This November, City of Bloomfield Hills residents will vote on a library millage for the third time in three years. In 2009, an agreement negotiated between the Bloomfield Township Public Library and the City of Bloomfield Hills for an approximate $500,000 for each of three years failed. In 2010, a ballot proposal proposed by a private citizen, asked for the creation of a City of Bloomfield Library Board and $480,000 a year for six years to allow the board to negotiate a deal with either or the Birmingham Baldwin Library or the Bloomfield Township Public Library. That millage proposal also failed.. The 2011 proposal asks for a millage that will produce $270,000 a year for three years for full service membership and access to the Birmingham Baldwin Library.The 2011 proposal is the most reasonable in price and not far removed from the $226,000 the city paid to the Bloomfield Township Public Library in 2002-2003 . The current offer was negotiated in good faith and good will by the City of Bloomfield Hills and the Baldwin Library. All that is necessary now is the approval by City resident's this fall. Some believe it is the City of Bloomfield Hills' last best hope for establishing library privileges with an adjacent community library.
Is it ?Do the majority of city residents want a library membership? Does City Commission of Bloomfield Hills want a library or is it merely going through the motions one more time for the sake of its citizens. Does the the Baldwin Library really want the City of Bloomfield Hills or are they just being nice ? Is the Troy Library still a viable alternative for the few city residents who use it. Could more be coaxed to do so? Are libraries relevant today’s lifestyles? Are books in print being replaced with electronic books and does that make a Library in Los Angles California as relevant to the City of Bloomfield Hills as the Township or Baldwin Library ? What community and communications functions does a library serve ? How is this function to be paid for ? By whom ?. Can it be shared ? What free library service are now available to all Michigan Residents . What does a recent Government study say about the future of libraries in the broad band age? What does Michigan Laws and courts say about libraries ? Are libraries required to prove they are acting in the public interest ?Are libraries sacred cows ? ? Could a public library survive in a free enterprise system ? Could the principals of free enterprise help struggling communities and struggling public libraries ? What really happened in the Troy millage elections of 2010 and 2011 ? What really happened in the Bloomfield Hills millage elections of 2009 and 2010 ? Who are the personalities that play or played a role or roles in the above ongoing drama ?
This post is the first in a series that will attempt to answer these questions and others we might meet along the way.