History of Troy Public Library
In 1959, the Troy City Commission appointed a ten-member Library Committee to investigate the possibility of a library for Troy.
In June 1962, the Friends of the Troy Public Library formed to help collect books and help finance the project.
Three months later, in September, the Troy Public Library Reading Room, Troy's first library, opened in two rooms in the Troy High School with a collection of 1,000 books. At that point, Troy had a population of just over 20,000.
As the City’s population grew, so did the Library’s collection. By 1965, the Library outgrew its space in the High School and moved its 2,450 items to a storefront building at 61 East Square Lake Road and Livernois. In 1967, the Library moved into an even bigger location at 5044 Rochester Road, north of Long Lake.
By 1970, Troy’s population had more than doubled in 10 years, to over 39,000, the Troy Library collection expanded to 22,282 items.
Due to Troy’s continuing population boom, the Troy City Commission voted to fund construction for a new permanent library building via 30-year bonds in 1968. The ground breaking for the new Troy Public Library in the Troy Civic Center on Big Beaver and I-75 was on January 24, 1970. Construction continued throughout that year.
On May 16, 1971 the Troy Public Library opened its doors for the first time to the public. The entire Library stood in the space occupied by the current Youth area.
Marguerite Hart was hired by the Troy Public Library on March 2, 1970 as the library’s first children’s librarian. She planned children’s activities and developed the children’s collection. Mrs. Hart was a native of Detroit. She had a passion for libraries and their role in communities, and providing children with proper library services.
As one of her first acts as the new children’s librarian, Mrs. Hart wrote letters to dozens and dozens of famous actors, authors, artists, musicians, playwrights, religious figures, librarians, professors, and politicians. She asked them to write to the young people of Troy, in honor of the soon-to-be-opened Troy Public Library.
Hart received 97 letters from various individuals, from the United State, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, the Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, who detailed their love of books, reading and libraries to the children of Troy. These included all fifty US state governors, including then Governor of California, Ronald Reagan; authors such as Ben Spock, Hardie Gramatky, Dr. Seuss, and E.B White; film personalities, such as Douglas Fairbanks, Vincent Price, and Neil Simon; and the Vice President and First Lady of the time. Not only did Mrs. Hart’s collection of letters come Mrs. Hart accumulated a diverse anthology of letters that enriches the Troy Public Library’s remarkable history.
By 1980, Troy’s population continued to exploded, with over 67,000 residents calling the city their home. By 1983, the Library attracted over 46,000 patrons, and circulated 552,083 items.
In 1982 the Friends of the Troy Public Library petitioned the City Council to fund an expansion to the Library. The Friends also applied to Kresge Foundation for a Challenge Grant, and fundraised $65,000 for the expansion.
In fall 1982, construction on the library expansion began, which built the circulation, and adult services area. The new expansion opened to the public in spring 1985.
Throughout its 60 years, the Troy Public Library has grown to meet the all the information needs of Troy's residents. In doing so, the Troy Library is recognized as an important community resource.
1996 Troy Public Library offers free Internet access to patrons.
2002 Annual circulation exceeds 1,000,000 items.
2003 The Library's Teen Resource Center is created.
2004 Troy Public Library is ranked number 1 in Michigan among libraries serving populations of 50,000 or more by Hennen's American Public Library Rating Index.
2004 Library of Michigan awards Citation of Excellence to Troy Public Library.
2005 Free High-Speed Wireless Internet access is available throughout the Library.
2007 Special Needs Collection (now called the Universal Access Collection) is created by a gift from the Friends of Troy Library
2009 Troy Public Library receives the ALA WorldBook award to fund Information Literacy for the Job Seeker program, the only public library in the country to receive this award.
2010 Troy Public Library is ranked number 10 in the nation among libraries serving populations of 50,000 or more by Hennen's American Public Library Rating Index.
2013 Troy Library wins $65,000 Smart Investing @ Your Library Grant
2016 Library of Michigan Citation of Excellence given to Troy Public Library for Teen Services