Mission and History


The mission statement of Thelma Fanning Memorial Library is to enrich personal lives, to promote lifelong learning, to develop and maintain intellectual freedom and creativity, and to facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge.


The town of Nanton has had a library since 1908 when W.A. Chisholm managed it in what was known as Bridgett’s harness shop. In 1946 a board was set up. With the help of grade nine students and the new board the Nanton public Library was formed and moved into the Maple Leaf Hall. Today the Maple Leaf Hall is the law office of Roddie and McLellan. By 1949 Nanton’s Public library was on the corner of 20th Street and Highway 2 south in a small building south of the town’s fire hall. The library was renamed in 1985. Thelma Fanning accepted a position at the library in 1957 and continued as librarian until her death in March 1984. The renaming of the library to Thelma Fanning Memorial Library was to remember Thelma’s work and dedication to the town’s library.

The library moved again into the town office. In 1988 the present site was proposed by the town council along with a grant to build the new Thelma Fanning Memorial Library, which was dedicated in 1990.

Throughout the library’s history, book clubs, story hours, summer reading programs, author’s readings, and show and tell events, have made the library the hub of Nanton. Today these events continue to be a part of the life of Nanton’s Library. In addition today, the Internet has become a venue that draws people from the town and people from around the world to visit and spend time at the Thelma Fanning Memorial Library in Nanton.