From Troy Times, March 22, 2011
By Jeremy Selweski
C & G Staff Writer
BERKLEY — The city is more than doubling its library card fee for people outside of Berkley in an effort to offset an anticipated increase in demand from Troy residents seeking a new library once theirs closes down.
The change includes an increase from $50 to $125 per year for non-Berkley residents hoping to utilize the library’s services and will go into effect on April 1. The City Council unanimously approved the Berkley Public Library Board of Trustees’ recommendation at its March 7 meeting.
As Library Director Celia Morse explained, the board wanted to raise the fee in order to bring Berkley more in line with other libraries in the area.
“We’re looking at a situation where there are neighboring libraries that are currently charging considerably more than we have been for nonresident library cards,” she told the council. “Up until now, we’ll sell maybe two cards a year. It’s not a huge money maker, but frankly I think it’s not really a service that we’re looking to advertise or encourage.”
The Troy Public Library will be closing its doors on May 1 following the narrow defeat of a millage proposal — which would have included a tax increase of just under 1 mill over a 10-year period — by voters in the November election. According to Morse, in recent months, regular Troy library users have been contacting other nearby libraries to determine how much it would cost them to purchase a library card and what services they would be offered.
“We don’t want to be the $50 bargain just three miles down the road,” she said, “so I recommended to the board that we might want to look at this. The board decided that $125 would be a suitable number. …We’re already taxed to our limit now serving the residents of Berkley, and we don’t really want a huge crowd of new people coming in and putting more demands on the library than we can actually handle.”