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.batter
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  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
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  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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