Troy Public Library

Your Partner in Creating a Vibrant and Prosperous Community

Troy Public Library Update

Phillip Kwik - Posted on

Beginning on July 1, the Troy Public Library will reduce its hours and close on Saturdays.

The Library's new hours will be

Monday-Thursday, 10 am - 9 pm
Friday, 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday, Closed
Sunday, 1 - 5 pm

For more information about the new hours, see this press release, issued by the City of Troy.

For more information about the Library's status, see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Tags

Comments

Submitted by Kathy (not verified) on

Troy Taxpayers got what they deserved.  I feel sorry for the residence too young to vote, however, those that think your vote doesn't matter and show up at Town Hall meetings 6 months later are the Ant that forgot to prepare for the Winter.  TOO LATE!

Come and live in Redford Township, we aren't a rich community, our Taxes are lower.  When we vote (and ALL my family does) we vote for community improvements and we have a wonderfull Library. 

Submitted by JP (not verified) on

you don't understand! This is not just all about paying for library alone.  This is about how the city goverment, the council spend taxpayer's money!  we are all for community improvements, but we also want our goverment be fiscally responsible.  When our family finance get tight, we don't just go up to our boss and ask for raises.  Howcome, everytime, goverment runs short on money, first thing they do is just ask citizen to pay more taxes. No more!  Troy is one of the weathiest city in the state  - they can absolutely afford to keep the library.  They just have to be more efficient, cut waste, prioritize spending, just like everyone else in the economic downturn.

As far as for moving to Redford concern - when you get your schools all top-rated in the country (OK, howabout just in the state) at minimum, like the Troy schools, then we can talk about other things. that might entice us to move.  Before that, we are just fine in Troy.  Thank you.

Submitted by Ronald R. Lambert (not verified) on

It is unfortunate that Library Millage Proposal 1 was not approved (according to "unofficial results" published on the City of Troy website). It was by a narrow margin of 675 votes--15061 Yes, 15736 No. In fact, if only 338 No votes had been Yes votes, the proposal would have been approved. It is clear that most voters recognized that the latter three proposals were mischief proposals that should be turned down, since they all were rejected by huge margins.

Whoever was responsible for adding the mischief proposals to the ballot, then ran those TV ads urging Troy voters to turn down "all four tax increases," should be ashamed for their cynical, psychologically manipulative tactics. Why couldn't they have just left the first proposal alone, for Troy voters to vote up or down fairly, instead of trying to confuse voters? They may be congratulating themselves on being "clever," but it is such perversions of democracy that threaten the whole American experiment in democracy. What they did was legal, but unethical, even immoral.

But the real villains, of course, remains the Troy City Council members, who purposed to shut down the library in the first place, in obvious retaliation and punishment of voters for not approving the 1.9 mill tax increase they wanted last year, so they could fund all their pet projects, such as the train station nobody in Troy needs or wants. One of the great features of Library Millage Proposal 1 was that it provided for the library to be administered by an independent board, taking it out of the hands of City Council.

Now we have to wait until current members of City Council come up for re-election until we can punish them by removing them from office. We could take up petitions to recall them in a special election, but that would cost more money that the city can ill afford. Hopefully City Council members can be sobered and chastened by seeing what just happened in the national election, when those in office ignore and anger voters. They need to cancel all their pet projects--every one--and take care of the real chief priorities first: Maintaining the police department, fire department, courts and other basic city functions and services, and the library. Their failure to establish a "rainy day" fund in past years of plenty, instead of spending all the money they took in on pet projects, demonstrates their failure as managers of the city's finances.

Submitted by KAG (not verified) on

Do you get it now, Louise? You won't be able to appoint your cronies like Jeanne Stine and a few others to the Library Board. I have lived in Troy long enough to remember when we voted down a new high school at least 2 or 3 times and then the school board miraculously found the money to build a new one. If Louise and her pal, Kerwin, can get over themselves and listen to the people, maybe they can dig up a couple of million from the budget and keep the library open. They don't get it - we are MAD and are tired of their games. I regret that none of the council were up for election this time around. I am sure Louise and Kerwin are plotting the flip-flop for next November - Kerwin will run for mayor and Louise for council, since she is now term limited. We cannot forget what they have done, but I am sure there will be plenty in the upcoming year that they will use to keep continuing to hang themselves. One can only hope.

