Peter White Public Library

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Peter White Public Library
Founded 1891
Headquarters 217 N. Front St. Marquette, Michigan 49855
Key people
Director: Andrea Ingmire
Front Street entrance, 1904 building
Main entrance, 2000 addition

The Peter White Public Library is a public library and community center in the City of Marquette, Michigan. The library building has stood at 217 North Front Street since 1904. An extensive renovation and addition was completed in 2000. The building also houses the Marquette Arts and Culture Center. The library is named after Peter White, a local businessman, postmaster, real estate developer, Michigan state legislator, and philanthropist who lived from 1830 until 1908.[1]

During Fiscal Year 2015-16 the library contained approximately 237,000 items—including books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, art prints, E-books, and other formats. During that same year, the library welcomed an average of 798 visitors per day and circulated a total of 254,758 items. The library is owned by the citizens of the City of Marquette. Nine townships in Marquette County also contract service with the library, bringing the total population served to over 37,000. The library serves persons who live or own property in the following communities: City of Marquette, Chocolay Township, Ewing Township, Marquette Township, Sands Township, Skandia Township, Turin Township, Wells Township, and West Branch Township. The library maintains remote book drops for the return of materials at the township halls in Chocolay, Sands, and Skandia Townships. An additional drop in Marquette Township is located at the Westwood Mall, just outside the southwest corner of the building.

Internet services[edit]

Wireless internet access is available throughout the library. This service is provided free to any wireless user. Wireless printing is also provided at a cost of $0.15 per page. Wired Ethernet jacks are also available to the public. Electrical outlets are located at most study carrels. The library has approximately 40 computer stations for patron use, including two “15 minute express stations” that do not require a log-in. Numerous online resources are available at the library.[2] The library's website also provides access to the shared SirsiDynix library catalog, and links to online resources available to library patrons.

Other services[edit]

  • United States Passport Agency
  • Meeting rooms for public use
  • Faxing
  • Document scanning
  • Printing / copying
  • Extensive genealogy and local history collections
  • Exam proctoring
  • Programs and exhibits
  • Digital audiobooks and E-books[3]
  • Digital magazines[4]

Library board[edit]

The library has two library boards, a controlling board and an advisory board. The controlling board is the Peter White Public Library Board of Trustees.[5] Board members are appointed by the Marquette City Commission. The Township Advisory Council is composed of members appointed by the townships contracting services with the library. Each township has two members.[6]


Library, c. 1905

Public library service in Marquette, Michigan, began in 1871 when the library was located in City Hall. The Peter White Public Library was formally founded by Local Act 254 of 1891 by the Michigan Legislature.[7]

The historic building at the corner of Front and Ridge Streets was completed in 1904. The building was designed by Patton and Miller Architects of Chicago, Illinois. A renovation and expansion project designed by Frye Gillan Molinaro Architects, also of Chicago, was completed in October 2000. This $9.0 million project was funded by a $4.5 million city bond issue and $4.5 million capital campaign. The current facility is 63,000 square feet (5,900 m2). The original building and subsequent renovations have been made possible not only through the generosity of the library namesake, but many other benefactors, and the taxpayers who support the Library.

In 2007 the library received a Library of Michigan Foundation Citation of Excellence from State Librarian Nancy Robertson.[8] The award recognized the library for providing excellent service and meeting the needs of the community in a friendly, cost-effective, and innovative way.

In December 2010 the library received a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).[9] The Medal is awarded to ten libraries or museums in the United States each year.

Affiliations and memberships[edit]

  • Michigan Library Association[10]
  • Midwest Collaborative for Library Services[11]
  • Superiorland Library Cooperative[12]
  • Upper Peninsula Region of Cooperation[13]
  • Great Lakes Digital Libraries[14]
  • Michigan Center for the Book[15]
  • MelCat statewide borrowing program[16]
  • Downtown Marquette Association[17]
  • Lake Superior Community Partnership[18]


  1. ^ Merk, George P. “The Legacy of Peter White” Michigan History Magazine, May/June 1999: 46-53. Print.
  2. ^ "Resources." Peter White Public Library / Resources. Peter White Public Library. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  3. ^ "Great Lakes Digital Libraries." Overdrive, Inc. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  4. ^ "Zinio Magazine Collection." RB Digital. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  5. ^ "Board of Trustees." Peter White Public Library, Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  6. ^ "Township Advisory Council." Peter White Public Library, Web. 07 Nov. 2016.<>.
  7. ^ "Public and Local Acts of the Legislature of the State of Michigan." Google Books. State of Michigan, 1891. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. [1].
  8. ^ State Librarian's Excellence Award. Library of Michigan, 2011. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <,2351,7-160-19270_19410-150842--,00.html>.
  9. ^ "2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service." Institute of Museum and Library Services. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  10. ^ "Welcome to the Michigan Library Association". Michigan Library Association." Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  11. ^ "Building better libraries." Midwest Collaborative for Library Services. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  12. ^ "Superiorland Library Cooperative." Welcome to the Superiorland Library Cooperative. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  13. ^ "Welcome to the Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation (UPROC)." Welcome to the Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation (UPROC). Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  14. ^ Great Lakes Digital Libraries. Great Lakes Digital Libraries. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  15. ^ "LM Michigan Center for the Book." Library of Michigan. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  16. ^ "MeLCat, the Michigan ELibrary Catalog and Resource Sharing System." State of Michigan. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  17. ^ Downtown Marquette, Michigan. Downtown Development Authority (Marquette, Michigan). Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.
  18. ^ Lake Superior Community Partnership. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. <>.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°32′42″N 87°23′35″W / 46.545°N 87.393°W / 46.545; -87.393