History of the Benton Harbor Public Library
The Benton Harbor Public Library has provided library service to our community for over one hundred years.
The library was legally established for use by city residents in 1899. The first building, funded by the Carnegie Foundation, was opened in 1903. Service to Benton Charter Township residents was first offered in 1963. The current library building was opened in April 1968 as a state of the art facility.
Today, the library serves over 20,000 residents of the City of Benton Harbor and Benton Charter Township. The library offers access to over 100,000 books, DVDs, periodicals, and other items through our online catalog. We have an award-winning collection of federal documents available in both print and electronic formats. Computers for public internet access are located in both the Adult and Junior Departments. The library also offers numerous educational programs aimed at children and teenagers. Information about the library, as well as our full online catalog of items, is available 24/7 from anywhere via the BHPL Website
The members of the Benton Harbor Public Library Board of Trustees have initiated an effort to bring the library into the twenty-first century. A major part of that project will include a complete renovation of the library's home for forty years.
We invite the Citizens of our area to imagine what the future of our library could be. Please work with us as we translate the imagination of today into the reality of tomorrow.
Board of Trustees
City of Benton Harbor
Mamie Yarbrough, President
Rich Hensel, Vice President
Benton Charter Township
Noreen Szymanski, Secretary
The Board of Trustees of the Benton Harbor Public Library will meet at 4:00 p.m. on the dates listed below, in the Library auditorium.
This meeting is open to the public.
July 23 January 20
August 20 February 18
September 17 March 17 October 15 April 21
November 19 May 19
December 17 June 16
Reports for other years available upon request.
Non-Discrimination Policy Statement
It is the policy of the Benton Harbor Public Library (Library) to provide equal consideration and equal opportunity to all persons who are eligible for its services and its employees in accordance with all federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws. Accordingly, the Library will not tolerate discrimination by its employees or members of the public on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability (physical or mental), weight, height, age, marital status, genetic information, or any other legally protected class.
All employees of the Library as well as all other entities affiliated or connected with the Library are responsible for complying with this policy.
Individuals who believe that they have been subjected to discrimination on an aforementioned prohibited basis should contact the Library Director to report such suspected discrimination. The Library Director will review such claims and, if appropriate, will take the necessary actions to eliminate the discriminatory behavior as provided in the Library’s personnel policies.