When the first school in the city was built in 1836 a space was provided for a pulic library with dontated books. The library moved several times over the years, including the old Arthur Hill High School, and John Moore School. The West side library finally found a permanent home when In 1913, William S. Fish donated $30,000 to build a library as a memorial to his wife, Mary, and her father Myron Butman.
Located on the corner of Harrison and Hancock Streets, the New Butman-Fish Memorial Library was completed and open to the public in 1916
During World War I, Butman-Fish was closed for several weeks because of a fuel shortage and the influenza epidemics. Books were collected and sent to soldier’s camps and hospitals. In 1926, following the consolidation of Saginaw’s school districts, the Butman-Fish Memorial Library, Hoyt Public Library, and the East Side Public Library were merged as the Public Libraries of Saginaw. Because of the Depression, staff salaries were cut by 50 percent, but they were always paid on time and in cash. During World War II, the Victory Book Drive, under the direction of Mrs. Emilie Kahan, reference librarian at Butman-Fish, was responsible for collecting 3,484 books.
By the mid-1970’s, the original building was overcrowded and in poor repair. The Library Commission and the Saginaw School District and it was replaced with a much larger facility. The present Butman-Fish Library opened in January 1979.
P.S. they have a great collection of Michigan history books, yes I know, Hoyt Library has the reference room upstairs but the books need to stay at the library, I can checkout the books at Butman Fish and read them at home.
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