 and December 31st of 1967. Seven
branches opened in 1968. By the end of 1971, 31 Wheatland Regional Library
branches had been opened.
1972, Central Services moved from the basement of the Saskatoon Public Library
to its present location on 806 Duchess Street. Branches 32 and 33 were opened
in 1972 and purchase of the first book bus took place, providing stops to four
In early 1973
“book bus too” was purchased as a backup unit. This was stocked entirely with
paperbacks to experiment with borrowers’ reaction to a paperback collection. By
mid-1975, the mobile branch, with its 20 stops, had the highest branch
circulation in the region.
By the end of the first ten years, Wheatland Regional Library
had 35 branches and three bookmobiles serving 27 communities.
1977, a start was made on data conversion. This meant placing Wheatland
Regional Library records in a computer. This project was completed in just
under a year.
1979 Wheatland produced its first book catalogue using computer prepared
material. By November 1981, the system produced the first microfiche catalogue
of the entire holdings of 35 branches and distributed them amongst the
branches. It could be said that Wheatland had entered the technological age
years ahead of the other regions.
In 1987, Wheatland Regional Library saw 37 branch libraries and
30 bookmobile stops.
Since then, much has changed in the way library service is
delivered. On November 30, 2004 the Wheatland Regional Library Board announced
the end of its bookmobile service at its 27 locations. It was the last
bookmobile service offered in Saskatchewan.
Today WRL continues to be an influential part of the
province-wide public library system. WRL serves approximately 95,000
people living in a variety of RMs, hamlets, villages, towns, and cities in a
49,933 square kilometer area.
The library today is not just a place to pick up a book.
It has become a society hub for groups within the community, a chance for
neighbours to sit and visit, an opportunity to search for a job, as well as a
place to find the next great read. Today’s library is not confined to one
specific building – eBooks, electronic resources, and smartphone apps have
enabled your library to be accessed from wherever you are. Our libraries
have unlimited potential.
Library – Warman Community Library
the Warman area continued to receive books via the bookmobile. Many in Warman felt that a more permanent
library location would be of a huge benefit to their growing community.
Warman resident Richard Hales was part of the driving force to have Wheatland
Library become a permanent service in Warman.
A committee was formed, a location chosen and from 1982 forward
Wheatland and the City of Warman have partnered to serve our growing community.
Over the years there has been passionate librarians, staff members,
volunteers and dedicated Board Members who have kept this valuable service
available to patrons.
Thank you to all who have played a part in the vibrancy of our Warman Community Library. We are very proud of all it offers and how it has grown with our progressive community over the years.
~ Sheryl Spence ~