KAG, Good luck with the library you get from Mr. Howrylak & Co. After the people voted down the best answer available, with Mr. Howrylak encouraging them to vote no 'cause he had such a good plan, he revealed that his plan was to have an election for a half-mill increase. Surprised? That's what he told the Free Press. He knows they don't have enough money in the budget--problem is he keeps lying to folks like you who are silly enough to believe there's a pot o' gold somewhere. Yup, keep chasing rainbows.

http://keeptroystrong.blogspot.com/

Submitted by Ronald R. Lambert (not verified) on

I have seen a sample ballot for my precinct in the Nov. 2 election, and the millage proposal for the Troy Public Library that was proposed and put on the ballot by the Friends of the Troy Public Library is the first Library Millage proposal, labeled "LIBRARY MILLAGE PROPOSAL 1." This is the one they put together after considerable study. It would give the money to "an independent public library board," and ensure that the Troy Public Library is put on a sound financial and administrative foundation for the next ten years.

 

Here is how the proposal will appear on the ballot:

_________________________________________________________________________

CITY PROPOSALS

LIBRARY MILLAGE PROPOSAL 1
Shall the tax limitation imposed on all taxable real and tangible personal property within the City of Troy, Oakland County, Michigan, be increased for said City in an amount not to exceed .9885 mill ($ .9885 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of ten (10) years, 2011 to 2020 inclusive, to provide funds for establishing, operating, and equipping a public library in the City of Troy pursuant to Section 10a of 1877 PA 164 and for all other library purposes authorized by law; and shall the City levy such new additional millage for said purpose; the estimate of the revenue the City will collect if the millage is approved and levied in the 2011 calendar year is approximately $4,280,000?  As required by law, revenue from this millage will be disbursed into a dedicated library fund that is under the exclusive control of an independent public library board.
 
_________________________________________________________________________
 
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE THREE MORE LIBRARY MILLAGE PROPOSALS THAT FOLLOW THE FIRST ONE. They were apparently put on the ballot by someone hoping to confuse voters and get voters to vote against all the proposals. There is a legal question about what would happen if more than one Library Millage proposal is approved. Anyone who wants to keep the Troy Public Library open and put it on a sound financial and administrative foundation for the next ten years, should vote YES for the first proposal, labeled "LIBRARY MILLAGE PROPOSAL 1," and NO for the other three.

Submitted by JAMES BUYSSE (not verified) on

It is very short-sighted for Troy homeowners to even consider not supporting the continuation of the Troy Library. Its presence is essential to an attractive community to reside in and in which to raise children. The school kids really benefit from a good library. The seniors take advantate of its many resources. The unemployed and underemployed have access to job sites through the internet which they can obtain using the Troy Library's computers. Our property values are to some degree supported by good schools and a great library.

We must use some common sense and vote for proposal 1 in November to guarantee the continuation of this great community resource. On a home valued at $250,000 the added property tax amount would be only about $125 per year. That's about 25% of what a parent pays for one kid's cell phone.

 

 

Submitted by Ronald R. Lambert (not verified) on

James, Troy homeowners did not vote to discontinue support of the library in the last election. Homeowners voted not to give city council more tax money to spend on their pet projects in a time of economic hardship for nearly everyone. In retaliation, and as obvious punishment, city council says it will shut the library. Most people do not trust city council to really be on their side, and seek what is really in the city's best interest AS RESIDENTS JUDGE IT. In the coming election in November, there will be proposals to vote on--preferably the one put forward by the Friends of the Public Library--which will mandate a dedicated millage that is ONLY for the support of the library. This surely will find favor with most voters.

Perhaps we should take more things away from the control of the city council, by mandating a dedicated millage for police and firefighters, which must be used for the dedicated purpose and only for the dedicated purpose. Perhaps everything that RESIDENTS judge is essential should be paid for and managed independent of city council, by dedicated millages and perhaps even by independent foundations, the way the Detroit Zoo is run now. (Remember that Oakland County voters wrested control away from the Detroit city council, which wanted to close the Zoo.) Troy city council should be treated the same way by the voters of Troy. As long as Troy city politicians want to regard city politics as an arena in which to play spiteful political games and pursue their private agendas for finding more ways to exercise control over others, their most important areas of authority should be taken away from them, so they cannot further harm the city with their mismanagement. Every one of the present batch should be removed from office as soon as possible.

