In 1939 the Reverend Lionel J. Thibodeau, feeling that there was a need, formed a Madawaska Catholic Library Reading Club. By the next year members of the club were deploring the lack of good reading material in general in the area. The desire for a lending library was so emphatic that the reading club evolved into The St. Thomas Public Library, which began to loan out books from a small room in the St. Thomas School. This room soon was unable to hold the number of books donated (over 3000 from various sources) and a move was made to a building on Main St. By 1944 this building was also unable to house the amount of holdings gained. It was then decided that due to its popularity, the library should form itself into a non-profit corporation. The name was changed to the Madawaska Public Library. As a corporation, the library purchased a piece of property on Main St. owned by Herman Frechette. In 1955 the building on that property was torn down and by 1956 a brand new library building had been built. By 1987 it was again decided the building needed more room and modernization. 1992 saw the securing of grant money and with a generous infusion from the Town itself a new addition was completed. This is the Library as it stands today. Madawaska's library has always been a popular attraction, both for the casual reader and for the serious researcher. The materials housed in the local history and genealogy room are second to none for the area, and are regularly used by people from around the world who may have roots in the St. John Valley.
The Library is run by its Board of Directors, which consists of 3 members elected at Town Meeting, staggered annually; A representative of the Madawaska Town Council; and a Representative of the Madawaska Parish.
Library Board of Directors:
Elected: Suzanne Gendreau (2023)
Elected: Fran Gendreau (2024)
Elected: Ann Beaulieu (2025)
Representative of Madawaska Parish: Don Chasse
Representative of Madawaska Town Council: Manon Raymond
Head Librarian: Ken Theriault, Jr.
Library Aides: Mary Scott
Book keeper: Lee St. Onge