The following is an announcement from the Detroit Public Library Commission:
For Immediate Release June 15, 2004
State Funding Cuts Result In New Library Fees
Today the Detroit Public Library Commission approved a new fee schedule for non-Detroit residents. Effective August 1, 2004, the Detroit Public Library (DPL) will institute an annual charge of $100 per person or household for service to customers who do not live in the City of Detroit. Following the lead of suburban libraries, including Canton, Ann Arbor, and Kalamazoo, this non-resident fee will help offset the costs of library services.
Since 1977, DPL was considered a state resource, and received state funding. This allowed free access to DPL resources and services, thus non-Detroit residents could enjoy the same access as customers who pay property taxes in Detroit.
Last year, the State of Michigan completely eliminated funding that supported free access enjoyed by non-Detroit residents. Detroiters have continued to support the Library by passing and renewing a millage that provides funding to directly support the operational needs of the library.
“The new policy mirrors similar fees charged by other Michigan Public Libraries and other urban libraries surveyed across the country,” explained Library Director and CEO, Nancy Skowronski, “The Library is pleased to continue to provide access to non-resident customers, but our Detroit community is our first priority.”
A new DPL library card will be required. Current non-resident cardholders and new borrowers will fill out a simple application, available in August, that will allow use and borrowing privileges from the Detroit Public Library Main Library, the 24 neighborhood branches throughout the City, and the library on wheels, commonly referred to as the Bookmobile.
A letter will be sent to current non-resident cardholders in early August along with an application for the new DPL library card. The Friends of the Detroit Public Library, the long-time supporters of library collections and programs, will be instituting a membership plan to encompass the new fees.
The new non-resident library card will be required to borrow materials and use DPL special collections. Special collections include the Burton Historical Collection, The E. Azalia Hackley Music and Performing Arts Collection, and the National Automotive History Collection.
Future library funding in Detroit is dependent upon a millage request to appear on the November ballot. If approved with support from the voters in Detroit, it will allow continued library services to the community.
The Detroit Public Library is among the largest public libraries in the nation, and is the largest library system in the State of Michigan. The Main Library and its 24 neighborhood branches make it one of the most valuable and accessible public institutions in Metropolitan Detroit. To find out more about special collections, on-line database services as well as career and employment information, visit the Detroit Public Library web site at http://www.detroitpubliclibrary.org or any local branch library.