HISTORY

On May 20, 1998 the Library of Michigan officially recognized the Chippewa River District Library system as a legally established district library.

The district currently encompasses the City of Mount Pleasant, the Mount Pleasant Public School System, Union Township, Coe Township, Fremont Township and Rolland Township. The library system is funded by a millage levied within the service area and serves roughly 51,000 in-district residents. The local libraries are Veterans Memorial Library in Mount Pleasant, Faith Johnston Memorial Library in Rosebush, Shepherd Community Library in Shepherd, Fremont Township Library in Winn and Tate Memorial Library in Blanchard.

 

Veterans Memorial Library
Mount Pleasant's first library was organized March 15, 1879. It was known as the Library, Literary and Musical Association of Mount Pleasant and housed wherever there was an available space. Being an association, its materials were only available to its members. After most of the books were destroyed in a fire in 1895, the Library, Literary and Musical Association faded away. In 1909, the Mt. Pleasant Woman's Club supported a movement to establish a public library in Mount Pleasant. The library opened March 19, 1910. Within a few short years the library had outgrown the building and relocated to the First Congregational Society of the City of Mount Pleasant on the southeast corner of Illinois Street and Normal Avenue (now University Avenue). Veterans Memorial Library remains in this location. In 1953, plans for financing and construction of a new library building were studied by community leaders. The new library building was constructed and opened in April 1957. Not only was there a new building, but a new name as well. On May 24, 1957, the library was dedicated to Mount Pleasant's veterans of all wars - Veterans Memorial Library. By 1974 the library was already running into space limitations and as the community continued to grow, so did demand for library services. After years of exploring multiple possibilities, voters approved a $1.2 million bond in June of 1983 to expand Veterans Memorial Library into the building used today. The building expansion was completed in 1985.


In 2010, Veterans Memorial Library was renovated using funds from the library's millage and support of many generous donors. The renovation included new lights, HVAC system, computer networking, paint and carpeting as well as rearranging the layout of the building to better accommodate patron needs.


Faith Johnston Memorial Library
Faith Johnston was a very giving spirit throughout her lifetime; giving of her wisdom, time and resources. So, it was in her nature to aid the library when they were in need of a new library space. Due to the generosity of Faith Johnston, the Rosebush Branch Library was able to expand and find a home within the walls of the one room, clapboard church on Michigan Street in 1993. The building began to show signs of stress both within its original foundation and the floor due to the enormous weight and strain of the book stacks. In the summer of 2006 the library district purchased a large commercial space in the center of the village. Renovations for the new library space began through a partnership with CMU's IET department and the library district. The new branch location opened its doors on Monday, Aug. 27, 2007. The new space is three times larger than the old space and while it provides the same quality services to the community that it always did, it now offers additional children's programs, as well as, teen and adult programs. There is also a large community gathering space and a meeting room for public use. Included in the expansion was the addition of separate adult and youth computer space, as well as, a wireless network providing the community with free internet access, and separate areas for relaxing and studying for adults, teens and children. A unique feature that patrons can enjoy in the warmer months of the year is the reading porch located in the back of the building.


Shepherd Community Library
In February of 2011 the Chippewa River District Library System acquired the old Kentwood Pharmacy building (257 W. Wright Avenue) in downtown Shepherd as the future site of the Shepherd Community Library.  While renovations to the building included upgrading the heating, electrical and networking systems.  Some changes to interior walls helped to define the space for patron usage and historic windows were uncovered to allow us to fully utilize natural light.  Upgrades within the building allowed for more computer workstations, laptops and wireless access and provide more room for study and reading space.  Programming space was added to increase programming and library activities for the Shepherd community.  The official Grand Opening of the Shepherd Community Library was held on Thursday, September 20, 2012. 


Fremont Township Library
The Fremont Township Library is located in Winn, a small farming community nestled in the southern half of Isabella County. The building that houses the library is more than a century old.  It originally served as the headquarters and meeting place for the local chapter of the Masons, who also constructed the building.  The library first took up residence in the building in 1981 and has been there ever since.


Tate Memorial Library
Tate Memorial Library is located in the village of Blanchard, in western Isabella County. The library has been located in the Rolland Township Hall since it moved in to that location in 2003. CRDL acquired the building in 2013 and completed renovations in May 2014.


In July 2014, the library was renamed the Tate Memorial Library in honor of Dr. Merze Tate. Dr. Tate was born in 1905 and was the grandchild of the first African-American settlers in Mecosta County.  She was the youngest and only African-American graduate in her high school class and was selected class valedictorian. She was the first African-American to graduate from Western Michigan Teachers College, the first African-American woman to attend University of Oxford and the first to earn a Ph.D from Harvard. She was an advisor to General Eisenhower, a college professor and dean for Barber-Scotia College, Bennett College, Morgan State College, and Howard University.  She traveled the world twice and was a film maker for the U.S. State Department.
 

 

ABOUT US


Contact Us
Get a Library Card
Hours & Closed Dates
The Book Pedaler
Employment Opportunities

 


LIBRARY ADMINISTRATION


Administration & Staff
Budget Reports
Board of Trustees
Policies
Strategic Plan