Funding error leads to expanded library services in Kalamazoo Countys Texas Township – mlive.com

Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:47 am


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TEXAS TOWNSHIP, MI -- Some residents in Texas Township will have access to the Kalamazoo Public Library for two years under a new agreement between township and library officials.

Texas Township residents living within the Mattawan Consolidated School and the Schoolcraft Community Schools districts will be eligible for Kalamazoo library cards beginning July 1, according to the librarys Board of Trustees.

The board approved a two-year agreement with the township to provide full library services to residents after it was discovered that the library received nearly $300,000 in penal funds and state aid for service in Texas Township after it was no longer providing for those residents, according to the recommendation approved by the board at a Dec. 9 meeting.

The librarys contract with the township was terminated in 1998, but the library continued to receive funds through 2015, because the termination of the contract was never formally reported to the Library of Michigan, according to the minutes.

Penal fines are funds raised from traffic violations, collected within each county, distributed to public libraries serving residents of the county, according to the Library of Michigan.

The state waived repayment of the money in exchange for library services provided to township residents, according to the agreement approved by the Texas Township board at a meeting Nov. 11.

The Kalamazoo library received $221,708 in penal fines and $59,945 in state aid from 2001 to 2016, according to a presentation from Director Ryan Wieber to the township board during a meeting Sept. 9.

The mistake was discovered when Wieber was working for Van Buren District Library and reached out to the state to inquire about getting library service the population in Texas Township, he said in an interview with MLive.

In lieu of repaying $281,653 to the state, the library entered into the agreement with the township for two years of services. There are about 7,500 people eligible for library cards for two years through this agreement.

Under the agreement, which is in effect from July 1 to June 30, 2022, the library will provide full service as well as bi-weekly mobile library services at an agreed upon Texas Township location. Library cards will give residents access to all print collections and digital services.

Full library service for this population at $195 per household per year for two years is valued at about $730,000, according to Wiebers presentation.

it was unfortunate that the contract termination went unnoticed for so long, Wieber said, but he believes both the library and township are happy with the agreement.

I think residents will be pleased to get a library card, he said.

Residents in Texas Township are served by four libraries, depending on which school district they live in, according to the townships website.

Those living within the Schoolcraft district currently are able to purchase an annual pass for the Schoolcraft Community Library. Schoolcraft Community Schools doesnt have a library millage so the residents are required to purchase an annual pass. Mattawan school residents currently do not pay a library millage and dont have access to the Van Buren District Libraries. They can also purchase a membership to the libraries for services.

Also on MLive:

Kalamazoo library will stop charging late fees in 2020, wipe existing debt

Continued here:
Funding error leads to expanded library services in Kalamazoo Countys Texas Township - mlive.com

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February 27th, 2020 at 12:47 am

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