Mission Statement

We create a community of readers and a world of possibilities.

Vision Statement

A proud, inspired Battle Creek.

About Willard Library

Willard Library serves residents around Battle Creek, MI. Established in 1840, it is one of the oldest libraries in Michigan.  Charles Willard, upon his death in 1897, bequeathed $40,000 for a public school library in Battle Creek.

Charles Willard Obituary

With two locations, the library is a valuable resource for residents offering books, a vast digital collection including audio books, e-books, DVDs, music, magazines, movies, and TV shows in a variety of formats. The library circulates more than 1 million items a year and has librarians skilled in local resources and all aspects of reading for pleasure and research. The downtown library, 7 W. Van Buren Street, and the Helen Warner Branch, located at 36 Minges Creek Place, have dozens of computers available for public use. The Children’s Room and Teen Room feature weekly activities for all ages. The library offers local history archives, an extensive historical newspaper collection, and information helpful in researching genealogy.


Willard Library is organized as a District Library under Michigan Public Act 24 of 1989. The boundary of the Willard Library District follows the boundaries of the four local school districts -- Battle Creek, Harper Creek, Lakeview and Pennfield.


The library is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees appointed by the school boards in the Battle Creek, Harper Creek, Lakeview, and Pennfield districts. The members include:


  • James Keefer, President (Harper Creek)
  • Judith Williamson, Vice-president (Battle Creek)
  • Michelle Herzing, Treasurer (Pennfield)
  • Kathleen Baker, Secretary (Battle Creek)
  • Salli Baltutat, Trustee (Lakeview)