Troy Public Library

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Troy Library Ranked 10th Best in the Country

Cathy Russ - Posted on

HAPLR ImageI am pleased to announce that Hennen's American Public Library Ratings has ranked the Troy Public Library the 10th best library in the United States for our population category in 2009.

The Troy Public Library is also the 2nd highest ranked library in Michigan for our population size (tied with West Bloomfield Public Library, after Canton Public Library), and tied for 4th place overall in the state.

The HAPLR ratings are based on many factors, including circulation, staffing, materials, reference service, and funding levels. Data is based on statistics collected in the 2006/2007 reporting year.

The complete rankings can be found at Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.

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Comments

Im only 13 and even i know the library is a big part of the city.

if we close, were will we get all of the great books?

and how does that look for our city, shutting down a library? That will really help our city? leaving people uinemlployed and getting rid of all the awesome books just waiting to be used? The store? the book store?

shutting down the library doesnt help us at all, i mean you cant just expect people to be okay with this!
Thankfully its open, for now.

but why even have a vote, when it would just ruin our city?

my point is,

just stop the fighting ove the library.

its a great place.

why debate it?

 

Submitted by Jill McClure (not verified) on

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 abrupt changes. I relinquished my home internet access, limited my gasoline expenses 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. Since then, the library has been my second home – where staff has pointed me to valuable resources in the form of books, job search sites and outside guest workshops that have offered tremendous support. I, along with many others, have found – out of necessity -- just how valuable this library is to the citizens of Troy.

A couple months ago, I privately approached patrons in the Technology Center computer areas and asked them about their personal situations, how often they utilize the center and for what purpose… how they depend on the Technology Center and the library as a complete service… and how their lives would be impacted if the library were to close. Over two-thirds of those who responded, indicated that the library’s computer and Internet source is all they have available to them… half of them are unemployed… one-third of them utilize the computer lab three times a week, and nearly a quarter of them come religiously more than once a day… In response to computer use: 20% use the Technology Center for on-line classes and education… 42% for job searches… 50% for specific internet searches… and 57% for research. Finally, it became apparent these individuals depend on the Technology Center much as I. It is keeping us intact through tough times.

In October of 2009, a discussion took place on the library’s Website. “…The library [this person stated], 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. 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.”

This  person’s initial Website comments were directed to an apparently panicked member of the community who appeared stuck on crisis and close-minded to options. In much the same way, City Council was in a position where complex budget options were before them, viable proposed budgets were proposed, but they remained close-minded. In fact, an alternate plan is available for public view on the following blog: http://truthintroy.blogspot.com/.

It would benefit this community if budget-knowledgeable professionals – outside the political arena – could roll up their shirtsleeves and assess these alternative numbers; THEN step up to the plate as a reliable, publicly-recognized force to correctly represent a community of concerned citizens. Solutions to Troy Public Library’s dilemma may very well be right in front of us. We may just need some whistleblowers to make some REAL noise.

Submitted by LG (not verified) on

Certainly adecdotal but brings up a question regarding a statistic.  Recently a friend purchased a home.  They originally had a desire to purchase a home in Bloomfield Hills until they found out that there was no library.  They passed on Troy because of the the situation here with the library and their perceived mentatlity of the citizens regarding quality of life sevices.  So there was a potential purchaser who could have purchased a Troy home, long gone.  My question is this: do the local realtors have any data on lost sales because of this issue and would this be helpful in any ongoing efforts to save the library?

Submitted by deb (not verified) on

Personally, I would never dream of buying a house in a community without a library. It is an essential service for every member of our family. We have been living in Troy for 20 years, and for the first time are considering moving elsewhere, because of this situation. Come on city, wake up, and step up.

Submitted by Ronald R. Lambert (not verified) on

Deb, please do not blame the city's residents if the library closes. It is solely the fault of the City Council. They could not manage the budget intelligently, and wanted more money to spend. When residents voted not to increase taxes because they couldn't afford more taxes, City Council decided to punish residents by threatening to close the very, very popular library.
 
