The town of Nanton has had a library since 1908 when W.A. Chisholm managed it in Bridgett’s Harness Shop. In 1946 a library board established. With the help of grade nine students and the new board the Nanton Public Library was formed and moved into the Maple Leaf Hall (the current-day law office of Roddie and McLellan). By 1949 the Nanton Public Library was on the corner of 20th Street and Highway 2 South in a small building south of the town’s fire hall. The library was renamed in 1985 after Thelma Fanning, who accepted a position at the library in 1957 and continued as librarian until her death in March 1984. the library's new name honoured Thelma’s work and dedication to library service in Nanton. The present site was proposed by the town council along with a grant to build the new Thelma Fanning Memorial Library, which was dedicated in 1990.
Throughout the library’s history, book clubs, story hours, summer reading programs, author readings, and show and tell events have made the library the hub of Nanton. Today these events continue to be a part of the life of Nanton’s Library. Additionally, public internet access has become a venue that draws people from the town and around the world to visit and spend time at the Thelma Fanning Memorial Library in Nanton.