District Library: City/School cooperation essential 2014.11.19

Morenci city council and the Morenci school board met last week to discuss a joint effort to protect the future of Stair Public Library. By working together to form a district library, the entities are joining forces to create a situation that will benefit both sides.

The city will be able to use the money it currently gives the library for other departmental needs. The library will be able to pursue a more stable source of funding and the school will still have use of an award-winning library.

The district library proposal is one open to misinformation right from the start. The school’s involvement is limited to two things: first, agreeing to use the school district boundaries to define the geographical coverage of the library, and secondly, appointing members to the new district library board.

It’s as simple as that. No school funds would be used in supporting the library. No liability would fall on the school board if the library encounters financial difficulties. 

Board of education members will vote Dec. 1 on whether or not to become a partner in the library district—at least two governmental entities are required—and if they approve the request, signed documents will be rushed to Lansing the next day for review by the State Librarian. 

It’s a rushed process in an effort to beat a state law that’s schedule to expire at the end of the year, but it’s the best thing that can happen for citizens served by Stair Public Library.