Submitted by Ronald R. Lambert (not verified) on

The Friends of the Troy Public Library organization has gathered sufficient signatures and filed with the election commission a proposal that will ask for .9885 mills in November, that will be good for a ten-year term, to keep the Library open. The Friends has carefully researched the amount of millage needed, and their proposal needs to be approved in November. Unfortunately, according to the "Troy Times," three other competing millage requests for the Library have also been submitted to the election commission, for slightly different amounts of millage, and one for only a three-year term. Some people have suggested that these competing proposals are designed to undermine the responsible efforts of the Friends of the Troy Public Library by causing confusion and turning off voters who will wonder what happens if more than one proposal is approved. All who wish to support the efforts of the Friends of the Troy Public Library to keep the library open by providing for a dedicated millage should be careful to vote "YES" only for the millage proposal for .9885 mills for a ten-year term, and vote "NO" for all the competing similar proposals.

Submitted by MsBrieCheese (not verified) on

Hi, I recently moved to an apartment in Troy. I visit the library often and am amazed at how well it is utilized. It is heartening to see so many people- of various ages and ethnicities- all utilizing the library (for Many different things). The place is busssy!! Eventually it will be time for me to renew my apartment contract. While a library is certainly not going to be the 'main' thing I look for near my apartment, I can't really justify remaining in a city without a library when rent might be cheaper in a nearby vacinity! Even when I lived in a small rural town for a year at least I had a library I could visit often and depend on. It's deplorable to me that a city such as Troy would even conceive of closing its library! What's that I see on Craig's List? It's an ad for an apartment in Royal Oak... near the library...

Submitted by phlewa@yahoo.com (not verified) on

Actually, it is low taxes that makes businesses and home buyers to want to move to Troy. The first thing a business asks when considering where to relocate to: is how low will the taxes be?   Businesses ALWAYS want low taxes when they consider a city to move to, and so do home buyers. 

Submitted by Trisha (not verified) on

Can someone look at the City Charter on the City website. Go to the table of contents and click and on Library. Scan down to number nine and read it. Am I reading this wrong or does it state that our city is supposed to have a library. It is to be maintained by the city and is free to the citizens of Troy. Am I reading this wrong? I have read this and re-read this. My husband said he is reading the same thing. Does anyone else have any thoughts?

Submitted by alok rathod (not verified) on

When every one in the state thinks that Michigan needs better education, Troy city is busy closing the foundation of education (a library). A good library is must. It is an investment for tomorrow, not just for today. If city is just thinking for short term, we will have much bigger problems in future. The problems where throwing money at it will not help at all.

Why city of Detroit is struggling today? Not just because of manufacturing moved out. Some where along the way politicians ignored core necessities of society and only thought of short term solutions. 

Think long term, think about our children's future.

Submitted by Deepa Aggarwal (not verified) on

The news of Troy Public Library closing is very disheartening! The library is a valuable partner with school and community organizations in developing literacy skills at an early age. Libraries are essential to our community's economic competitiveness, our neighborhood vitality and our future. Libraries are part of the economic development package presented as part of the "quality of life" of a communityA public library is definitely part of the "essential services" that a city provides, both educationally and economically.

It's part or our growing up, most of us think of public libraries and harken back to our childhood when mom or dad took us to a children's program or a weekly visit to the public library where we collected a stack of books to take home to be read and re-read until the next week's visit. Closing Troy Public Library is taking this part of childhood away and that's totally unfair!

The city should come up with plans like reducing library hours - already in action, maybe have an annual membership, look for volunteers to help run the library, ask for sponsorship from Troy businesses instead of the easy way out of closing the library.

I hope this decision is rethought and the public opinions and sentiments are valued.

Submitted by Simone (not verified) on

A friend of mine in school send me this great article. http://bit.ly/cRofwg I thought I should share it. This is an excellent discussion of what a library closing does to the community and why we should value our Troy Public Library. It also shows how much work and funding it takes to reopen a library, once it is closed.

If there is a millage in the fall, it will be well worth our taxes -- probably about the cost of purchasing 4 books a year at Borders -- to have access to thousands of books, movies, computers, classes and audiobooks and all the help of the library staff.

We need to keep our library open, and help keep our property values in tact. 

Submitted by Michelle (not verified) on

I think the city should find a way to save money on the budget. Why is there so much construction? The city should find a better contractor. Good contractor's work can last 3 to 4 years not only one year. I also think the library should still have events but charge for it, The city should also give more of the taxes to the library. The taxes were already high enough so that's why most people voted no,

Submitted by phlewa@yahoo.com (not verified) on

We dont need to build and pay for  a new train station in Birmingham either. The 10 million dollars that  a new train station is going to cost is better spent elsewhere. More Troy residents would use the Troy Library than will use the new train station. In touigh economic times we have to make choices, do we want a library in Troy?   or do we need a new train station?    

