Archived Story

Dowagiac dodged Troy’s fate

Published 10:27pm Thursday, March 24, 2011

Troy loses its library in June.
Despite being located in an affluent Oakland County community north of Detroit, it suffered the fate Dowagiac Public Library, a former city department, dodged by voting millage and creating a multi-jurisdictional district library.
“They don’t have enough money to operate,” Dowagiac District Library Director Kathy Johnson said Thursday.
“It’s really, really sad. It’s a city library and what’s happening is kind of what was about to happen to the Dowagiac Public Library.
“Dowagiac library was a department of the city, and as much as the city loved its library, it could not keep up with the funding and repairs.
“The library was costing the city more and more of its general fund. When it became a question of buying a police car or putting a roof on the library, the police car always won. It just got worse and worse, and that’s what happened to Troy.”
In Dowagiac, “Patrons who used the library built a coalition and joined forces with the outlying areas of Dowagiac who used the library anyway but weren’t paying for it. ‘Let’s see if we can form a district,’ and that’s what happened.
“The vote was overwhelmingly positive to form a district library between the city and outlying areas to have a taxing unit and a board to be able to run the library. It’s working out very well for all the district libraries in Michigan,” Johnson said.
“Poor Troy, being a department of the city, they didn’t get there fast enough, so they were stuck without an entity to grab. Their millage failed.”
Troy Public Library closes May 1, although its Web site will remain available until June 30.
Its collection will be stored and protected.

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