1838 Toledo Young Men’s Association organizes under a charter granted by the Ohio Legislature. The objective: establish a lyceum and public library.
1864 Republican members break off from the Young Men’s Association Library and form the Toledo Library Association. Membership then grew to 500 with 4,000 volumes in library collection. Library featured separate reading room for women who were charged $2. Men were charged $3.
1867 The two groups merged.
1873 Toledo Public Library is created; library opens at King Block on Summit Street with collection of 6,198 volumes. Each customer could borrow one volume for two weeks. Fines were 3 cents a day.
1888 A site for the new Main Library was selected at Madison and Ontario -- part of the right-of-way of the Miami and Erie Canal.
1915-1917 The first full-service branch opens in Glenwood School. The first Carnegie funded branches were Kent, Locke, South, Mott, and Birmingham. Locke Branch opened on the East Side, named for David Ross Locke, a famous editor of The Blade.
1937 Lucas County Library launches the first bookmobile service in the county.
1970 Three library systems, Toledo Public Library, Lucas County Public Library, and Sylvania Public Library, agree to merge and form the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
1971 Records Lending Service began circulating phonograph records featuring classical, rock, and instrumental music. In 1975 audio cassettes were added. Changes in bookmobile service were made. School stops were discontinued. Routes were changed to visit points farthest away from branches, central city areas, and rest homes.
1974 Kent Branch burned to the ground. It operated temporarily from a store front on Collingwood.
1977 Library, facing $300,000 shortfall, announces closing of three branches, Birmingham, Lagrange-Central, and South. Contributions from county and city governments and a levy passage keeps branches open.
1980 VHS videocassettes were added. From a first year circulation of 22,753 tapes by 1985 it had reached 206,939.
1980s Library adds more technological innovations: computer labs for patrons, computerized catalog, and circulation systems.
1988 The Library celebrated 150 years of library service. “Library Lights – A Celebration of Service in December featured a sit-down dinner with Dick Cavett as host.
1989 The Library Legacy Foundation was setup to help raise funds in partnership with area businesses for library programming , such as the Summer Reading Program .
1993 Circulation tops 6 million for first time.
1996 Plans announced to expand Main Library; renovations completed in 2001.
2002 State funding reduction prompts library to end Sunday hours and reduce materials budget; passage of levy the folllowing year restored Sunday hours at Sanger, Heatherdowns, and Main.
2004 Library offers wireless access.
2012 Levy passes with a generous margin.
2013 Sunday hours at Main and Heatherdowns are restored.