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.

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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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