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Harper Woods

May 8, 2014

Looking Back: Harper Woods Public Library

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Looking Back: Harper Woods Public Library

Harper Woods Library hosted a 50th anniversary celebration of its current location April 26.

Mayor Ken Poynter and County Commissioner Tim Killeen were among those in attendance.

The Harper Woods Library opened the doors at its current site in 1964, after previously being in two other locations. Both previous locations were in storefronts, including the second site on Harper, between Parkcrest and Woodmont.

Poynter said he remembers being in the city’s first library location when he was young. The picture above shows the second location with book displays in the storefront window.

The new library, called the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, cost the city approximately $200,000 when it was built. A federal grant funded part of the cost.

The library hosted the anniversary celebration exactly 50 years after the library’s dedication ceremony in 1964.

“It was 50 years to the actual hour,” Adult Services Librarian Suzanne Kent said.

The library had the original dedication program, pictured, and the 50th anniversary program at the event.

There were pictures and items from the library’s history that people could see, including an old card catalog from the library, pictured above, which sits in the Heritage Room in the library.

The library retired the card catalog when it went to CD-ROM for the catalog, but the CD-ROM catalog wasn’t always up to date, since patrons would need to wait until an updated CD-ROM was released to see the newest books in the library. Later, the library moved to the current computer catalog system that’s in use today.