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History and Mission

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Grosse Pointe Public Library is to serve people of all ages by actively providing easily accessible information, materials, services, and programs designed to meet the community’s evolving educational, recreational, cultural, and informational needs.

History of the Grosse Pointe Public Library

1922 January
Wayne County Library, at the request of Mr. George Osius, the president of Grosse Pointe Shores, organized a station at Grosse Pointe Shores in the Village Hall.

1926 February
Mr. George Elworthy, director of the Neighborhood Club, asked to have a station in the Neighborhood Club, then located on Oak Street (Muir Road), in Grosse Pointe Farms.

1928 February
Neighborhood Club moves to 17145 Waterloo. Dexter Ferry offers the use of a cottage at 17121 Waterloo for library purposes. Mr. and Mrs. Edgar B. Whitcomb paid for the remodeling of the building, the Neighborhood Club agreed to pay for heat, light and janitor service, and the Wayne County Library paid for the furniture, books, supplies and salaries.

Interior of the Grosse Pointe  Farms Center Library, circa  1939

1928 June
Motion presented and approved at the Annual School District Meeting that a study be made of the establishment of a public library.

1928 December
A library station was opened in the Goodrich Confectionery Store 20750 Mack Avenue at Lochmoor.

1928 December
The Park Branch was opened in the basement of the municipal building on December 18, 1928. (1928-9) Village, Park, Shores and Lochmoor locations. In Jan 1920 a fifth station was est. at the Farms Municipal Building on Kerby Road.

Exterior of the Grosse Pointe  Farms Center, September  26, 1939.  A small library  occupied one room.

1929 June
The Grosse Pointe Public Library was established by the School District. The Park branch became the Main Library. The library on Waterloo became the Village Branch.

1937
The Village Branch outgrew its cottage. Two cottages were joined and housed the City Branch (the Village had become the City) on the present site of Maire School. Maire School built, the library moved over to Notre Dame.

1938 September
A library was opened in a converted stored on Mack near Vernier.

Interior of the Village Library  April 1931.  The collection  contained 3,000 volumes

1939 October
The Main Library moved into a wing of the new John D. Pierce Junior High School. This was the result of community interest in a petition drive for enlarged quarters. For the next 9 years the Main Library with the Village Branch, a small branch in the Woods, stations in the Grosse Pointe Farms and Shores Municipal Buildings, were the sources of library service, with constant growth in use.

1946
Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library formed.

1947
Murray W. Sales made a gift of his property on the corner of Jefferson and Lincoln to the Grosse Pointe School District as a memorial to his wife, Jessie Carter Sales, provided that Mr. Sales might occupy the house for the rest of his life. The Grosse Pointe War Memorial Study Group sought space in the Sales library for a war memorial, which was granted.Later it was learned that $100,000 would be required to adapt the Sales home for library purposes and $100,000 to build a war memorial wing, it was agreed that the money might be better spent in erecting a new building on the Kercheval and Fisher site owned by the School Board.

1948 November
The family of Russell A. Alger, Jr. offered the Alger house to the Grosse Pointe School District as a gift. For the past several years this home had been used as a branch of the DIA. Careful consideration was given to this proposal but it was refused on the grounds of, first, the location, which was considered too remote for public library use, and, second, the cost involved in the conversion and upkeep of the building. At this time there were upwards of $300,000 in pledges for a war memorial library.

1949
Branch opened in the wing of the Parcells Junior High School

1953
The Central Library was opened, and the City branch was closed, the old Main became the Park Branch. Shortly thereafter the stations were also closed.