Submitted by A Republican (not verified) on

Closing the library is a vindictive action of city council who didn't get their way. So, of course, instead of making cuts where they least affect the community, they go right for the throat and threaten to close or cut down the services most used. Wake up and don't fall prey to these tactics. I keep wondering why there is multi-million dollar city budget for a Downtown Development when we don't even have a downtown area. Things like that can and should be cut, not the library and civic center. Keep after them because they will not make these choices on their own. The pet projects won't be cut unless they are exposed. Just like big government.

Submitted by Jennifer (not verified) on

The Troy Times has been publishing numerous articles about the Transit Center that the city is funding - what?!?!  We don't even have enough cash to fund our library, but we can pay for a new transit center? 

The priorities are so messed up.  I agree with this post that we (the citizens of Troy) are being terriorited by the city council.

Submitted by Peoplearenuts (not verified) on

Everyone should have received their tax bill by now.  I am confused.  If the millage would have passed, our taxes would have gone down, right?  So, maybe I am not confused.  My SEV went down $12,320, my taxable went down $270 and my taxes went UP $46.31!!!  Gosh, I should have voted YES.

Submitted by Concerned Resident (not verified) on

I'll be honest. I think that the library closing on Saturdays is a great thing. People don't care about air until it's gone. Only when in pain will they mobilize. Good for you. I hope that the Troy community will get its act together soon. What a sad day this is.

Submitted by troy (not verified) on

Instead of closing on Saturday the busiest day of the week when most Troy residents need the library, instead, the Troy LIbrary SHOULD have closed on Tuesdays and EXTENDED the hours on the weekend.  Closing on Saturday when people need the library instead of closing on Tuesdays when nobody uses it, was a political ploy. 

Submitted by Trisha (not verified) on

I personally met with L. Brooks Patterson's assistant. Doug states that it will be suicide for Troy to close the Library. To quote him, "In these difficult economic times the Library is needed the most. Closing it will mean that their connection to unemployments Marvin will be cut off. They will not be able to send resumes out thru e-mail. They will no longer have access to books that can help them in any field of employment (such as real estate, business, office work, etc.). He states that it will be suicide for the city.

How can we stop it? Doug stated that millage for the Library only is one option or the council finding the money in the budget which he says sounds like it will not happen is another.

We the residents of Troy HAVE to stop this closure.

Submitted by Phillip Kwik on

Thank you for your comment.

The Friends of the Troy Public Library have been discussing ways to keep the Library open. The next public meeting of the Friends is Monday, June 21, at 7 pm, in the Library Meeting Room. There is certain to be more discussion at this meeting.

Submitted by LG (not verified) on

People need to be very careful about thinking there are other libraries they will be able to go to if Troy closes up.  As you already know by now there are libraries already who will not sell you a card. The remaining libraries may be seriously considering some changes to their policies come July 2011.  Increasing their fees, such as Sterling Heights currently at $200 could be increased to say $300 or $400; or shutting off access like other libraries.  They know there are many people in Troy who will pay a substantial fee for access to their libraries.  Quite frankly, if they didn't increase their fees they are not doing their jobs in their community.  So think carefully about trying to "make a statement" about taxes, the current city council when weighing whether or not to vote "no" on a separate millage issue.

Submitted by MJ (not verified) on

The library should of course remain open.  Some foresight by our leaders would have prevented the current situation.  Cutting hours is a minor inconvenience.  The Clawson library is closed two days a week.  We can still use other libraries, on closed days, in this scenario.

A "library only" millage is an excellent idea and would surely be passed.  The previous millage attempt was too broad and covered too many mistakes in city budgeting. 

Can they implement a usage fee, similar to the "pay to play" fees being implemented at the schools?  Charge a yearly fee for a library card, with the non resident fee being higher.  Charge $2.00 an hour or so to use the computer resource center.  Charge for classes, which are now free. We can make the library self sustaining.

Either by library millage or fees, we should be able to continue operation of this resource in our city.

Submitted by AV (not verified) on

I am not fully aware of all the details surrounding this issue; from what I understand, the City Council has voted to close the library in July 2011, and all programs are being cut starting July 2010. There is going to be a vote to pass the millage proposal again in November, but if that doesn't go through, is that it for sure? At that point, is there nothing we can do to keep the library?

