History of the Negaunee Public Library

In the year 1890, a group of public-spirited citizens of Negaunee banded together for the purpose of providing a place for the residents of the community to come to read and to obtain books for home entertainment and study.


On October 8 of that year, Mr. Thomas Flynn was named as the first librarian of Negaunee. He served through 1894. Succeeding him were several persons who served as librarians for a short time, including Mr. Michael Foley, Miss Mary Reidy, Miss Ellen E. Harrington, and Miss Maggie Cox. In October 1902, Miss Sezerine E. Wellett was appointed to the librarianship by the mayor of Negaunee.


At that time, quarters were maintained in the old city hall, two upstairs rooms of which were occupied by the library. The number of volumes at the time numbered 2,227; and the circulation for the year 1902 was 6,021.


The old city hall was razed in 1913 and the books were moved to the Negaunee High School for a couple of years.


In 1915 the present city hall was erected in the same place as the old one, it was made larger, and the entrance was changed to Silver Street. Also at that time, the clock on top of the fire hall was moved to the top of the new city hall and the face of the clock was enlarged from four feet to seven feet. The library was included in the new city hall and occupied the greater part of the main floor. Up until this time, closed shelves had been maintained. Open shelves, as are now in our present-day library, were installed, which greatly increased the service to the public.


Shortly after Miss Wellett’s death in 1939, Miss Dorothy Hooper was appointed librarian. She served until May 1941, when Mrs. Iva Klinglund was appointed to the position. When Mrs. Klinglund retired in June 1962, Mrs. Caroline Goodhue was named as librarian. Mrs. Goodhue retired in October 1974, and Mrs. Marian Phillips was named librarian and served until her retirement in October 1982. Mrs. Katherine Thurner was appointed librarian by the city manager in October 1982, and held that position until October 2007. Mrs. Marcia Mattfield was appointed librarian in October 2007, and served until May 2014At the present time the position is held by Miss Jessica Holman.