This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baldwin Library Card Now Available. City Commission To Consider Position of Library Liaison at Tonight's Meeting.

The above card issued to the author at 10 am this morning is reported to be the fifth card issued to a City of Bloomfield Hills resident. To get your card you must go the library and present a Photo ID with your City of Bloomfield address. There is also a simple form to fill out. For your copyof that form  Click Here. It would be helpful to all considered if the five hundred  or so people for voted for the millage get their cards as soon as possible. It will be very embarrassing if  weeks  goes by and only 16 people have applied for cards.   Every day that you let go by without getting your card is one less day you will have to use it. Contract ends November 15th 2014.

Library Liaison
The position of Library Liaison is a very important one. It will be interesting to see how City Commission views this position. The election results from last Tuesday show the city is still divided on the Library issue.
Detractors  say the library won't be used  and we are wasting our money. Supporters say otherwise. The proof will be in the actual usage figures the Baldwin Library has promised to provide. We hope.

In a letter advocating support of the millage the following was said:

"Since Michigan’s Library Privacy  Acts prohibits  the disclosure of actual usage, Baldwin will provide our city  commission with quarterly statistical reports for oversight and review."

The Michigan Library's Privacy Act prohibits nothing of the sort. It prohibits disclosure of what books or videos individuals chose to check out.  It has been amended to allow disclosure to parents of overdue books by off springs. It says nothing about disclosing community usage information  in terms numbers of cards issued, number of visits, and number of items checked out. If the information is offered on a quarterly basis, we should ask for it on a monthly basis.

The Job of the Liaison is not to inform us of  used book sales or macrame classes but to insure we get the maximum value out of the money we are spending. That will require persistence on the part of liaison and is not a job for an unabashed library supporter.

If a commissioner is chosen  Micheal McCready  would be a good choice. While is a millage supporter he also negotiated the the library agreement and he takes a very level headed approach. Sarah McClure would be an OK  second choice. Pat Hardy is too Pro library and Connie Salloum is too new.

This not a task to delegate to City Manager Jay Cravens or any non resident city employee.

In terms of citizens finding the right balance between the forces of pro and con will be difficult. Appointing two might not be a bad idea. Larry Neal and Bob Toohey would be acceptable together. Neither would be acceptable without the other.

The ideal liaison would also be responsible for establishing services Baldwin promised during the campaign such as book drops, a satellite library at city hall,  home bound services, and school coordinated home work assignments with the Bloomfield Hills School District.

The liaison would be a combination ombudsman and people's advocate insuring the success and enjoyment of our three year $800,000 experience and perhaps insuring future continuations.

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