No longer merely the repository of the printed word, public libraries serve individuals seeking media and activities of all types and stripes in their effort to sustain lifelong learning and growth.
The Bay County Library System was established Jan. 1, 1974, after the voters approved a $700,000 tax levy over five years. The library system brought together three libraries: the Bay City Public Library with its Broadway Branch, the Sage Library and the Pinconning Library. These branches, together with the Auburn Area Branch Library, the South Side Branch Library and the bookmobile comprise the six service outlets of the library system, which sees 25,000 visitors each month.
After being served by the Saginaw Public Library for years, the Frankenmuth Women’s Club spearheaded a campaign in 1971 to form a library in the community. James E. Wickson and his wife, Meta E. Link, contributed most of the funds for the building construction through the Wickson-Link Foundation. The Wickson Memorial Library opened in 1974. In 2008, the Frankenmuth City Council and the Frankenmuth School District collaborated to form the Frankenmuth James E. Wickson District Library.
For the past 65 years, the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library has served the residents of Midland and of the Midland County townships of Edenville, Greendale, Homer, Hope, Ingersoll, Jerome, Larkin, Lee, Lincoln, Midland, Mills and Mount Haley. The library opened on Jan. 24, 1955, at the corner of West St. Andrews Street and Eastman Avenue. It was named the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library after architect Alden B. Dow’s mother, Grace A. Dow, wife of Dow Chemical Co. founder Herbert Henry Dow.
According to its website, the Chippewa River District Library System is a place where imagination, information and ideas come together to enrich lives. The system’s branches and partner libraries include the Veterans Memorial Library, the Faith Johnston Memorial Library, the Tate Memorial Library, the Shepherd Community Library, the Fremont Township Community Library, the Pere Marquette District Library, the Coleman Area Library, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Libraries and the Mount Pleasant High School Media Center.
The Public Libraries of Saginaw include four branches: the Hoyt Public Library was a gift to the city by Jesse Hoyt; the present Butman-Fish Library opened in January 1979 and serves as an active community library; the Ruth Brady Wickes Library was dedicated Oct. 2, 1983, and continues a tradition of library services in Saginaw’s south side; and the Zauel Memorial Library has grown with Saginaw Township to become a busy, service-oriented community center.