History of the Library

Towards the end of the 1930's, the library, or what would become the Bibliothèque Dentinger was first housed in the old convent. Set up under the direction of Sister Therese with books donated by the public and sent west from Quebec. A few year later it was moved to the basement of the old Ste. Anne church and taken over by the "Cercle des Dames Fermiers". In this location, the library would open after high mass each Sunday and on Fridays.

In 1962, the old church burned down but the books were salvaged and stored in the old skating rink. In 1965 the library reopened in a small room in the basement of the newly built St. Anne church. It was then that the library first received government grants. To meet the matching fund requirement, raffles were held. Prior to that time, money was earned through tea and bake sales. Volunteers opened the library a few hours each week.

Marguerite Dentinger was president of the library board from 1954 to 1963. Beyond her term as president, she continued to push for maintaining the francophone character of the library and finding a new location with more hours of accessibility. When she passed away in 1975, the library was still in the church basement but later that year, thanks to Marguerite and the efforts of other devotees, the library became an incorporated society named in her honor. By 1977, the library had over 3500 French books but the library committee hoped to double that by year end and move to the basement of Le Centre Culturel de College Notre Dame.

Government grants, donations from other organizations in the community, fundraising, and a Town of Falher per capita grant helped with the purchase of new furnishings for the relocation and operational expenses, including wages, for the first paid part-time librarian, Blanche Gervais. Until then, the library had dealt exclusively with French material. English books were available from the Extension Library of the University of Alberta or the Mclennan Library. Town council thought they should expand and bring in English books, which they did and soon had over 10,000 books, half of which were English.

In May 1986, Bibliothèque Dentinger became a member of the Peace Library System, greatly expanding availability of many materials. Again in 1991, the library relocated to a more central and spacious location in the building which had housed the Club Alouette and where it is presently located.