The Belleville Library began in 1920 when the Wayne County Board of Supervisors appropriated $10,000 to better library facilities throughout Wayne County. Miss Kingsley of the Detroit Public Library, Mr. E. W. Yost, Wayne County Superintendent of Schools, and his assistant, Fred C. Fischer, selected the J. C. Pullen Furniture Store as the first library station in Belleville. This library of 200 books was the second reading center established by the Wayne County Library.
Over the next 30 years the library outgrew three different locations with its growing collection of books. The Fred C. Fischer branch came into being shortly before the death of William Van Dyke in 1952. Mr. Van Dyke gave the library to the City of Belleville to commemorate a deep friendship for Fred C. Fischer, eminently respected citizen and leader of this community, with whom he had served on the Wayne County Library Board. The building was dedicated on November 8, 1953.
From 1953 until 1992 the Fred C. Fischer Library remained the quaint and homey 3,500 square foot library it was built to be. Meanwhile, the population of the area grew from 12,400 to 35,171. The library became increasingly crowded as more and more bookshelves were added to keep pace with the growing collection.
In 1992, thanks to a federal Library Services and Construction Act matching funds grant, an addition was built that tripled the size of the library. As library usage, technology, and space needs grew over the next two decades, it became apparent to the City of Belleville and to Sumpter and Van Buren Townships that a change in the governance of the library would be needed. In 2010, the three communities passed a District Library Agreement and gave notice of their intent to leave the Wayne County Library System. The Belleville Area District Library was established, following approval by the Library of Michigan, and the Belleville Area District Library Board held their first meeting on April 17, 2010. The library continued to be funded by contributions from each community until the successful districtwide passage of a 0.7 mill operating millage in November 2010.
Since that time, the library board has worked on plans for a new and expanded library. In November 2016, voters approved funding to build and operate a new library and to renovate an existing building to serve as a small satellite.
The Belleville Area District Library serves the residents of the City of Belleville, the Township of Sumpter, and the Charter Township of Van Buren.