They want to be able to check them out, download them and read them in the comfort of their own homes. But living in a township that doesn't have a library contract, they've been shut out.
Several times a week, Jill Kelly loads her four homeschooled children in the family minivan and drives them to Spring Lake District Library to read books about their areas of study — plants, animals, space — but they can't take any books home.
“We are able to use the building, which I'm grateful and thankful for,” she said. “We study and read books from the shelves.”
But because Crockery Township is not a member of the library district, the Kelly family would have to pay an $88 nonmember library card fee to take books home. Even with that, they still are not allowed to take part in inter-library loans or electronic downloads.
A grassroots group wants to change all that. The Library for Crockery Readers group hopes to talk the Crockery Township Board into placing a proposal for a third of a mill on the August 2014 ballot for library services.
“I really hope that it goes through,” Jill Kelly said. “Kids need books, bottom line. Adults need books. You may find me campaigning around our neighborhood for this. I think it's ridiculous that we don't have access to books even though we pay taxes.”
About two weeks ago, the Kellys signed up for a library card in Muskegon County because they own a rental home there. Jill said Spring Lake District Library clerks have been confused about whether she can check out books locally with that card.
“It gives us an inroad to the Lakeland Library Cooperative (of which Spring Lake District Library is a member),” she said. “But sometimes I feel like a criminal when I try to check out books there. I feel like I have a big scarlet 'C' for Crockery.”
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.