Edmonton Public Library Edmonton Public Library

Unveiling Edmonton Public Library and Its Offerings

Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is a publicly financed library system located in the capital city of Alberta province in Canada, Edmonton. Edmonton is a governmental, educational and cultural hub. The city is also called Canada’s Festival City for its year-round festivals that come about now and then. 

Edmontom Public Library
Photo by Billy Hudy on Unsplash 

Edmonton Public Library

Edmonton Public Library is one of the highly equipped libraries in Canada. The public library provides visitors with many free resources and services. You can find different genres of books, vast collections of audiobooks, movies, music made by people in the locality, Wi-Fi facilities, magazines, Databases and many more services. The EPL locations remain open during regular hours (Opens at 9 am and closes at 6 pm).

In 2014, the Edmonton Public Library attracted more than 14.1 million people, both in-person and virtually. A total of 10.4 million items were rented, and 347,995 persons took part in 13,532 library-sponsored events. The library has books of publications from all over the world. 

Edmonton Public Library is considered one of the best libraries in Canada due to its distinctive features and numerous services it provides.

Edmonton Public Library
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels


The discussion about the possibility of establishing two libraries in the Edmonton and Strathcona area began to take place in 1912. Edmonton and Strathcona were incorporated when the two libraries were established in 1913, so one developing library system began with two branches.

Until 1955, the Strathcona branch was the sole branch south of the North of the Saskatchewan River. The Strathcona branch was located above a meat and liquor shop in Chisholm Block for a limited time.

The Edmonton branch operated out of different locations in the downtown area between 1914 and 1923. The Central Library building, situated on the site presently occupied by Telus Plaza, was opened in 1923 with a Carnegie library grant. Soon after this, Centennial Library opened in downtown Edmonton. The branch stopped functioning in 1967.

To accommodate the requirements of the community, the Edmonton Public Library began operating travelling services in 1941. A streetcar provided the first travelling service. Trucks and buses were pushed into service as bookmobiles as early as 1947. In 1974, book trailers took their place, with some being scrapped in 1982 to save money. The more typical bookmobile model was introduced to replace the retired trailers.

Data radios were installed in bookmobiles in 1982. Data radio allowed them to communicate with the main EPL database directly. Data radio allowed employees to access the electronic database and review customer accounts directly from the bookmobile.

The bookmobiles were in use until 1991 when they were retired. With the debut of the epl2GO literacy vans in 2014, travelling services were reintroduced.

Seven branches were opened around Edmonton between 1950 and 1970, followed by five more between 1970 and 1990. The main branch of the Centennial Library was renamed the Stanley A. Milner Library in 1996 to honour the chair of the library board from 1963 to 1968, who was instrumental in bringing the Centennial Library to life.

The Edmonton Public Library now has 21 branches and is growing in tandem with the city of Edmonton.

Edmonton Public Library
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Services Provided By Edmonton Public Library

The libraries provide services to people with special needs, such as braille materials, large-print materials, talking books, descriptive DVDs, and home services for those unable to visit the library. TTY for the deaf, closed-circuit TVs that magnify or enhance print, magnifiers, specific software, LEAP computer workstations, and different keyboards are some of the assistive technologies available to clients. The library has an efficient and hardworking staff. If you are facing any trouble, the library elf will help you sort it out.

EPL offers free programmes and events for preschoolers, children, teens, and adults in all branches. The programmes and events are available in the “Library Guide,” which is published three times a year and on the EPL website.  

The library features and encourages aspiring writers who reside in Edmonton.

Local Services Resources Provided By Edmonton Public Library: 

  1. They provide access to full-text databases available at the library.
  2. The library offers regular library tours. 
  3. Free and downloadable audiobooks 
  4. Access to Hoopla, which is an e-book, online movie, and audiobook database. 
  5. Patron-oriented library services for adult leisure readers (Reader’s advisory service).
  6. The public library organizes special events and programs for kids, grown-ups, and adults. 
  7. The Edmonton Public library also offers social support, education, and literacy to Edmontonians with special needs. 
  8. The library also provides books, audiobooks to the libraries in Edmonton. 
  9. The library also delivers books and provides its services to people who are home-bounded or specially abled.
  10. The library provides internet access through Wi-Fi and Desktops. 

The library also collaborates with many other libraries for many events and initiatives. With one such initiative in collaboration with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, you can gift your kid their very first book at the age of 1. By being a part of this initiative, every month, a new book will be delivered for your kid until they turn 5.

You can use their website to search for resources, events, blogs, news and services and many more in the catalogue by the keyword. 

Benefits of EPL Membership

There are many benefits of getting a membership of EPL. The Library card is only available to Edmontonians and aboriginal people living on metis settlements or people living on reserve. Getting a free library card for Edmonton residents is pretty easy. One can visit any branch of EPL with a valid identification card and an address proof of Edmonton or sign-up online on their web page. For more information, check their official website.

Free Library Card For Newcomers

Newcomers in Edmonton can also enjoy the benefits of a public library. The only thing newcomers would need is a Library card. You will need to bring your identification proof and address proof to any branch in Edmonton or sign-up online for a library card.

Benefits Provided By EPL For Newcomers

By getting a library card, you can:

  1. Borrow books, movies, and music.
  2. Borrow reading materials in over 30 languages.
  3. Access internet and workstation facility.
  4. Access ebooks and audiobooks.
  5. Stream videos with Kanopy.
  6. Read newspaper of the same day. There is almost 2000 newspaper available here.
  7. Stream music, movies and audiobooks with Hoopla.
  8. Get information about settling in Edmonton, AB.
  9. Prepare for the Canadian citizenship test. 

For more information, visit their official website.

Borrowing Guide

One can borrow up to 40 items on your card for about three weeks if you are a resident of Edmonton, AB. If you are a newcomer, the borrowing limit is different. Several digital contents are available at the library; limits and loan periods are different for every content. It should be noted that the library is fine free, but it has a certain limit. If you have items for more than three weeks, you will be not be allowed to borrow or place holds or access any resources.


EPL Mobile is the app for the public library. EPL Mobile makes it convenient to search and discover titles, manage your account, and learn about branch locations and availability. 

There is no doubt that ‘Edmonton Public Library‘ is the best library in Canada. EPL is the ultimate destination for information and entertainment. On your next visit to Edmonton, you must visit Edmonton Public Library.

Last Updated on by alishbarehman


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