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Significant Dates in Michigan Library History

1817 Michigan's first public library, City Library of Detroit, was opened by Rev. John Monteith (probably the first Michigan "librarian") on a membership share basis. Detroit Public Library became a free public library in 1865.
1828 The Michigan Territorial Library, forerunner of the State Library, was established.
1831 The Territorial Council provided for a "social library" for each Michigan township. Ladies' Library Associations began establishing libraries in many communities.
1833 Kalamazoo College Library was established.*
1835 The first Michigan Constitution recognized libraries as an integral part of the state's educational system. Article 10, Section 4 of the first Constitution also designated that monies from penal fines go to support libraries.
1837 With statehood, the Territorial Library became the State Library.
1838 The first book was purchased for the University of Michigan Library.
1846 Bellevue Township Library was established.*
1847 Olivet College Library was established.*
1853 State Normal School, Ypsilanti, Library was established.*
1856 Ann Arbor School District Library was established.*
1859 Adrian College Library was established.*
1859 Michigan P.A. 208, the first "District Library Act" allowed for division of township library collections.
1860 Saginaw West Public Union School District Library was established.
1872 The Ladies' Library Association of Kalamazoo opened the state's first building built exclusively to house a public library.
1876 By 1876, Michigan Ladies' Library Associations operated at least 26 libraries.
1877 P.A. 164, the Free Public Library Law, provided for establishment of city, village and township libraries.
1899 P.A. 115, the Free Public Library Act, mandated that library services be provided free to inhabitants and allowed for private gifts and local tax levies to support library services. The act also mandated that public libraries file an annual report with the State Board of Library Commissioners.
1900 The Andrew Carnegie Foundation granted $17,000 to Ironwood for construction of a free public library.
1917 P.A. 138 provided for the establishment of Michigan county libraries and authorized county boards to levy .5 mills in support of the county library.
1937 P.A. 315, Michigan's first State Aid to Libraries Act, appropriated $500,000 to aid libraries
1964 Pub L. 88-269, the Library Services and Construction Act, provided the first federal funding for library construction.
1972 P.A. 371, the Library Network Act, provided that the state's largest research libraries (those with collections of 1,000,000 or over) should be interloan resource libraries of last resort for the state.
1976 P.A. 267, the Open Meetings Act; P. A. 453, The Elliot Larson Civil Rights Act; and P.A. 220, the Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, all impacted upon libraries.
1977 P.A. 89 revised the State Aid to Libraries Act, providing portions of state aid for cooperatives and regional/subregional libraries for the blind and physically handicapped.
1982 P.A. 540 transferred the State Library from the Department of Education to the Legislative Council.
1983 P.A. 455, the Michigan Library Privacy Act, meant new restrictions on release and storage of patron records.
1996 Pub. L. 104-208, the Library Services and Technology Act, replaced LSCA with a broad range of services for which libraries could qualify for federal funds.
2000 P.A. 212 amended a section 6 of the Michigan Library Privacy Act to impose restrictions on Internet access by minors in public libraries.
2000 Title XVII of Pub. L. 106-554, "The Children's Internet Protection Act," requires schools receiving federal funds to use technology measures that prevent access by minors to various defined "harmful" materials on the Internet.
2001 Pub L. 107-56, The U.S. Patriot Act, required libraries to give over patron records to law enforcement agencies.
2001 P.A. 62 transferred the Library of Michigan from the Legislative Council to the newly formed Department of History, Arts and Libraries.
2009 Executive Order 2009-36, effective October 1, abolished the Department of History, Arts and Libraries and transferred the Library of Michigan to the Department of Education.

* From Michigan Library Association statistics collected in 1899.

Updated 01/29/2016