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About Us


In 1949, an organisation of Mount Isa residents arranged a conference with management of Mount Isa Mines to request a weekly donation by MIM employees to help fund the founding of a public library. These small individual donations, averaging around threepence (3d), eventually paid for the first book purchases made by the library committee.


This community organisation continued operating from the CWA Hall for 8 years until 1957, when Mount Isa Mines donated a small building for library use near the Mount Isa City Council chambers.


In 1958, this community library was absorbed into the North West Regional Library Service which included with the Mount Isa region Camooweal, Gunpowder, Cloncurry, Richmond, McKinlay, Flinders, Boulia, Carpentaria, Bourke, Croydon and Etheridge. The service sought to meet the needs of remote and regional communities, providing resources, and reading material for people who might otherwise not have access to them. Within three years there were nearly 4,000 borrowers in Mount Isa alone, more than 50% of its population at the time. More branches were added to the service, expanding in 1961 to include Normanton, Burketown, and Julia Creek.


The Mount Isa branch continued to expand with increased patronage and by 1971 had acquired a collection of over 37,000 books and periodicals. Having outgrown its building, a temporary shed was erected to house the Regional Service to allow more space for Mount Isa’s collection. The current modern library building was planned as part of the Civic Centre development designed by John Morton of architectural firm Lund Hutton Newell Paulsen Pty Ltd and construction was completed in March, 1974 at a cost of approximately $300,000.


Within the Mount Isa City Library is the Mount Isa City Library Historical Collection.  It is of national significance, as it illustrates the historical development of a world class mining industry and the development of mining technology.   Mount Isa Mines produces copper, silver, lead and zinc. Mount Isa was discovered by John Miles in 1923. Mount Isa Mines Ltd was established in 1924 and the mine is still operational today. The collection reveals the historical and social progress from a ‘tent town’ in the 1930s to a city status in 1968 and its further expansion to the present day. The collection offers a comprehensive record of the industrial and social history of Mount Isa and its region.


In June 2022, Mount Isa City Library received a Strategic Priorities Grant from the State Library of Queensland to implement an online photographic database which would allow digital copies of photographs within the Mount Isa City Library Historical Collection to be available online to the public.  We have named this collection “Isa in Images”.


We would like to thank all who have contributed to and supported this venture: the Queensland Government, the State Library of Queensland, the Mount Isa City Council, Mount Isa Mines, library staff, volunteers, and DatacomIT, who have the provided the Recollect platform on which “Isa in Images” resides.


23 West Street, MOUNT ISA QLD 4825
Monday to Friday - 9.30am - 5.30pm
Saturday - 9.00am - 1.00pm