Paulson Aviation Library, Housed in an Airport Hangar, Hosts Book Club of Detroit Event

By Marcia McBrien

A library gem hyper-focused on all things aviation – and housed, appropriately enough, in an airport hangar – was the venue for an April 13 visit by the Book Club of Detroit.

Hangar at Mettetal Airport, Canton Michigan

The Paulson Aviation Library, located at the Mettetal Airport in Canton, Michigan, began in the mid-1980s when Robert Paulson, a colonel and chaplain in the Civil Air Patrol, donated his aviation book collection. Packed into a couple of milk crates, the collection stayed under a workbench in a Quonset hut at the airport. In 2002, the growing library was moved to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Chapter 113 building at Mettetal Airport.

BCD members enjoy the Paulson Library
BCD Treasurer Maurice Barie displays a bookplate from the Paulson

Now containing over 3,600 volumes, the Paulson Library ranges from books on aviation history, such as Charles Lindbergh’s memoir Under a Wing, to texts on aerodynamics, first aid and survival, aircraft building, and navigation. Works of fiction, such as Band of Brothers by Ernest Gann and Space by James A. Michener, are also part of the collection, along with vintage aircraft magazines, Boy Scout manuals, flight training courses on DVDs, military manuals, and other materials. A section of books for young people includes The Girl Aviators and the Phantom Airship, published in 1911.

BCD Board member Tiana at the Paulson Library displays The Girl Aviators and the Phantom Airship (1911)

The Paulson Library is organized using the Dewey Decimal System and is frequently used for research.

The EAA is the world’s largest sport aviation association, with chapters all over the world. EAA Chapter 113, nicknamed “Backyard Eagles,” was founded at Mettetal Airport in 1961. The group’s events include “Young Eagles” flights and classes for ages eight to 17; the chapter also provides scholarships to students pursuing careers in aviation or flight training. For more information, visit

Following the tour, Book Club members and guests gathered in the EAA meeting room to hear Major Joseph L. Tebor’s presentation, “Battle of Persuasion: PSYOP in the Vietnam War.” (See companion article, “Battle of Persuasion: Fighting the propaganda war in Vietnam.”)

BCD has more events in store for 2024! Visit and follow BCD on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

Marcia McBrien is President of The Book Club of Detroit.

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