History of the Library

Brief Chronology

The following is a chronology of key events in the Waterford Library's history:
  • 1945 - The Mother's club and the Community Activities Board establishes the Waterford Community Library in the Old Horse Barn.
  • 1947 - The Waterford Book Review Club forms to discuss current and classical literature. Monies raised at monthly meetings become the financial support of the Waterford Community Library.
  • 1947 - The Old Horse Barn (the old C.A.I. building) burns to the ground destroying the 2,845 volumes of books in the library.
  • 1948 - The Waterford Community Library opens a private library in the new C.A.I. Building. It is maintained by volunteers and donations.
  • 1959 - 2 ballot proposals to construct a new public library building are defeated.
  • 1961 - The Waterford Township Friends of the Library is formed. One of its primary goals is the establishment of a public library.
  • 1963 - The C.A.I. Board dedicates 6,500 books and other library materials to the Charter Township of Waterford.
  • 1963 - The Waterford Township Board re-establishes the Waterford Community Library as the Waterford Township Public Library by Board resolution.
  • 1964 - On January 13, the Waterford Township Public Library officially opens its doors in the C.A.I. Building serving approximately 50,000 people.
  • 1965 - The new Main Library building in the Civic Center Complex opens with 15,000 volumes on March 15. The library in the C.A.I. building remains open as the Branch library.
  • 1976 - The Main library is expanded, doubling the floor space to 4,000 square feet. It holds 33,355 volumes and 106 periodicals.
  • 1992 - Voters approve $1 million for construction and operation of an expanded and renovated Main Library.
  • 1994 - The new Main library, at 21,000 square feet, has shelving capacity for 100,000 volumes and the potential for Internet access. It serves a population of approximately 67,000.
  • 2002 - Voters renew the millage for another 10 years.
  • 2004 - The newly expanded and renovated Main library opens with 27,300 square feet:
    • Larger Children's Department with its own story time and craft room
    • Larger Periodicals Browsing Room, Group Study Room, Assisted Study Room and Quiet Study Room
    • Larger collection of approximately 113,000 volumes serves a population of approximately 72,000
  • 2007 - The Branch library is relocated from the Community Activities Inc., building to the Leggett Campus (formerly Leggett elementary). The new location, at 2,000 square feet, is about 4 times larger than the previous location. The space is cabled for data allowing us to offer Internet access along with a full range of library services including reference librarians and more materials in all formats.
  • 2010 - Leggett Branch Library closed due to budget constraints.
  • 2014 - Library celebrates its 50th anniversary with a year of events that include displays about significant events or aspects of 1964, profiles of staff members, the beginnings of library service in Waterford. Celebrations throughout the year include a daylong Birthday Bash and a Classic Car Show.
  • 2015
    • The Classic Car Show becomes an annual event at the beginning of August, coinciding with the Woodward Dream Cruise.
    • Children's Sensory Garden created at entrance of Library by members of the nascent Library Garden Club. This group meets monthly, during the growing season the first half of each  monthly meeting is devoted to hands-on work developing and maintaining this garden and other areas of the Library grounds.
  • 2016 - The Classic Car Show Fundraiser meets one of its goals, replacing outdoor benches at the Library's entrance.

Download A Brief History of the Library (PDF) for a detailed history of the library through the 1970s.