Also, I would just like to express my regrets at what's happening; a community without a public library grows apart. I think the library is a large part of what brings Troy citizens together. In sharing a library that is rich in so many ways-- culturally and educationally, as well as in spirit-- our city is unified. I can't imagine what it will be like come summer 2011!

Submitted by phlewa@yahoo.com (not verified) on

Closing on Saturday, and reducing hours on Sunday, is an example of how out-of-touch and how incompetent Troy Library management is.

Saturday and Sunday are the days when Troy residents need the library the most.  Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days of the week, and closing or reducing hours on those days would inconvenience the most Troy residents.  Who thought that up?Whoever came up with reducing weekend hours should be fired.

The weekends are when most people are not working, and when children are not in school, and the weekend days are when people need the library to be open the most.  

We could have saved the same exact amount of money by closing on Wednesdays(the least busy day) and at the same time EXPANDING the weekend hours. 

Submitted by Peoplearenuts (not verified) on

I agree with your comments, Phlewa - but, don't you get it?  No matter what their reasoning is, we are being punished for not passing their millage.  When I asked about the Saturday close, I was told that was the day that cost the most because there were the most employees there that day.  "Other libraries in the area are open, so you can go somewhere else".  I was told Friday is the least popular day, but it doesn't matter.  Close one or two days during the week.  If  I remember correctly, years ago there were some days where the library didn't open until 1:00.  Hours were 1:00-9:00 so 8 or 8.5 hours for employees.  How many full time employees are there?  I thought the majority were part time and therefore no benefits - strictly hourly.  Reduced hours and closing for 2 days a week would be better than closing totally.  Bottom line is - Szerlag and most of the council has to go or we will be mired in this ridiculous thinking forever.

Submitted by Simone (not verified) on

Did you bother to read in the information and frequently asked questions, about the new hours and why Saturday was chosen? I did. It was clearly explained that yes, Saturday is busy and it uses the most staff hours. And since I have read in the papers that a third of the staff will be laid-off on July 1, and since the library is only reducing its total hours by 10, it makes sense that service will be reduced for those of us who use the library. I am sure that the staff is trying to give the best service possible to the city, after the Troy city council voted to close the library completely on July 1, 2011. How inconvenient will that be to the residents of Troy!

With Troy Library still open for the next year, we can go to other surrounding libraries on Saturday, since they are in a group with the Troy Library. But once the library closes, no library so go more group. There won't be any library service for Troy residents unless we pay $50 at Madison Heights, or $200 at Sterling Heights, or some amount to some other city to use their library. I understand that some cities like Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Rochester Hills won't even sell us a library card, so we won't be able to use libraries in those cities once the Troy Library is closed.

As Troy residents, we all need to continue to email, call, and write to city council and let them know we do not want to pay more in other cities to use their library. http://www.troymi.gov/Council/ Troy Library needs to continue to be funded with city dollars.

Submitted by Diana (not verified) on

Many residents have tried to get into your computer classes. I had been led to believe that these classes for Troy residents and than those living outside of the city were put on a waiting list.  I have since discovered that anyone can enroll.  I wonder if the Troy Friends of the Library group are aware that this is how the tech classes are being handled. 

This is the Troy Public Library that has many economical issues.  Perhaps if the Troy residents were given priority on classes like these the vote for the library would be greater.

Submitted by Phillip Kwik on

Thank you for your comments regarding the Library’s computer classes. Our classes are very popular with our patrons.

The Friends sponsor many programs for the Library. Some are restricted to residents, others are not. I apologize if you were given other information.

At the Troy Library, we view technology – offering public computers and classes for those who are in need of training – as a core service. As such, we try to keep this service free and open to as many as possible. Just as we would never stop a non-resident who had a valid Troy Library card from borrowing a book, we do not restrict non-residents from taking our classes.

Even so, the vast majority of our students are Troy residents. In the past two-and-a-half years, we have had 3,800 students in our computer classes. Fewer than 700 have been non-residents. We believe that those numbers show that Troy residents are served well by the Library’s computer classes.

That being said, our classes are very popular and fill up very quickly. If you are ever unable to register for a class, I encourage you to come to the Library’s Technology Center. There, one of our staff members will work one-on-one with you on whatever your computer needs are. As all of our staff teach our computer classes, you are likely to receive individualized attention from one of our teachers in a personalized setting.

Submitted by Simone (not verified) on

I found an informative and factual article in the Library Journal that I wanted to share with the patrons. 

