In October 19, 1899, the Commissioners of the Detroit Public Library, anticipating the future, established a Branch Department and appointed Jessie C. Chase to head it. She died in November of 1952, but not before she saw the branch that bears her name dedicated in July of that year.
Since its opening, the Chase Branch has served a diverse neighborhood community with a variety of resources. At first it was books and magazines, then audio tapes were added, and now computers. Additionally, it offers photocopy machines, financial aid forms, tax forms and copyright applications.
Programs have always been a way for the branch to maintain contact with the community, and one of the most popular is the Homework Help Program. Every Tuesday during the school year, volunteers take time from their schedules to help students from grades 1 through 6 with their homework.
The library maintains close relationships with many neighborhood organizations and schools. There is a meeting room, utilized by community groups, that also serves as the neighborhood polling place.