Carleton Branch Library

1444 Kent Street

The Carleton Branch Library has the honor of being one of the first branches of the Monroe County Library System opening on June 19, 1934 with 200 books.* The books were loaned from the State Library of Michigan and the University of Michigan and were shelved in the office of the local newspaper The Carleton Messenger.. Eighty of the books were for adults with the remainder for children.

There was no library building. Mr. Will Wright, the editor and publisher of The Messenger agreed to provide shelving space in the small newspaper office on Mill Street. C.H. Reiser & Sons Lumber Company donated boards for the shelving which was hastily constructed.

During the first month 413 books were circulated with patrons helping themselves – as there was no librarian. Borrowers recorded their names and the title they were taking on a piece of paper and all books were circulated on an honor system. The first citizen to borrow a book was George E. Lang, a local historian and mapmaker. Editor Wright was listed as the official librarian.