Magazine article American Libraries

Detroit Eyes User Fees

Magazine article American Libraries

Detroit Eyes User Fees

Article excerpt

A succession of massive cuts in state aid over the past two years, coupled with the prospect of state support dwindling to zero in FY 2005, has forced Detroit Public Library officials to consider charging service fees to some 150,000 patrons who live outside the city limits. "Our clientele is going to be the people who pay our bills and our millages, and that will be the good people of Detroit," DPL Director Nancy Skowronski said in the September 16 Detroit Free Press. "That will not be the people in the suburbs and outstate."

The plan to charge an as-yet-unspecified nonresident fee comes a month after the legislature ended DPL's 27-year grant-supported status as a state resource by reallocating several million dollars earmarked for it and Grand Rapids Public Libraries into a pool from which any Michigan public library can try to dip. State Sen. Thomas George (R-Kalamazoo), who spearheaded the status change for the two systems, told the Free Press "they certainly have the prerogative" to seek lost funding elsewhere. …

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