Looking Back: Harrison Township Library

Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published July 12, 2017

Photo No. 1, from April 2009, shows materials that were moved from the old, now defunct Macomb County Library to the future Harrison Township Public Library. When it was announced that the Macomb County Library would be downsizing (and would ultimately close), then-Harrison Township Supervisor Anthony Forlini made arrangements with the Macomb County Board of Commissioners for a volunteer group, led by Marge Swiatkowski, to receive materials from the county library to establish a volunteer operated and funded library in Harrison Township, which until that point, had never had a library of its own. Forlini also made arrangements with the township Board of Trustees for the new volunteer library to be housed in the Beaufait addition of Rosso Hall. Up until that point, the township had operated the Beaufait addition as a rental hall and occasional polling venue. The volunteers moved approximately 30,000 items from the Macomb County Library to the new location of the future Harrison Township Public Library, all in their personal vehicles, over a six-week period in April and May of 2009. They then spent the next five months cataloging the items and getting the new location ready to serve the public.

Photo No. 2 shows Forlini addressing the crowd during the grand opening ceremony of the volunteer Harrison Township Public Library on Oct. 24, 2009. Then-congresswoman Candice Miller also made a surprise appearance, bringing with her a 1,000-book donation from the Library of Congress.

Photo No. 3 is of the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the full-time, taxpayer-funded Harrison Township Public Library on Aug. 8, 2015. The library opened its doors as a taxpayer funded, 40-plus hour per week library a few days prior on Aug. 3, and the ceremony took place the following Saturday afternoon. The voters had agreed to fund the library in August of 2014, and the library board had been working behind the scenes in the intervening year to make the transition.