36480 Main Street
Two families, the Skinner's and the MacDonald's, have had a profound impact on the direction of library service in New Baltimore.
As many people in today's society look upon the public library as an irreplaceable institution, it's almost unbelievable to think that no public library existed in New Baltimore prior to World War II. From today's viewpoint, it's an idea that's almost impossible to believe -- but it's true!
A Seed is Planted
In late 1940, a group of concerned citizens of the Catholic Study Club met to consider the establishment of a library, concluding the undertaking was too large. Word of the meeting spread to long-time community leader E. Leigh Skinner, however, who spearheaded the challenge. By March, 1941, Skinner had rounded up support from local organizations, churches and city officials to go forward. Skinner tapped the area's resources and gave this "think tank" a mission: collect enough books and money from the community to establish a fledgling collection . It was thought that with a head start on books and funds, it would be easier to ask the city to donate a place for the library. In today's dollars, the amount they collected in pre-war money ($300.00) sounds absurdly small, but then it totaled enough to approach the city to make the idea of a public library a reality.
As the Anchor Bay area grows again, the philosophy of the library is changing. Other types of media, such as videos and books on tape, supplement our book collection. The electronic age has brought us revolutionary tools like CD-ROMS, online databases, and the Internet. It's also enabled us to computerize the library catalog and circulation, allowing librarians to concentrate more on the needs of clients.
We hope you enjoy your public library as it enters the 21st century. Although the changes are sometimes mind-boggling, it is in the spirit of expanding information that we enter the next millennium.