As you know from media reports, a tragic shooting occurred today outside of the library. We are thankful and relieved that library staff and patrons were not injured, and our hearts go out to the families of the two people who were involved. While the library is closed for the remainder of the day today, we will be open our regular hours on Wednesday. We thank all of you who have expressed concern about our well-being; it is a comfort to us all to have our community’s support. We also thank the Canton Township Public Safety Department for their quick and professional response to this emergency, and ask that any inquiries about their investigation be directed to them.
On September 10, library supporters will rally at the State Capitol in Lansing to encourage legislators to save the Library of Michigan and the important shared statewide resources, such as MeL databases and MeLCat interlibrary loan, that Canton Public Library users value. The rally will start at 9:30AM and supporters are asked to wear red shirts to show their support for statewide joint services.
The Governor's Executive Order dismantles the Department of History, Arts & Libraries and places the services of the Library of Michigan — both physical and online collections — in jeopardy. State funding and federal matching funds for MeLCat interlibrary loan and 25 MeL databases are at stake; due to the local economy and cuts to local funding associated with the recession, the Canton Public Library does not have the funds to pay for interlibrary loan or online genealogical, historical, or reference products if the state legislature does not act to maintain statewide library services — Canton residents would lose access to these resources.
The 2010 library budget process has begun, and the economic news continues to worsen. The library board of trustees, library administration, and library staff have so far focused on making cuts that have the least impact on our service to you, but as the recession deepens, the sad truth is that you will begin to see an erosion in library services.
In 2009, we reduced the library budget by 10%--a combination of falling property values and the vote by the board of trustees in August 2008 to voluntarily lower the library millage rate to reduce the burden on our economically-stressed taxpayers. In 2010, we are facing an additional cut of 6% to 10%. The total cuts over these two years will total more than $1 million from the library's 2008 budget of $6.4 million. We can no longer avoid making cuts that will affect your experience at the library.
This week is National Library Week, an annual celebration of the contributions of libraries and library workers to the fabric of community life. This year's theme is "Worlds Connect @ Your Library," and if you've been to CPL lately, you know that this is true! Use of the library has increased 13% compared to 2008, which saw increases of 11% over 2007. While the recession is hitting the library, too, we remain committed to excellent service, outstanding collections of books, music, movies, and games, nearly 150 computers, free wi-fi, wireless printing, and free programming for all ages from storytimes to craft programs to musical events to computer classes.
We are proud to offer the Canton community all of these services, and want to hear from you to help us plan for our future--what should we keep doing? What should we stop doing? What should we start doing? Come on in and visit us this week, get a Canton Public Library card, and discover your public library!
When we launched the new cantonpl.org last month, I encouraged you to explore and send us your feedback. While we conducted user research and testing of the new website prior to launch, we knew that this would be an ongoing process. You'll find starting today that we've incorporated your feedback, improving the left-hand navigation menus and access to your Patron Record and My Account. Please continue to explore the new cantonpl.org and let us know what you think!
Eva M. Davis, Director
Click on My Account to register on the new website and start exploring!
Eva M. Davis, Director