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6728871.html

I hope many of you are planning to come to The Friends of the Library Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 26th at 6:30 in at the Library. I certainly feel it is worth about 2 hours of my time to see what options may be available to keep this great library open. I hope you feel that way too. The city management proposed option 1, and the city council approved this option two weeks ago which means the library is slated to close July 1st, 2011.  How ridiculous and unbelievable is that? It is up to the citizens of Troy now to decide the future of the library. How can it be possible that our city would not have a library for the enjoyment of its citizens and the education, and future of our children? How can a value ever be put on that, and to go to surrounding libraries would mean a greater cost for each family than the millage would have cost us if passed last February. If we do not step up now and support the Friends and the Troy Public Library, it will become an empty building. The value of our homes will drop, we will not be able to sell, as who would want to move into a community with no quality of life services.

Submitted by Alice Liang (not verified) on

I know such comments have constantly been reinstated here. Let me just say, I was glad to see the plenty of comments in this post: the people of Troy really do care. But is this a crusade? How much effect can we have if we cannot be coherent together.

Being a teenager myself, I don't appreciate the careless, lazy teenager comments, nor do I appreciate those that make the young people of Troy look bad. This is the next generation; the City Council, in fact, all of the adults in Troy should be pushing the city through whatever difficulties so that the children may grow up to live in the same beautiful city you did.

The Troy Library has always been one of my favorite places. I remember not too many years ago, coming back to TPL every day to check out another Troybery book, participating in the kids' puppet club, getting to know the librarians, admiring the volunteers. And as my sister grew up, I always pushed her to go, pushed her to read more. I remember the day I first went into the "grown-up books," I was so excited. 

No doubt this is a vital part of our city. I do not know a city where there is a people, but not a library, for a library is a place that connects the people. The college grads looking for research, the teens in their study groups, the kids with their crayons, the adults throughly engaged. Something about the setting makes it so different -- there is a respectful silence.

I acknowledge that there are issues with funding, and on the other hand, many more issues with salary and pension for the city councilmen and librarians. Nonetheless, I do not think this is an end: we can keep the library a point of pride in Troy.

And if an everyday high schooler can believe so, you can too.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Am posting a previous comment to keep it on top so people don't have to scroll down to catch it.

The Friends of the Troy Public Library's annual meeting in Wednesday, May 26, at 6:30 pm, in the Library's Meeting room. Everyone interested in the future of the Library is welcome to this meeting.

For more information on the Friends, visit the organization's website at friendstpl.org.

Submitted by Reese (not verified) on

The library should restrict itself for the next few years to just lending books to patrons.  That is its first duty to its citizens.  The fact that they are considering closing the one and only library in a wealthy city like Troy only highlights its council's glaring incompetence and lack of foresight.

We need more transparency in government.  It's high time we, the citizens, see what our taxes REALLY pay for.

Submitted by phlewa@yahoo.com (not verified) on

Obviously, 20, 30 years ago, the Troy library easily operated with less than half of todays budget. That was before they started spending money on computer classes, computer games, making an inhouse restaurant, 50 public computers, and 140 library employees. 

You make a good point, go back to the basics, cut out needless spending, forget about building a covered drive-thru drop off box, forget about building a new 40 million dollar library, get rid of the computer games, and get rid of all those extra people.

Submitted by T. Isaac, Libra... (not verified) on

Troy residents are so lucky to have such a wonderful facility and resources available to them, it is hard to imagine that they would be willing to shut it down. I have made use of the books, book group kits, databases, and audio book collection and am almost daily directing students at Troy High School to do the same. Not only have the resources been invaluable to me and the students, but we have benifited from the support of the library staff in many ways as well. Because of what we have been able to obtain through the TPL we have been able to form book discussion groups, research on college level databases for our AP classes, and open up classroom discussions on topics that students are passionate about through the use of the social issues databases. With the recent cuts in school funding it is even more important to our students and teachers that the resources of TPL remain available for us to use. Please do whatever is necessary to protect this important source of information and support for our students. We send most of our students on to colleges and universities and it is very important that they continue to learn how to do research on a college level, using Google and Wikipedia will not fufill this need.

Submitted by Jennifer (not verified) on

How can anyone question whether or not we need the library.  When my children were young, we spent many hours reading, doing puzzles and participating in programs.  Over the years, they used the library for their studies through high school and college.  One of my children is now a doctor, another is an engineer.  The troy library played a big part in their educational success. 

