grandblancBranch Librarian: Kara Kvasnicka

Hours & Contact Info

Mon & Tue: 9am - 9pm
Wed & Thurs: Noon - 8pm
Fri & Sat: 9am - 5pm
Sun: 1-5pm (Closed after Memorial Day through Labor Day)

Phone: 810-694-5310
Fax: 810-694-5313
Address: 515 Perry Rd., Grand Blanc, MI 48439 (view map)
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Like us on Facebook! Link to Grand Blanc-McFarlen's Page

Rooms and Facilities

  • 23 computers available for public use, including 2 for children
  • Fax and copy service
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Scanner machines 
  • Check-out station
  • Business Center
  • Community room 
  • 2 private study rooms
  •  Children's area with a large collection of fiction and non-fiction books
  • Large Teen Book collection

Donate to the Grand Blanc McFarlen Library Building Fund:

Friends of the Library

The group holds book sales 3 times a year and accept donations during normal library hours. You may contact them by calling 810-694-5310.

History

In 1869 the Grand Blanc Ladies Library Association organized the first public library in the Grand Blanc area. It continued until 1892.

The second public library in Grand Blanc was established on July 24, 1939.  Although it was called the Grand Blanc Township Library, it received financial support from the city, township and school district of Grand Blanc. It was housed in a room at Grand Blanc High School.

A branch of the Grand Blanc Library was opened in a cleaner’s window near the post office in 1945, with about 500 books available for checkout. It is not known how long the branch lasted.
On June 10, 1966 the various governmental units supporting the Grand Blanc Library met to prepare a proposal for joining the Genesee County Library. On August 17 the Grand Blanc Library Board met with county library officials to discuss the proposal.

On January 1, 1967 the Grand Blanc Library joined the Genesee County Library (now known as the Genesee District Library). It was housed in a room in the old Township Hall on Grand Blanc Road.

In 1968, under the leadership of its chairperson Arthur Letts, the board which governed library matters at that time spearheaded a campaign to build a new library, which could house a larger borrowing collection than its tiny Township Hall location could.

In 1969 a friends group, which remains active today under the name Friends of the McFarlen Library, was organized to help raise funds for library improvements.

After years of fundraising and planning, a new 12,000 square-foot public library building opened on August 5, 1973 at the current location on Perry Road. It was named the McFarlen Public Library after the Joseph McFarlen family, which donated the 2.5 acre site on which it was built. Funding for the library came from a 1.5 tax mill levy passed in 1970, grants from both the Federal Library Services and Construction Act and the DeWaters Charitable Trust fund, and donations by individual residents.

The largest branch in the county library system, the new library had a borrowing collection of approximately 45,000 books as well as 8 mm. films, 8-track tapes, records and a variety of magazines. It also included a community room with a seating capacity of 75 people for library programs and other events.

In 1983 the first computer for public use at the library, an Apple, was donated by the friends group.

The Robert T. Bolo, Jr. Business Center opened November 7, 1999 in a 2,000-square-foot addition to the library. Bolo, in whose honor the business center was named, served as Grand Blanc Library Commission chairperson from 1979 until 1998. Also included in the addition was a conference room which could seat up to 12 people, two private study rooms and a periodical storage area. Both the City and Township of Grand Blanc provided the necessary funding for the addition.

The children’s room is named in honor of Michael J. Bourke II, who served as Grand Blanc District Library Commission Chairperson from 1998 until 2011.

In 2014 community partnerships made it possible to renovate and expand the children’s room by an additional 570 square feet, build a new 470-square-foot storage room, relocate and enlarge the computer area and design a more open and engaging floor plan. The community partners who worked together to make the improvements possible included the Grand Blanc District Library Commission, the Friends of the McFarlen Library, the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative and the City and Township of Grand Blanc. Funding came from a $375,175 donation from the Claffey Trust Fund, a $10,000 grant from the Grand Blanc Community Fund and donations by individual residents. The renovation and expansion of the library was completed in 2015.  

Since opening at its present location in 1973, the library’s borrowing collection has grown to include about 104,000 items, including approximately 90,000 books, 2,200 audiobooks, 1,300 music CDs, and 9,400 DVDs and Blu-rays.  It also has subscriptions to 48 magazine titles and four newspapers.

To keep up with the community’s need for new and constantly changing technologies, the library also offers 23 computers for public use (including 2 for children), fax and copy service, free Wi-Fi and a scanner machine.

It also offers a wide variety of programs for children, teens and adults year-round. Some of these programs, such as the Friends of the Library’s Annual Pumpkin Day, have become venerated community traditions, to which parents who attended when they were children now bring their own offspring.

The library’s friends group, whose current president is Kathy Naber, is still active, raising most of its funds for library improvements from the three book sales it holds annually.

Building and maintenance issues are overseen by the Grand Blanc District Library Commission, the five members of which receive their appointments from both the City and Township of Grand Blanc. Bob Foote has served as the chairperson since 2011.

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