Willard Library serves residents around Battle Creek. It was established in 1840, making it one of the longest-running libraries in Michigan. Part of its success was due to Henry Denman, who established a fund to buy books. According to an article in the Battle Creek Enquirer and News: “At the time of Mr. Denman’s gift, there were only two or three public libraries in the state. He himself was not a wealthy man, but when he died he left a large part of his fortune to the school district. Heirs contested the will, and a compromise was reached whereby the district accepted $10,000 although his plan before his death was to leave a larger sum than this.”
Now with two locations, the library is a valuable resource for residents offering books, DVDs, magazines, meetings spaces and access to computers. Stop on by for free WiFi, board games and puzzles. The newest addition is The Studio, a creative space that offers vinyl cutting, a 3D printer and recording studio.
The Children’s Room and Teen Room feature weekly activities for all ages. For history buffs and genealogical detectives, the library offers local history archives, an extensive historical newspaper collection and information helpful in researching genealogy.