Ladies Library Association, 1870
Some time in the latter part of 1869 or early in 1870, a group of women in Albion, then a village, felt a desire for more readingfacilities than were available in their private libraries or in the school library. Accordingly, after several meetings and much discussion it was decidedto canvass the city for money or books from everyone interested.
On April 2,1870, the Ladies Library Association was organized, and the first officers wereas follows: president, Mrs. M.B. Wood; first vice-president, Mrs. W.V. Morrison;second vice-president, Mrs. L.W. Cole; secretary, Miss Augusta Whiting;treasurer, Mrs. W.H. Perrine.
Mrs. A.W. Culver opened the parlor in her home at213 West Center for the first consignment of books and became the firstlibrarian. The first annual meeting was called to order on May 6, 1871 in HowardHall. At the meeting the reported the library would soon be moved to the councilrooms above the fire station on South Superior Street.
The library grewfrom a few hundred books in 1871, to about 2,000 in 1890. The library remainedat the Superior St. location until the Mary Sheldon Ismon House was constructedin 1898, in which building two rooms on the second floor were reserved, rentfree, by means of a 99-year-lease, for the use of the Library Association. Fortwenty years these rooms held the library, but became quite crowded. In 1906 thecity began furnishing money for operation of the library, thus the librarybecame a public.
Eleven years later, a movement was started by the AlbionFederation of Women’s Clubs to obtain funds from Andrew Carnegie forconstruction of a new library. By this time the collection of books reached 6,872 volumes. This library was built and opened in 1917. The room in the MarySheldon Ismon House was given to the E.L.T. Club.
Source: Miriam Krenerick. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.