On February 28, 1932, The Child Study club opened Chelsea’s first library since 1903. The library, which consisted of 22 books donated by Study Club members and 100 books on loan from the State Library, was announced to the people of Chelsea in a letter written by the “books” in the February 25 issue of the Chelsea Standard:
Here we are! One hundred fifty books of fact, fiction, wit and humor; already to start moving, then growing and never satisfied until we mature into a real library. And just think—we are the friends of children and adults and haven’t made one cent of expense except for a few postage stamps to bring us to Chelsea.
We are just so cozy on these shelves that were donated by good friends of the Child Study club; and have you seen the gaily painted chairs, tables and lamps that just bespeak of congeniality that we already feel in out new home and that we want you to feel toward us.
We expect to be with you about three months, then have to run back to the State Library in Lansing to be dressed up for summer and to give some more of our book friends an opportunity to come down and watch the coming and going to appreciative faces and see little noses pressed against the big window across the library front.
So hurry folks, we want to go into your homes and watch your faces as you listen to the chatter and matter that comes out of our pages.
Now here is one of our little secrets which we know you will want to pass on; If you want to take us home with you, so as to get better acquainted, it will not cost you one cent unless you forget to bring us back at the end of two weeks, then—well, we know that never will happen, but if it should, we shall just talk it over at the Library when you bring us back and your little bit of forgetfulness of time will help to buy more books to be kept permanently for the library’s very own.
Dear me, we could go on and talk to you much more for you see our enthusiasm run high—but if you really care to get better acquainted with us, we shall be glad to go with you on Saturday, February 27, from three o’clock until five o’clock and every Wednesday and Saturday of the succeeding weeks at the same time.
But until that time, be sure to keep us in mind for we are from the new library sponsored by the Child Study club and remain always your true and sincere friends
The Books for Children and Adults
Since opening eighty years ago, the library has been a permanent part of Chelsea, though it has switched locations several times over those years, with a permanent location finally surfacing when Catherine McKune donated her family’s home in 1958.
Initially open for only four hours a week and offering a mere 122 books, the Chelsea Library has grown over the past 80 years; today it is open 63 hours a week and holds a collection of more than 78,500!