To Fee or not to Fee
Should public libraries charge for services to not district residents? According to this article from Michican Live, one library district in Michigan may not have a choice.
\"If the county system closes, Grand Rapids most likely would become inundated. And possibly, those new users would deprive city residents, who pay a 2.15-mil tax, use of a large number of materials.\"\"In addition, the library staff would be overwhelmed by so many new users. Library Director Robert Raz has suggested that, if the tax fails, the city\'s Library Board impose a $115 annual fee for non-residents.\"
\"The fee would hurt poor residents, large families and Grand Rapids Community College students the most. The Library Board should consider alternatives to reduce the charge. First, the board could ask communities and school districts within the Kent system to contribute. The community college also might be willing to chip in. Second, the city should look to the Kent County Board of Commissioners for help. The County Board is indirectly involved in the system because it appoints the District Library board members. The Grand Rapids Library Board also should consider giving a discount to large families.\"
\"Painful as a non-resident library charge would be, it would be essential. Grand Rapids residents should not have to subsidize library services for all of Kent County.\"