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Grand Rapids Public Library celebrates 150th anniversary with Birthday Bash

Posted at 12:39 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 12:44:23-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tuesday, the Grand Rapids Public Library is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a Birthday Bash.

December 21 marks exactly 150 years since the library opened to the public.

You can stop by any GRPL location on Tuesday and enjoy a cookie from Daddy's Dough.

You can also pick up a birthday kit and swag to keep the celebration going at home.

Tuesday’s 150 Birthday Bash wraps up a year-long celebration that included a read-a-thon that raised more than $17,000 for the Mobile Library, a library card drive that garnered more than 1,700 new cardholders and the opening of the GRPL eStore.

The Grand Rapids Public Library was founded in 1871. The first librarian, Miss Frances Holcomb, was hired at an annual salary of $500.

The first branch was the West Side Branch, which was originally housed in an old Michigan Bell Telephone Company building; it opened in 1908.