"If you've ever tried to find a cookbook at the Noble library and couldn't, I think we know why," said a Cleveland Heights police spokesman following the 1984 arrest of an unemployed insurance salesman. They nabbed the man, who spent at least eight hours a day at the Noble Library, who generally stole two books, two magazines, and two pamphlets each time. Following a tip, the cops found almost 4,000 library books stashed all over the man's house. When asked why he had not simply checked out the books, the man replied: "I never got a library card."
Unlike the book thief, thousands of patrons have used their library cards at the Noble branch of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library for nearly a century. The first libraries in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights system were installed in or very near school property. The first branch on Noble Road was housed in a small portable building erected in 1923 on the grounds of Noble Elementary School. After just two years, this first building was replaced with a larger portable building specifically designed for library use. It opened on May 9, 1925.
In 1937, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights system built its third permanent building at 2800 Noble Road, just across the street from the old location. The new Noble library building was designed in the Georgian style by noted Cleveland architects Frank Walker and Harry Weeks and cost about $57,000 to construct. The building was expanded in 1963 and renovated in 1994 and 2011.
Over the years the library has hosted reading programs, costume parties, magic shows, children's craft workshops, senior programs, musical performances, and a host of other community events. It continues to be a vital anchor in the Noble neighborhood.