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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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Library Tales. Part One. The first mention of a Baldwin-City of Bloomfield Hills Library Contract

Doug Koschik became the Baldwin Library Director in February 2010. 
At that point,Doug Koschik had been at the Baldwin library for twenty years. During that time he had worked his way up from new hire Techno Kid ,(someone who knew how to get on the Internet when most people didn't even know there was one) to Associate Director.

During those twenty years Koschik had seen the best and worst of local libraries. He came in at the end of a Golden Age of cooperation and sharing between the Birmingham Baldwin Library and the Bloomfield Township Public Library which involved five communities. It ended in the early 1990’s with the two libraries going their separate ways and taking their contract communities  with them. The City of Bloomfield Hills went with the Township Library. Koschik went with Baldwin and suffered under a number of well-meaning but not particularly noteworthy library directors.

In the winter of 2010 the Baldwin Library and the Birmingham City Commission were feuding openly. The latter is the boss of the former and in the spirit of acrimony with a touch of controversy, the then, library director resigned,

 A National Search was promised for a successor, but Koschik was the obvious and eventual choice.

During his two decades at Baldwin, Koschik had  plenty of time to think about what he would do if  he were running the show, and in February of 2010 he got  his chance.  Obviously it would not be in anyone’s best interest to do anything wild and crazy in month one, or even in month two. 

No Koschik would wait until month three, the merry month of  May before sending a message through traditional channels that the Baldwin Library would be interested in discussing a contract with the City of Bloomfield Hills.
City Manager Jay Cravens whose duties include receiving and reporting  such initiatives, did so at the next City Commission  meeting. Unfortunately the meeting  happened to be  the most  contentious of the year. The issue at  hand was  the possible outsourcing of our public safety dispatch unit to Bloomfield Township . The outsourcing issue was defeated and in the process the library overture mentioned under "City Manager comments" was ignored and forgotten as quickly as was spoken.

In fact few City officials of then or now say they remember it. It was after all the last item on a crowed  agenda, four years ago.

City residents remember the 2010 Library Millage  Initiative proposed by   Larry Neal,  City resident, a friend of Doug Koschik, Neal was also the  library director of the Clinton Township-Macomb Library. The  2010 millage for was for  $500,000 a year for a contract with a library not specified.  In 2011 Neal spearheaded a  millage, costing half as much with the Baldwin Library which passed.

 It is that millage that is up for renewal on August 5th . The rates and terms are virtually identical to the reasonable ones  our city agreed to on 2011. 

If you have questions or want to go behind the scenes at the Baldwin Library, Koschik  is the man to see. 

Don't be shy or worry about being too taxing.  History tells us Koshick  is man of infinite patience.

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