Who uses the Library?
Approximately 200,000 people enter the Saint John Free Library in Market Square every year. More than 43,000 people in the city have a library card, approximately 63% of the city population. Library cards are free and any resident can get a card.
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What is in the Central Library?
There are more than 215,000 books, DVDs and CDs in your library and almost any of the 1.8 million items in the provincial collection can be retrieved for you. With a library card, you can also download e-books and audio-books from the provincial library catalogue, 24/7, at no charge.
While the majority of books are new, the oldest item in our collection (located in the climate-controlled Special Collections Room) dates from the 16th Century, and we have the original summons to court for Benedict Arnold.
You can use one of our 23 public-access computers, available for use by both residents and tourists, and our wi-fi can be accessed for free. Last year our wi-fi was used for nearly 1,000,000 minutes.
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What can I do in the Central Library?
Library staff offered nearly 700 programs that were attended by more than 14,000 people last year. All programs are free of charge. Programs range from Babies in the Library to Book Clubs (including a Book Club For Men) to sessions where library staff will work with individuals helping them get familiar with their own laptop.
You don’t need a library card to use material inside the library or to attend our programs. Our newly re-furnished reading room offers a sunny spot to look at the Bay of Fundy, catch up on local news, flip through your favourite magazines, or dive into the latest bestseller. We subscribe to 86 print magazines and newspapers and you can read thousands more online, for free.
Budding genealogists from near and far come to the library to work on their family tree. Our shelves are filled with local history; everything from the quirky stories of neighbourhood characters to antiquarian records, directories and atlases to local newspapers dating back to the founding of the city.
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