Proposed cut to library aid would harm West Mich. co-op

A proposed 40-percent cut to state library aid would likely affect patrons of Spring Lake and Loutit district libraries who use services supplied by a regional library cooperative, according to the co-op director. Cuts to state aid are part of a plan to trim $1.8 billion from Michigan's budget, according to a release from the State Budget Office. This would close a projected funding gap of more than $1.4 billion for fiscal year 2012, according to the report. A proposed budget, introduced in February, cuts state aid to libraries to less than $3.5 million per year.
Jordan Travis
Apr 7, 2011

Standing to lose the most would be organizations like Lakeland Library Cooperative, said Sandra Wilson, president of the organization. Lakeland is one of 11 library cooperatives in Michigan that pool resources to provide services to local libraries. Member libraries pay for information technology experts, inter-library book deliveries and other services.

Lakeland serves 41 districts in eight counties — including Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and a portion of Allegan counties, Wilson said.

Any cut to their services would affect patrons of Loutit and Spring Lake district libraries, both of which use services from the co-op.

 

Claire Sheridan, director of Spring Lake District Library, said patrons who use inter-library loans from other libraries served by Lakeland might see a reduction in services.

Kerry FitzGerald, acting director of Loutit District Library, said that while state aid is a small portion of their budget, the services provided by Lakeland are “priceless.”

To read more of this story, see today's print edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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