District library: Time for townships to decide 2012.05.30

Written by David Green.

Plans to form a Lenawee County district library are moving forward and area township boards of trustees will soon learn what it means. Representatives from the district library planning committee will attend Seneca and Medina township meetings to explain what the proposal means to township residents.

The new district would combine the Adrian Public Library and the existing Lenawee County Library—long with its branches—plus any other libraries that choose to join. At this time, no other libraries have indicated an intent to join.

If Seneca and Medina township boards decide not to join the proposed county-wide district library and instead maintain an affiliation with Morenci’s Stair Public Library, then township residents would not be able to use the new county-wide district library without paying a fee. On the other hand, if trustees decide to become part of the new district library, residents will pay in another way: through a millage that will fund the new library system.

What a deal. Join us and pay or don’t join us and pay. Use of Stair Public Library will remain available to township members at no charge.

Members of Stair Public Library’s board of trustees have already expressed their desire to remain independent and not join the proposed County/Adrian district. This means that Morenci residents would not pay a county district library millage, nor would they be able to check out materials from the district library, at least not without paying for a library card. The county library as it exists today—supported by county tax funds and available to everyone—would be gone.

All of this is dependent on a successful millage campaign for support of the new district. If the vote fails, then Adrian Public Library will remain a separate entity from the county library.

Seneca and Medina trustees need to weigh the costs of the changes. Is there local support for the proposed district library system with its millage? Would the proposed district library be used by a sufficient number of residents to justify having everyone pay the new millage? What’s the cost of the millage for a typical resident vs. the cost of paying for a library card at the proposed district library? Will the county commissioners decrease taxes to offset the library millage? Details of the district plan need to be known before township trustees can make an informed decision.

It’s a good time for township residents to talk with trustees and let them know what they want with regard to library services.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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