November 21, 2017

Detroit PL to Charge Nonresidents for Access

By LJ Staff

What happens when a public library research collection loses state support? In Detroit, that indicates it’s time to start charging nonresidents for access. As of August 1, nonresidents will have to pay $100 a year for a library card, including access the Burton Historical Collection, the E. Azalia Hackley Music and Performing Arts Collection, and the historic National Automotive Collection. Though the Detroit Public Library received state funding since 1977 to serve as a state resource, last year the state of Michigan completely eliminated funding to support free access. “The reality is we’ve lost $6 million from state funds,” Juliet Machie, the library’s director for public services, told the Detroit Free Press. “For the Burton collection, 60 percent of the users are not from Detroit, and for the auto collection, 75 percent of the users do not live in Detroit.” She said the library might charge a smaller fee for onetime use of a collection. More than half the libraries in the state charge nonresident fees.

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