Just when you think the Bloomfield Township Library Trustees are listening to the public, an agenda item appears on their last meeting of Dec. 19, 2011. This particular item was listed under "unfinished business".
Troy Public Library Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement
The Library Board of Trustees were ready to sign an "agreement" with the Troy Public Library. As a guest at the board meeting, I could not add to the conversation during this discussion. I did however, make faces, eye rolls, hand waving, etc. in a ridiculous way to try to be called upon, but was politely told that I could not speak to the issue. I was hoping the trustees would vote NO on this item.
The Troy library is NOT part of the TLN library network. They do NOT have reciprocal borrowing privileges. What are our trustees thinking? It should have been an easy discussion and vote. Other communities have been told NO, why the hesitation?
The trustees' conversations mentioned that Township residents borrowed 3420 items from the Troy library in the 2010/2011 fiscal year. Meanwhile, Troy residents borrowed 14,889 items during the same period from the Township library. One trustee did not want to cut off privileges for the undetermined number of Township residents that may use the Troy library. Please. Trustees are elected or sometimes "appointed" to represent the majority and their best interests. That trustee suggested a "study" or a 6 month "trial" period. Why?
This library has defended itself in a lawsuit, held its ground to obtain fair fees from the City of Bloomfield Hills, and stopped borrowing privileges for the contract cities that have agreements with Baldwin Library. So why is this even an agenda item on the Township Library board for reciprocal borrowing with the City of Troy?
Why should the Township taxpayers be paying Township library employees to service non-paying patrons? There is no guarantee that the Troy library will continue to remain open full time or even to continue to exist. Will the Township library then absorb the library borrowing of all of Troy and their business' employees? For free? I don't think a fee should even be considered. NO. If our library staff has excess time on their hands, then the library needs to reduce staff or do some Township community outreach to get more of OUR taxpayers visiting the library. The 2010 census says there are 41,070 residents in Bloomfield Township.
Bottom line: the item was TABLED until the next meeting.
I see no reason to enter into an "agreement" with the City of Troy. If they wish, they can become part of the TLN library network. Then borrowing privileges come with that honor. There is no incentive for the citizens of Troy to continue to work hard and strive for a better Troy library if they are given something else for free.
The Troy library website says they value:
Community Collaborations: Promote and enhance partnerships to fulfill the Library's mission.The "community" is Troy, not Bloomfield Township. The first library in Troy was opened in Sept. 1962 with a collection of 1000 books. They now have a 40,000 sq. ft. facility which serves over 56,000 patrons.
This Jan. 2012, the Troy library will be working on a "strategic plan". The Troy library website did NOT mention this proposed agreement with the Township. They did mention getting input for their strategic plan from the various groups in their city, ie: schools and universities located in Troy, businesses located in Troy, the Friends of Troy Public Library committee, library staff and most importantly from the residents of the City of Troy. I wish them good luck and a successful library.
The Bloomfield Township Library should notify the Troy Public Library that their strategic plan will not include our library and that there will be no reciprocal borrowing agreement.
Township Taxpayers Need to Voice Their Opinion to the Bloomfield Township Library Board
I encourage the Bloomfield Township Library Board to vote NO on a reciprocal borrowing agreement with the Troy Public Library. I also encourage the Township residents to send the same message to the Township Library Board before their next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 7 pm at the library.
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