Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

Looking Back: The First Library Building in St. Clair Shores

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 28, 2021

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Established in 1935 by the women who were members of the St. Clair Shores Study Club, the St. Clair Shores Public Library spent its first years in a single room in the Municipal Building.

In addition to collecting and buying the initial 500 books that were the circulating and reference collection, Study Club members staffed the Library. The women volunteered their time so that the Library could be open for four hours each Monday and Friday.

In 1937, the Study Club turned over the operation of the Library to the Village of St. Clair Shores. Four years later, it was determined that the Library needed its own space. The Lake Shore Presbyterian Church building on Grove Point was purchased for $300. The wood structure was moved to the corner of Eleven Mile Road and Jefferson Avenue. The “new” Library opened to the public on May 2, 1943. It is pictured here in 1952.

By 1955, the Library’s book collection had grown to over 18,000 volumes, and a bookmobile service was offered to residents. The building was used as the public library until 1959 when a newly built Library opened just west of the old. That “new” building continues to serve the residents of St. Clair Shores today. 

To view this image and other historic photographs, visit the Digital Media Archive at

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library