When Andrew Carnegie sprinkled his magical library wand over Michigan in the early 1900s, he must have known the north country was riddled with bookworms. From Cadillac to Petsokey, libraries popped up like Trilliums—and a great Up North love of public book nooks continues to blossom today. Make a plan to check out these super reading spots, updated for times but still packed with that old fashioned perfume of pages upon pages of good reads.
Charlevoix Public Library: A beacon of educational light, the library itself is housed in a renovated school building just two blocks from the heart of downtown. The entirety of the library’s 34,000-square feet is packed with stacks and unique spaces (check out the Michigan Room). What really sets this place apart, however, is the hands-on children’s room. A book tree, activity spaces, and during the warmer months, a musical garden makes learning to love reading as easy as ABC. charlevoixlibrary.org
Leelanau Township Library: It’s common to see a group of people milling around this unassuming public treasure in Northport, waiting for the doors to open so they can refill their bags with classic and contemporary reads. An intellectual’s paradise, the small town library also boasts an impressive collection of audio books and more than 2,000 movies—specializing in hard to find and foreign films. leelanautownshiplibrary.org
Peter White Public Library: When you realize this cornerstone of the Marquette community cost upwards of $60,000 to build in 1904, it is easy to understand the library’s staying power. Beautifully maintained—and added on to during a $9 million renovation in the late 1990s—the 65,000-square foot bibliophile-maker has a collection that rivals big city libraries. With cozy fireplaces, wingback chairs, a café, and a 150 seat auditorium, you could practically live in the stacks. uproc.lib.mi.us/pwpl/
Petoskey Public Library: Talk about a cultural corner. Petoskey’s library is across the street from the Crooked Tree Arts Center, and sits kiddie-corner to the original Carnegie Library building, now used for community meetings, potlucks, and other events. Everything about the library is meant to help users find their path—from the enormous compass rose in the floor of the rotundra to the labyrinth in the garden outside. Add weekly independent and foreign film showing and children’s programs, and you have a place to refill the artistic cup of all ages. petoskeylibrary.org.