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Branch District Library Timeline

Image: Coldwater Branch

Coldwater Branch

View a timeline of the BDL leadership since our inception.

1991

  • The Branch District Library is formed on May 30, 1991, combining the Coldwater Public Library with the Branch County Library.
  • On August 6, 1991, 7 out of 16 townships, as well as the cities of Bronson and Coldwater, successfully voted to fund the library at a rate of 0.7 mills in perpetuity.

1994

  • Internet access is brought to the library, first at the Coldwater Branch. Other branches are online by 1998.

1995

  • The library's catalog is computerized.
  • The library becomes the first Internet Service Provider in the community, with 80 users signed up by September and growing fast.

1998

  • The library transfers operation of its Internet services to the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities.

2004

  • Free public wireless Internet access (WiFi) is provided to the public.

2006

  • There is a major renovation of the interior of the Coldwater Branch Library, funded by a donation from the Kerr Trust, including carpeting, shelving, and interior painting.

2008

  • BDL partners with Algansee Township to erect a tower to bring high-speed long-range wireless internet access to the township.
  • BDL becomes the first library in the state of Michigan to adopt the open-source Evergreen Integrated Library System.

2009

  • There is a major renovation of the children's room of the Coldwater Branch Library.

2010

  • Grand opening of a new entrance lobby, restrooms, and elevator for the Bronson Branch Library, funded by the Bronson Friends of the Library.
  • BDL ventures into the world of digital lending for the first time with the OverDrive service, allowing patrons to download materials from anywhere at anytime.

2011

  • Grand Opening of the new Union Twp. Branch Library building. This 2,500 square foot library, constructed with funds from the Union Twp. Friends of the Library is named after major donor, Lucille E. Dearth. BDL furnishes the interior of the branch.
  • Full roof replacement at the Coldwater Branch Library.

2012

  • Major renovation of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system at the Coldwater Branch Library.

2013

  • Grand opening of the media center addition for the Bronson Branch Library, to house computers, microfilm, movies, and storage. This project was funded by the Bronson Friends of the Library. BDL furnishes the interior of the media center.

2014

  • On August 5, 2014, all precincts in the county voted to increase library funding by adding a second 8-year millage at a rate of 0.5 mills.

2015

  • The Coldwater Branch's elevator is replaced.

2016

  • BDL signs a reciprocal services agreement with the Burlington Twp. Library in Calhoun County.
  • BDL majorly expands its available downloadable content by providing the Hoopla service to patrons.

2017

  • BDL is one of the first libraries in Michigan to do away with late fees for materials.
  • The Coldwater Branch reorganizes to debut a dedicated space for teens for the first time.
  • BDL, partnering with Quincy Township, funds a renovation of the roof, front steps, and more at the Quincy Branch Library.
  • A Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) telephone system is installed at all library branches.

2018

  • The Quincy Branch is briefly closed for new carpeting, painting, and other interior renovations.

2019

  • The Coldwater Branch is run by its own Branch Manager for the first time.
  • The City of Coldwater funds the restoration of the front steps and porch of the Coldwater Branch Library.

2020

  • The world-wide COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic closes the library for months, starting in March, resulting in a new focus on virtual programming and digital materials while patrons remain at home. Much of the remainder of the year sees the library offer services through curbside pickup and reduced hours and capacity inside.
  • BDL releases a collection of digitized yearbooks from schools all around Branch County, from as far back as 1910.

2021

  • The Library1 Card program launches, providing area K-12 students with a risk-free BDL library card.
  • Repairs are made to the floors at the Bronson Branch, in addition to painting and installation of carpeting throughout the original Carnegie portion of the library. This was a partnership between BDL and the Friends of the Bronson Library.
  • BDL begins to loan cellular WiFi hotspots to help provide Internet access to those who need it where it is needed. Funding is provided in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library of Michigan.
  • The entire library collection of over 100,000 items is outfitted with Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID), allowing speedier checkouts and the ability to easier locate missing items in the library.
  • New carpeting was installed at the Algansee Branch, courtesy of Joy Wood and Family. The Library funded the emptying of the building and storage of materials while carpeting was under way.