Our History & CLEVNET

Fairport Harbor Public Library was founded in 1922 in the small, beach town of Fairport Harbor, Ohio. It is our vision to cultivate and support an educated, informed, skilled, engaged, and connected community by providing exceptional programs, materials, and services for all people.

Visit our photo archive of the library’s 100 year history

Read our commemorative 100th anniversary booklet

FHPL 1960s

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­In the early 20th century, the superintendent of Fairport Harbor Schools realized that a free public library would be of great benefit to the village.  The Library has grown to become an integral part of the Fairport community with innovative programming, diverse collections, and red-carpet customer service.  The library staff and board of trustees have strived to ensure that the village will proud of their library for the next 100 years.  

Since 1997 Fairport Harbor Public Library has been a member of the CLEVNET consortium. CLEVENT joins 45 library systems, across 12 different counties, with 12 million items, and approximately 1 million customers in NE Ohio. CLEVNET allows you access to the vast collections of every participating library. See a map of all of the CLEVNET libraries here

FHPL History
The library was first created in 1921. It was organized by Mr. M.C. Helm, Superintendent of Fairport schools. The library was located in one supply room on the first floor of McKinley Grade School. One thousand books were ordered from the State Library. The public as well as the students were invited to use the library.

The library was formally established in 1922 with the building of a High School in Fairport and a resolution by the school board to create a public library in the school. Most of the children’s books remained at Garfield and McKinley school libraries with teachers serving as part-time librarians.

The building in which the library is now housed was built in the spring and summer of 1934 as a joint CWA project by the Board of Education and The Board of Library Trustees. The main floor served as a study hall and library for the schools during the day but was also open to the public. The basement housed the Home Economics department of the school. In the 1940s the basement was used for band rehearsals.

About FHPL
The Fairport Harbor Public Library and the Fairport Harbor Schools have maintained and enjoyed a unique and continuous relationship since 1922. Although housed in and adjacent to the Fairport Harbor schools, Fairport Harbor Public Library is a separate entity.  The library has its own board and budget and is staffed by its own degreed, professional librarians.  The school district leases the physical space and provides maintenance services for the library building.   FHPL is pleased that we are able to serve the residents and students of Fairport. 

Fairport Harbor Public Library is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of seven members who volunteer their time and expertise. By Ohio law, as a School District Free Public Library (one of seven types of public libraries in Ohio) FHPL must have a board of seven members (a volunteer board) appointed by the School District Board of Education (an elected board) and the taxing authority must be the School District Board of Education. The library must serve all people who reside in the area encompassed by the school district.

You may find more detailed histories of the library by following these links:
The History of Fairport Harbor Public Library (June 1960)
This is Your Library (1963)
Welcome to the Fairport Harbor Public Library (1967)
FHPL History timeline (1967)

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