Public library services in Saginaw's west side began in 1836 when the first school in the city was built. Space was provided in the school for a public library, which was begun with donated books. After some difficult beginnings, the west side public library was reestablished in 1857. During the next sixty years, the west side public library was located in several sites, including Central School, Arthur Hill High School, and John Moore School. It was operated by the Union School District.
The present Butman-Fish Library opened in January 1979 and serves as an active community library with an extensive program of children's services. In 1998, Butman-Fish was extensively renovated to accommodate modern library technology, make general building repairs, and make the library more handicapped-accessible.
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