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.

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