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Friday, December 3, 2010

Think about it--how do you shut down a world class library?

It's not something they teach in library science classes. I mean, what kind of lunatic city would shut down a library?
Answer - one that arbitrarily capped its own millage rate so its starving itself of resources and thus cannot maintain reasonable city services. 
Brilliant. Again, Troy has the lowest millage of any full-service city in Oakland County and city council has no power to change that.
Here's an article from the Oakland Press. Read the entire article here

Troy library prepares to lock doors April 30 for good
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Special to The Oakland Press
While a new citizen-initiated petition to force the city to keep its doors open has yet to be presented to the Troy City Council, plans move forward to lock the doors after April 30, 2011.

“I must preface my answers to any questions by saying that I’ve never closed a library before, and there’s not really a precedent for this,” Troy Public Library Director Cathy Russ said. “In all my research, there’s no manual that I can read on ‘How to Close a Library.’ Many public libraries have closed branches, but the main branch stays open. There’s no money in the city’s budget beyond June 30, 2011, for anything but holding costs, for things such as utilities.”

Taking into account the library’s collection of 350,000 books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, computers and other materials, Russ said, “Considering the amount of work that needs to be done in order to have the lights off and doors locked by June 30, and not knowing how many staff will be left to assist with closing — or if I will even be here to do it — two months is ambitious. However, I did not want to end service to the public before it is absolutely necessary.”

The library has lost and has not replaced six of its 64 part-time employees since July 1. Four full-time employees remain on staff, down from 15 this time last year.

After the doors close on April 30, 2011, patrons will have until May 14, 2011, to return materials to the library. Library staff will be retained to check in returned materials and take inventory. Materials will be stored and covered on the shelves for the short term.

The Friends of the Troy Public Library, which operates the library’s gift shop, will have until April 30, 2011, to sell off its inventory.

A collection agency will be retained to collect unpaid fines and fees.

Libraries that have reciprocal borrowing agreements with the Troy Public Library will be notified of the closure date. Russ said it will be up to individual libraries to determine when reciprocal borrowing privileges will end.

Nonresident cards are available for $100 per person at the Blair Memorial Library in Clawson, and for $75 per person at the Royal Oak Public Library. Nonresident cards at the Madison Heights Public Library cost $50 per person, although that fee will be reassessed with what other libraries charge for nonresident cards in the near future. Cards do not extend reciprocating privileges at other libraries.

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