Submitted by Jayshree Ramesh (not verified) on

Troy public library is an important part of our community.  Both my sons used this facility from Elementary school to High School. My husband and I have used it on several occasions too. Please keep the library open.

Submitted by Jill McClure (not verified) on

Of all community services, second to public safety, I am most concerned over the library's future – which is much MORE than just a quality of life "bonus" in this community.

I was employed in the City of Troy for over 10 years, during which time I moved here for easier commuting, lower crime rates and the wide array of community services offered. The primary attraction for me was then – and still is -- the Troy Public Library. Due to company downsizing in a poor economic climate, I was laid off in 2008, and was forced to make dramatic changes. I relinquished my home internet access, limited my leisure travel and constructed a different work and life routine that brought me to the library 5 – sometimes 6 days a week -- and often twice in any given day. The library has been my second home – where I've honed my computer skills in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint... where staff has pointed me to valuable resources in the form of books, research Websites and tremendous workshops. I have found – out of necessity -- just how valuable this library REALLY is.

Last week, I approached patrons in the Technology Center – those individuals who have become familiar faces -- some of them friends -- over the past year and a half... and asked them for their testimonies:

Over two-thirds indicated that the library's computer and Internet is the only source available to them... half of them are unemployed... one-third of them are there three times a week, and nearly a quarter of them come more than once a day...

In response to computer use: 20% use the Tech Center for on-line classes and education... 42% for job search... 50% for specific internet search... and 57% for research.

Let me share a few of their remarks:

"My wife and I really depend on the Troy Library's resources, books, internet and community meetings for our employment search. Also, my kids are home-schooled and the library is what makes this possible."

"I've taken a few classes here and they helped a lot. If the library closes, it would hurt my business. I use the Internet to work online and right now, this is how I make a living. If they close, it would hurt me badly."

"I can't afford a PC at home, and yet if the library closes or severely curtails hours, it will make it difficult for me to stay in touch. I also volunteer for Leader Dogs for the Blind, and I receive a lot of necessary information via computer."

Other comments elaborate on crucial unemployed worker Internet communication for benefits, Internet accessibility for online education... and reference the family... and the library that keeps it intact.

Back in mid-October of 2009 -- during early stages of the tedious system transition -- library staff worked tirelessly. Polaris's implementation was a diligent and successful effort by a team that was determined to make money-savings happen. My first comment this evening brings to mind a discussion on the Library's Website on October 12, 2009. One particular person summarized my recent statistics – back then:

"...The library [he said], is a cornerstone of a community in the best of times, and a lifeline for many in the worst. The Troy Library is packed EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK with people who are, among other things, desperately searching for jobs, using the internet because they can no longer afford it at home, bringing their children (or themselves!) for wonderful, FREE entertainment, studying because there is no quiet place to do it at home, researching their investments, and, yes checking out the latest best-sellers and blockbuster movies for free or for a fraction of the cost of buying a book or renting a DVD at the video store.

He ended his statement saying, "...this is our beloved Troy Library... God help us all if it goes away..."

My comment followed, "I relate to your comments because they relate to REAL issues and REAL crises."

And I closed my Internet comment with, "It's unfortunate in the midst of hasty conclusions ... that they don't recognize the REAL issues and REAL crises of the day; and the REAL significance this library has in our community."

I must add that this person's initial Website comments were directed to an apparently panicked, hasty citizen who seemed stuck on crisis and closed to options.

City Council Members:

You are in a position where complex budget options lie before you, and decisions made in the next week will have lasting consequence on this city. Let the exemplary staff of Troy Public Library serve as a model of ethical competence... For it is with similar conscientious effort, thorough investigation and untiring diligence that we depend on you also to remain open, revisit the facts and exhaust ALL options...

Please... allow no haste... misguidance... or weariness to close Troy Public Library and impair this community, for these are times we must dig deep to find solutions to our challenges.

Submitted by phlewa@yahoo.com (not verified) on

Sorry, but comparatively speaking, the Computer Center is the biggest waste of tax money, while at the same time it serves the fewest Troy taxpayers. 

Out of 80,000 Troy residents, only a handfull of people use the Troy Library technology center, and a good share of those are non-residents. At best only a few hundred Troy taxpayers use the Troy computer center at all, and about  half of the people using the computer center  are just a few dozen of the same people who come every day or every week. 

The disproportionate cost of over 50 computers combined with the cost of nearly a dozen employees devoted to the computer center is a luxury that we don't need. In tough economic times we can't afford to spend so much money on a service that is used by so few of our Troy residents.

