After a public campaign featuring pro-library propaganda such as “Brandon is known as the City without a Library. What are you going to do about it?” – The Brandon War Memorial Public Library opened on September 5, 1946. It was headquartered in the old Merchants Bank Building (present day Chamber of Commerce); the building was made available to the City for library purposes by the Bank of Montreal. Mr. Bruce Carrick served as the first librarian. In 1951 a new landmark was reached when the basement of the library was converted into a spacious boys and girls department. In 1954 a small sub-branch was opened in the new George Fitton School. This branch was open three hours every Wednesday afternoon and catered to the “children and adults of a district far from the downtown library.” In 1967 the Brandon War Memorial Public Library joined with the library in Carberry North Cypress to form the Western Manitoba Regional Library (WMRL). Today, the Brandon Public Library serves as the headquarters for the WMRL and its four rural branches in the communities of Carberry, Neepawa, Glenboro and Hartney.
A newspaper article from 1973 reported that “a committee of concerned individuals has been formed in Brandon to look at the possibility of setting up a cultural centre in the city which would house a museum, art gallery and library”. In 1979 council voted to abandon the concept of renovating the landmark CP hotel, the Prince Edward, into a public library. In late 1981, after much debate, the former site of the Brandon Coop was purchased as the future home of the city’s Centennial Library Arts Centre. The official opening of the new facility was held on April 1, 1984 and featured an address by Martin Kavanagh – first Chairman of the 1942 Brandon Library Committee.
As 2001 drew to a close the Brandon Public Library was on the move again – this time to its present site, the former Eaton’s Department store building on Rosser Avenue.