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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Monday, July 14, 2014

Baldwin Library Fact Sheet.

What is the Baldwin Public Library?
The Baldwin Public Library is the municipal library of Birmingham.  Because of its collections, services and programs, it has long been known as an exemplary library. 

Does Baldwin serve only the residents, property owners, and businesses of Birmingham?
No.  For over 40 years, the Baldwin Library has also provided library services to the residents, property owners, and businesses of Beverly Hills and Bingham Farms in exchange for annual payments determined by longstanding contracts.  For the past three years, Baldwin has had a similar arrangement with the City of Bloomfield Hills.  Residents of Baldwin’s contract communities enjoy the same level of service as do Birmingham residents.

Does Baldwin have a contract with the City of Bloomfield Hills to provide library services?
Yes.  A contract was signed by both parties in July 2011.  That contract expires on November 15, 2014.  A second contract, with minor revisions, was signed in June 2014.  You can find the new contract on the websites of the Baldwin Public Library ( and the City of Bloomfield Hills (

When and under what circumstances will the new contract go into effect?
It will go into effect November 15, 2014, but only if voters in Bloomfield Hills approve a millage for library services, which will appear on the August 5, 2014, ballot.

How long would the contract last?
Six years.  After November 14, 2020, the contract would be automatically renewed for successive two-year periods unless terminated by either Baldwin or the City of Bloomfield Hills, providing six months’ advance written notice.

What is the millage rate that Bloomfield Hills voters are being asked to approve?
0.39 mills for a period of six years.

How much would Bloomfield Hills pay for the Baldwin Library contract, and how was that amount determined? 

In the first year, Bloomfield Hills would pay $278,437.84.  That amount would increase each subsequent year by either the inflation rate or 5%, whichever is less.  The original figure of $268,681.00 in the 2011 contract was determined by calculating the average household cost, in fiscal year 2011-12, of Baldwin’s operational expenses ($180.44), and then multiplying that amount by the number of households in the City of Bloomfield Hills according to the 2010 census (1,489 households).  Since then, the contractual payment has increased each year by the inflation rate.

What services does Baldwin provide Bloomfield Hills under this contract?

The following “Overview of Services” provides a detailed, though not exhaustive, list.

What services would Baldwin provide if Bloomfield Hills does not renew its contract?

If the contract between the two parties expired, Baldwin would offer only very limited services to Bloomfield Hills residents.  For example, Bloomfield Hills residents would be able to enter the Baldwin Library and use materials on site, but they could not check out anything or use interlibrary loan.  They would also lose their reciprocal borrowing privileges at most neighboring libraries.  Services to the homebound would cease.   Access to Baldwin’s eBooks, downloadable audio books, and subscription databases would no longer be available.   And the “reading center” and book return drop at Bloomfield Hills City Hall would be removed.

How much has Bloomfield Hills used the services of the Baldwin Library?

Before the current contract went into effect in November 2011, not a single Bloomfield Hills resident was a registered Baldwin cardholder.  Now, 1,070 residents possess library cards.  That represents 28% of the total Bloomfield Hills population of 3,869.

Currently, 687 Bloomfield Hills households have at least one registered Baldwin cardholder.  Since Bloomfield Hills has 1,489 households, this means that 46% of all Bloomfield Hills households have at least one Baldwin cardholder.

The number of items checked out to Bloomfield Hills residents has increased each year:
Fiscal year 2011-12:  9,914 items over the course of 7 ½ months
Fiscal year 2012-13:  20,376 items
Fiscal year 2013-14:  22,554 items

8% of the participants in Baldwin’s 2013 summer reading program (101 out of 1,249) came from Bloomfield Hills.

If I have more questions about Baldwin, whom can I contact?

Baldwin’s Director, Doug Koschik, would be happy to answer questions and provide a tour of the facilities.  He can be reached at:  248-554-4681 or

Editors Note: Additional Copies  (for friends, family, or fellow residents) are available at the Baldwin Library.

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