We need new leadership in Troy that knows how to set budget priorities.

Submitted by Phillip Kwik on

Thank you for your comments regarding the Technology Center at the Troy Public Library. The Center is one of the busiest places in the Library.

Unfortunately, your assertions are not based on facts. During the past 12 months, there were 98,589 uses of the public computers at the Troy Library. According to our latest statistics, from March 2010, 79% of those using the Library computers live in Troy. That number is up from 61% in December 2007.

Why the dramatic increase over two years? In April 2009, the Library began charging most non-residents for computer use. This resulted in more computers available for Troy residents, while generating nearly $7,000 in the first year.

During these tough economic times, why are people using the computers at the Troy Library? According to a recent University of Washington study that analyzed computer use at the Library, 40% of those using the Library's computes were looking for health information, 34% were looking for employment, 29% were involved in government services – including many who were doing things that can only be done online, such as applying for unemployment – and 27% were using the computers for education reasons.

The cost to run the Library's Technology Center – staff and equipment – is approximately $315,000 per year. That comes out to about $3.90 per Troy resident per year. Far from your claim of waste, I believe that the Technology Center is an excellent use of tax money, a wise budget priority, and an important service for the residents of Troy.

Submitted by Bob Lias (not verified) on

Thank you for stats.

 

98,589 uses past 12 months.

78% of users are Troy residents

up from 61% in December 2007

Non-resident use is now fee based.  $7000 was collected first year of fee basis.

$315,000 annual budget.

So of the 22% of users who were non-residents we collected $7000 and the 78% who were residents used the other $308,000,

 

Let's assume 5,000 unique users.  The non-residents set the market price for use at somewhere about $7.  The resident users are costing about $75 apiece.

This does seem like a service where the cost is much higher than the perceived value. These numbers might change radically if the actual number of unique users were known.

 

Submitted by Francis (not verified) on

Let's not forget to look at both sides of the ledger. The number of residents who use the library to file for unemployment is high. Those people are (barely) keeping their homes and putting bread on the table. As you may know, the state's phone system does not function as advertised so these folks must file online. How you quantify that benefit to the community is beyond me, but it's quite real - reduced foreclosure rate, groceries purchased in the city, gas from local merchants, etc. And of course there is the non-financial benefit of simply seeing the community not fragment more than it has. But even that has financial implications on the perceptions of the community as a market. And then there are the job seekers - very real as well. Many of these people have lost their computers when they lost their jobs. Again, this is an absolute benefit to the communty - get them working again - that must be weighed when making calculations on cost. And let's not forget the many residents who are not connected to the Internet. There can be no question that these people would be otherwise disadvantaged without the library access. So the question is, do we want a community where people who are unemployed or otherwise disadvantaged in the information age have no public resources to lean on? As you say, it's a "perceived" value that matters here. It seems to me that there is a tremendous value generated, although admittedly very difficult to measure. But just because you can't measure it effectively doesn't mean it's not real.

Submitted by anonymus (not verified) on

Factual and thoughtful response to the baseless claim and statment declaring the Technology Center as a waste.

Submitted by Julie Ellis (not verified) on

Yes, I agree. Would the council consider a millage for the library only? Troy's children will  feel the impact of no library. Public and private school elementary children are limited as to how many books they can check out at their school libraries each week. The younger children can usually choose two books. Also there are three homeschooling groups in Troy. Homeschoolers depend on libraries.  PLEASE DON'T CONSIDER OPTION ONE OF CLOSING THE LIBRARIES. You did say prior to the election that there were other options. If you don't want to consider the other options, PLEASE consider a LIBRARY ONLY millage. If we don't pay a millage to Troy, we'll be paying a fee to another city. 

Submitted by phlewa@yahoo.com (not verified) on

The problem is not that Troy taxpayers are not taxed enough - the problem is that Troy leaders are spending too much.

Troy is one of the wealthiest cities in the state, yet, most towns and cities in Michigan are NOT!! closing their libraries because those other cities are living within reduced budgets.

 

Submitted by Troy McClure (not verified) on

PRIMARY services are being cut in Troy, taxes are needed to pay for those services. Cost of services continues to go up (along with wages and cost of living), but taxes are supposed to remain static? The math is simple, yet hard for some to understand. It's the old school, head in the sand, "all about me", anti-tax attitude that is killing Troy and the State of Michigan. The U.S. continues to lag behind the world, in many areas of society including education, health care, etc., yet people want to CUT the support to make them better. Brilliant logic there.

Pages