Community News

On June 1 the Friends of Chelsea District Library will celebrate their 75th anniversary at the library from 1–3pm. The library has celebrations of its own going on—celebrating paying off the library’s 20-year building bond and the 25th anniversary of the library district formation. Join the party and explore the library’s past, present, and future. Learn about Friends’ history, mingle with other Friends and library staff, enjoy light refreshments, and enter to win a Serendipity gift card or a bag of books from the monthly used book sale. 
The evolution of the Chelsea District Library and the Friends began when the Chelsea Public Library was formed in 1932 by the Chelsea Child Study Club, later known as the Woman’s Club. Twenty-two books were donated by club members, and 100 books loaned by the state library. The first location of the library was on East Middle Street. 
The Friends of the Chelsea Public Library was organized on April 18,1949. The Friends established a Building and Site Committee to find a permanent home within one block of Main Street. Funds were set aside and contributions were encouraged by the trustees for the new site. By 1958, $5,000 had been raised toward the new library. 
In 1956, one of the Friends of the Library, Mrs. Warren Daniels, went to call on Mrs. E. J. McKune, and proposed that Mrs. McKune donate her home to the library. She was taken with the idea and informed the library of her intent and immediately put it into her will. After renovations, Mrs. McKune’s home was opened as the McKune Memorial Library in June of 1959. 
On January 6, 1997, McKune Memorial Library became the Chelsea District Library after four years of deliberations and processing. The townships of Sylvan, Lima and Lyndon, and eventually portions of Dexter supported the library. New computers and Internet services were added to the facility. Programming continued to grow with “Homebound Services” deliveries to residents in Sylvan, Lima and Lyndon townships. 
The Friends of the library were formed originally to raise funds and run the library. The book collection started with 22 books. By 1972, there were 18,000 books in the collection. Today, the library’s collection exceeds 50,000 books. In 2023 the Friends raised $26,000 to support special library programs through monthly used book sales, the annual used purse & jewelry sale, holiday ornament sales and donations and membership dues. 
The Friends of Chelsea District Library continues to supplement the library’s programs, events, materials and equipment. It also supports the Chelsea District Library by working with community members and volunteers to provide advocacy for the library, its programs and policies. 
The Friends of CDL is a member-supported, nonprofit organization that fundraises, advocates and works with community members and volunteers to provide support for the Chelsea District Library’s programs and events. You can become a member of the Friends or be a library volunteer by going to Help to maintain a strong, thriving library community. 
Please join us in June first to celebrate the Friends of Chelsea District Library and all the volunteers and donors who have kept it going for 75 years. 

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