Best Libraries In Detroit

January 4, 2012 8:34 AM

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Detroit Library


If you find yourself searching for knowledge in the city of Detroit, you will not have to look very far. The city is home to several libraries that are open to the public. Certain libraries even cater to a specific need, such as art history, medicine or children’s literature. –S. L. Stoddart

Detroit Library


Detroit Public Library

Detroit Public Library – Main Library
5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
313- 833-1000

The Detroit Public Library is the largest library system in the state of Michigan, with over 20 neighborhood branches. Its main branch, located off Woodward, has 10 subject departments and a number of special collections. A special feature of the library is The Information Place (TIP). TIP is a free information and referral service that helps people find answers to the problems of everyday living. Librarians connect individuals with agencies and local nonprofit organizations that offer services such as emergency food, health care, support groups and parenting education.

Detroit Institute of Arts


Detroit Institute of Arts Research Library

Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202

Among its vast collection of galleries, sculptures and exhibits, the Detroit Institute of Arts is also home to an extensive art research library. The library contains more than 185,000 volumes and over 200 periodical subscriptions. Resources include items such as DIA publications, auction catalogues, catalogues raisonnés, national/international museum publications and a variety of foreign publications.

Wayne State University Library System

Wayne State University – Undergraduate Library
5150 Anthony Wayne
Detroit, MI 48202

Wayne State University Libraries rank among the top 60 libraries in the Association for Research Libraries. The WSU library system consists of five major libraries and an ALA-accredited School of Library and Information Science. Even though libraries are located on a college campus, they are all open to the public. Resources include article databases, digital collections and commons, e-books, e-journals, print reserves and multi-level computer labs. The libraries are also home to 15 special collections that contain items such as rare books and periodicals, microcard, microfiche, journals, monographs, videos and a 60,000 item juvenile collection.

Sladen Library & Center for Health Information Resources

Henry Ford Hospital
2799 W. Grand Blvd., K-17
Detroit, MI 48202

The Sladen Library is located on the 17th floor at Henry Ford Hospital and is home to more than 7,000 books and 2,500 journal subscriptions covering all aspects of medicine and health care. The library is open to hospital staff, medical professionals, students, patients and visitors. Resources include respected medical journals, books, videos, online databases, medical directories and more. Use of some online resources is limited to Henry Ford medical staff and employees.

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  • eileen gifford

    Did I understand correctly? Even if I’m not a student, I may use the library at Wayne State. Does it cost? Oakland University charges and I’m a resident of Rochester Hills.

  • Librarian

    Eileen – you can walk into Wayne’s library and read the books inside the library for free; no one will check your ID. If you want to check out books and take them home you will need to purchase a pass.

    However, you MIGHT be able to get the books sent to your local library for free via Interlibrary Loan (also called ILL). Go to your local library and talk to the librarians. The only catch is you have to wait for the books to be delivered to your library. But if you have the time, it’s worth the wait.

  • Another Librarian

    Oakland University is a private institution and can set its own policies. As WSU is publically funded, it has to provide a certain level of access to people from the community. You may be able to borrow materials for free from either library, if your home library participates in the Michicard program.

  • Yet another librarian

    Oakland is not a private university

  • Academic Librarian

    Sadly the people who made it the best of Detroit are being forced out with lay-off, buy outs, and early retirements. These libraries may turn out like most of the grade school libraries, an unstaffed dump of wasted resources with the best resource (the Librarian) sitting at home waiting on MARVIN!

  • Christine Hage

    To the Rochester Hills resident wanting access to the Oakland University Library,
    Both OU and the Rochester Hills Public Library are members of the state’s MichiCard program so you do have access to both libraries at no charge.

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