In preparation for their anticipated closing due to lack of funding, the Garden City Public Library has announced that the last day they will lend materials is Thursday, May 26, 2011. GCPL will remain open to the public to use materials within the building until June 25, 2011.
The newly-created library board's announcement that they will open the Romulus Public Library for eight hours, one day per week, through the first week of July, and their plan to fund the library at .12 mills after that for service three days per week, is a great start to getting the new independent library started.
In preparation for their anticipated closing on May 1, the Romulus Public Library has stopped checking out all materials. As a member of The Library Network cooperative, the Romulus Public Library had a reciprocal borrowing agreement in place that allowed you to use neighboring libraries.
While we here at the Canton Public Library are happy to reciprocate with other communities, that reciprocity is based on mutual sharing; we cannot bear the financial burden of serving Romulus residents when Romulus is eliminating funding for their library.
Governor Snyder released his budget proposal last week, and as expected, the news is grim. The cuts to public, school, and university libraries across the state are significant, and will affect the services that CPL will be able to provide to our community — namely, interlibrary loan and research databases.
The Governor has proposed cutting state aid to libraries to $3 million. The statutorily-required funding is $15 million. The current funding level of $5 million automatically qualifies the state to receive a federal matching grant of $5 million, which pays for MeLCat (statewide interlibrary loan) and the Michigan eLibrary (MeL — statewide research databases). Cutting state aid results in a cut to, and possibly a loss of, the matching grant, which puts MeL and MeLCat in jeopardy.
MeL and MeLCat exemplify the resource-sharing, aggregation of services, eliminating duplication of effort, and economies of scale that the Governor has emphasized over and over. More than 300 libraries — public libraries, K-12 libraries, and university libraries — pool this funding to provide services to Michigan residents. The $5 million investment by the state nets a $5 million matching grant, and saves taxpayers nearly $72 million annually, when you consider the cost to each library if they had to purchase these same resources on their own.
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.