The Cedar Springs Public Library has a long and interesting history dating back to 1881 when the Ladies’ Library Association was organized. This group, comprised of ladies living in the then Village of Cedar Springs, set about to establish a library of sixty volumes and to annually add to that number of volumes.
They set up house in the Congregational Church located at the corner of Beech and Second Streets. When that building sold, the library was re-established in the tower of the church and the first librarian was hired.
In 1936 the town began planning for a public library and a Library Association was formed. Membership dues were 25 cents. The library found a new home in the office of The Clipper building whose owners, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock, donated the use of the rooms and lighting. A potbelly stove provided heat for the library which housed only a few books. Enterprising community members took advantage of the State Library in Lansing which allowed 200 books to be borrowed every 90 days. Eventually the variety of the books also increased as the County Bookmobile began arriving every week.
Bakes sales, dinners, ice cream socials, box lunch parties and plays were used over the ensuing years to help raise money for books. Finally, in 1941 the town fathers gave permission for the library to be housed at the old jail – and the library has made its home there ever since!
The town fathers approved a tax levy of one-half mill that same year and as the village began to grow so did the coffers of the library.
Today the CS Public Library houses 22,000 items and was visited by approximately 33,000 patrons during the past year. Forty-six percent of the added collection to the library last year was donated – proof that Cedar Springs area residents love their little library.
There is immense community interest in building a new library and a group comprised of local community leaders is heading efforts to get a building program off the ground. To date approximately $346,000 has been donated by generous community members to help bring the dream of a new library for the community to fruition.
Legal Area: City of Cedar Springs
Contract Area: Solon Twp. 99.66%
Population Served: 9,467
City Law: PA 164 of 1877
State Class: III
Lakeland Group: A
Fiscal Year: 07/01 – 06/30