Garden City Public Library will serve the local community as a resource of traditional and evolving library services.
Garden City Public Library: A Brief History
Late in 1922, the twelfth library center of the Wayne County Library was established by Miss Dawson, this was Mrs. Lolita Fyan, later State Librarian, and Miss Tremaine at Perrinsville, one half mile north of Warren Avenue near Perrinsville Road. At the home of Mrs. Henry Kubic, a collection of about 200 books were shelved in a corner of the living room. Mrs. Kubic and her mother took care of them and loaned them to the people of the community, for which service she received $2.50 a month. The supervisors, Miss Winning and Miss McGlannon had signs placed at the crossroads to advertise the location and at “the store”, and pamphlets were distributed in the Perrinsville and Scotch Settlement Schools. Adult fiction and juvenile books were popular and the year 1924, 1925, and 1926 showed annual circulations of 1011, 1148, and 1038.
Then in 1927 it became apparent that the population of the subdivision around the intersection of Middlebelt and Ford Roads, about four miles south, seemed to be growing while Perrinsville’s was dropped off. So, on October 3, 1927, the library was moved from Perrinsville to Garden City which was the name of the new settlement. The Stonerocks had a general store on the north side of Ford Road, with a small room built on the side which served as the library room. Curtains were put at the windows, and a low children’s bench bought, and the room was made quite attractive. The entire Stonerock family helped, and the first year 2,971 books were distributed.
The library was established there the same year Garden City was incorporated as a village, with an estimated population of 900. Because it was not too far from work and because they liked the idea of “a garden with every home” more men were moving their families out to Garden City each year. The 1930 census showed 2,081 population. The registration at the library has 592 and it was officially made a branch. It has outgrown its quarters in Stonerock’s store and had been moved to a new building on Middlebelt Road donated by Mr. Arnold Folker, mayor. The village agreed to furnish the heat and light, and the County Library increased the number of books to 1685. Mrs. Dorothy Seymour was in charge and later Miss Antoinette Showers helped her. 12,342 books were circulated in the year 1929-1930.
The library continued its service (3:30 – 8:00 p.m.) in this little white building until 1932 when changes in the village administration caused Mr. Folker to charge rent and the village leased a building in the Penrod Block on Ford Road. Miss Campbell was in charge of the branch then, with Louise Bock Johnson assisting her. They helped to keep Garden City supplied with good reading material during the depression years, which years brought a new high circulation figure of 28,751 books in 1933.
In about 1935, the book collection was moved again to a separate building facing Middlebelt (formerly the Garden City Inn). There was room here to more comfortably accommodate the library needs of a steadily growing community. Miss Campbell returned to the Wayne Library and Hazel Krueger was appointed with Phyllis Shook assisting.
The “after depression” years began a drop in the circulation figures, which in 1937, began gradually to mount again. Children’s Hour was held on Saturdays with Miss Krueger or Miss Ma ben (Patricia Maben who took Miss Shook’s place) reading or telling stories.
In 1937, Thelma Lentz took Miss Maben’s place and later Jean Hosback was added for part-time help. During the winter of 1938 and 1939, the Women’s Club of Garden City held their meetings in the library after closing hours. By 1940, the census figures showed that Garden City had a population figure of 4,097, approximately double the 1930 figure. The library had 1,546 registered borrowers, 3,357 books, and an annual circulation of 28,708.
2018 Library Statistics
Calendar year 2018 (Jan – Dec) usage statistics for the Garden City Public Library:
- 69,195 people entered the Library for programming, borrowing materials, computer use and other activities (compared to 35,800 in 2014).
- 76,257 items were circulated from the Library (compared to 49,700 in 2014).
- 5,860 people attended programs, including story times and book club discussions (compared to 2,200 in 2014) at the Library.
- The Library offered 275 programs for children, teens, families, and adults in 2018 (compared to 143 in 2014).
- In addition to 59,289 physical books, movies, music cds and more which you can check out at the Library during normal business hours, the Library provides residents with access to 710,727 downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, comics, music, and movies, anytime from anywhere you can connect to the internet! (Compared to 52,871 physical and 10,760 downloadable items in 2014.)