The Eastern Townships: Heading Out to Visit Our Libraries

If you’re looking for a place far from the hustle and bustle, where you can read quietly for a while, head out to discover these welcoming libraries, located in the four corners of the Townships. Each has its own special charm, you’ll see!

By Julie Roy


In Sherbrooke, the Eva-Sénécal Library

With its great window and its many reading areas, this library, located in downtown Sherbrooke, is the perfect place to get cozy with a good book. Most of the activities are designed for their members, but it’s always possible to have access to their collection as well as their numerous magazines on the second floor. You can also buy used books if you’ve finished all your summer reading bundle.


The Yvonne L. Bombardier Library (in Valcourt)

The Centre Culturel Bombardier, where the library is located, is truly worth your while. In addition to its 50,000 documents, three different visual arts exhibits will be presented until August 12 as well. You can admire inspiring works of art by the collage painter Adèle Blais, whimsical creations by Robert Biron and Marylène Ménard and insightful digital etchings by Maj Fortier. Bring along a picnic to enjoy by the pond in the park surrounding the building. Moreover, right across the street from the library, you can visit the Musée de l’ingéniosité, the perfect complement for your outing in the area.


In Coaticook, the Françoise-Maurice Library

This very charming library, with its clock and mezzanines, offers a great variety of activities and a well-stocked used books shop. Among all the events, we suggest, weather permitting, the La Fontaine Tales story time. Starting on July 6, every Friday of the summer, at 4:00 p.m., under the shelter of Parc Laurence’s waterworks play area, storytellers will relay each other, to narrate their stories to children between the ages of 4 to 7.


In Lac-Mégantic, The Nelly-Arcan Media Library

After the 2013 tragedy, this library had lost its entire collection. Rebuilt thanks to the generosity of so many people, it was able to start afresh, this time inside an old textile factory. In fact, here and there under its original flooring, we can still see some of the sewing needles reminding us of its industrial past. An enormous photograph of Nelly Arcan invites visitors to immerse themselves in her words on quiet rainy afternoons.


Michel St-Jean

In Granby, the Paul-O. Trépanier Library

Completely renovated two years ago, this library has the wind in its sails! Gone are the days when stern librarians would shush visitors, to be quiet: In fact, they have opened up their spaces to even offer a coffee nook where you can read your paper while enjoying a cup. Children are welcome here and can read all they want. There are several activities proposed as well, including storytelling times that are held in some of the city parks. Follow the library on Facebook regularly to learn more about their events.


The North Hatley Library

Don’t worry, the size of this library has nothing to do with the magnitude of the activities it offers! On the menu this summer, a few art exhibits (in some cases, you can buy the art being displayed) as well as a Story Time hour on Friday mornings (in French) and on Saturday mornings (in English). If you’re in the area for a few days, stop by, new activities are being added throughout the season!


In Magog, the Memphremagog Library

For the past few years, this library has found a home in the Saint-Marguerite Church, located in the heart of the weavers’ district of Magog. With its two bell towers, it can be spotted from quite a distance! Many magnificent stained-glass windows and light wood displays demonstrate brilliantly the happy union of our religious heritage and modern architecture. As you spend some time in this reading oasis, you can also admire the great beauty of the impressive church it occupies. The book nooks for youngsters are well organized, and the older visitors will be able to consult their vast collections. A truly great discovery!


In Standstead, the Haskell Library and Opera Hall

This library constitutes quite an intriguing curiosity because of the border crossing, set right in the middle of the building! In fact, part of the library is located in Stanstead, while the other side has its address in Derby Line, Vermont. A delightful reading room allows visitors to truly relax for a while. Also, on the second floor, a lovely opera house has been the venue for several concerts and theatre performances. Guided tours of the building with its unique architectural design are offered during the summer months (voluntary contribution). You can ask about these tours at the library desk.

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