Troy is one of the most prosperous cities in the state. A couple of years ago, City Council was proposing relocation and expansion of the Library, for a proposed cost of $40 million. They also proposed building a minor league baseball park on city land. They also embarked on unnecessary construction, such as sidewalk intersections paved with brick, apparently to make Troy look more like upscale Birmingham or Rochester. This is what happens when you let people addicted to spending hold public office. The only blame residents must bear is for electing the current city government. Let's correct that as soon as possible. Troy, which has so many corporate HQ's, deserves competent government.
 
If the Troy Public Library closes, put the blame where it belongs: on City Council, and no one else.

Submitted by Anna (not verified) on

I tend not to comment on articles I read on the web, but after reading some of the comments about closing the library and then this article confirming what an excellent library we have, I feel enough is enough. I have been a public librarian for 35 years. I work in a neighboring public library. About 6 years ago, the city manager threatened to close this library and told the director that we would need to get the votes for a separate millage to stay open. With the help of many volunteers, we were able to reach the majority of our public and the millage passed. We spent every Sunday six weeks prior to the vote knocking on doors, talking to voters and explaining the situation. One common theme we heard was yes, they would vote for the millage because it was for the library, and they trusted and appreciated the library. I believe it is time for the Troy Library to make that move. But I would recommend they take it one step further than we did, and completely cut ties with the city and become an independent library. It would mean a higher millage to operate, but they would no longer be at the mercy of a city government that obviously does not appreciate what they have. I have lived in Troy for 35 years and my husband has lived here for almost 60 years and never did we think we would see the city government play these kinds of games. Times are tough everywhere but I don't hear other communities announcing a year in advance that their libraries will close. I would hope the majority of Troy residents would support a millage to form an independent library, not to make it easier for the city, but to assure that our library can continue to offer great services without this threat always hanging over them.

Submitted by Simone (not verified) on

City employees are not allowed to advocate or lobby people to save the library.  It will take the City of Troy residents to save the library, if they so choose.  During the last millage election many public forums were held by the city manager, and the directors of the departments, and about 200 interested parties showed up.  How sad is that. 

And to cut ties with the city, we need a separate millage that would only support the library if we want a stand alone library.  Again something the voters need to decide.

Other libraries are cutting their hours and closing departments.  But still other communities are committed to their libraries and spending money to expand them!!  It is up to the citizens of Troy to decide what is important to them and what messages they want to send their city council that they voted for (or at least a small percentage of them).  When things go well, city council is able to do whatever they want.  It is only when things go bad that the citizens complain and get involved.  These are difficult times.  You know we are all paying less in taxes this year after our new assessments, and how many empty buildings there are paying no taxes.  So just like your home, less money coming in, choices need to be made.  The city has put all capital projects on hold, as many of us have done as citizens, but we still have to find the money for the things we find most important. The Building department is being eliminated and privatized, but after last week's city council meeting sounds like we certainly will not get the same service.  City employees have taken pay cuts, do more work as a hiring freeze and so many jobs not being replaced.  The museum and nature center are all but closing and the library is beginning to based on decisions made by the city council these next couple meetings.

It is all up to us to volunteer to help, to speak at city council meetings, to talk to our neighbors, to show the library our support. The Friends of the Troy public libary are a great place to start if you truly want to help save the library. Go to www.friendstpl.org 

Submitted by Ronald R. Lambert (not verified) on

Isn't this what the suburbs did when Detroit City Council wanted to close the Detroit Zoo? An independent authority was formed that would administer the Zoo, if I remember right. Maybe Troy citizens should do something like this with the Troy Public Library--take it out of the hands of City Council entirely.

Submitted by Ronald R. Lambert (not verified) on

These rankings mean that closing the Troy Public Library would expose the City of Troy to statewide and nationwide shame. One of the best libraries in the land, among the very highest-ranked, must not be closed. No matter how some might try to blame voters for not passing the millage, everyone in the country will know it was really because the Troy City Council did not set proper priorties, and grievously mismanaged the budget of one of the most prosperous cities in the state of Michigan.

Submitted by Lindsay Parsell (not verified) on

I agree with Mr. Lambert, it would be an embarrassment if we close the library.  Here we are top 10 in the country and we can't stay open.