On April 18th, 1835, forty-five merchants and clerks from boomtown Cincinnati came together to create the Young Men’s Mercantile Library Association. To fulfill its initial mission, the Library maintains and expands its historic collection of books while presenting an expansive schedule of events. Full of visits by authors and writers, book discussions, workshops, and forums there’s something on the schedule for all bibliophiles. Additionally, the Library is home to a diverse collection of artworks including portrait busts, paintings, and the sketchbooks of Cincinnati-trained artist Elizabeth Nourse.
Our Digital Membership offers unlimited access to our new digital lecture and discussion series and a reduced rate for our programs.
Individual membership offers borrowing privileges and the use of the reading room. Upgrade to the Household Membership ($90) to extend benefits to your household.
The Patron and Sustaining memberships offer the benefits of Household memberships as well as escalating perks.
Our premium membership offerings are the Thackerary Society Membership, the Melville Circle Membership, and the Benefactor Membership.
The Library is home to a growing list of reading and discussion groups organized by members to address various interests. Groups usually meet in the twelfth floor lecture hall. Because they are based on conversation and active participation, enrollment in groups may be limited. Reservations are required. Groups form throughout the year. Check back regularly for information on new groups. A current selection of interest groups offered by the library currently, include: ‘The “American Mayor” Discussion Group’, ‘Tales of Genius’, ‘Canon Club: Act II’, ‘Walnut Street Poetry Society’, and ‘First Wednesday Book Discussion Group’. For more information on each specific group including overviews, meeting times and more, please visit our Interest Groups page.