Archive for June, 2008
Local governments in Michigan are in fiscal crisis. But less money does not always have to mean less service, especially if governments and public agencies collaborate.
A group of Macomb County commissioners and Wayne State University administrators have hatched such an effort to save the county library in Clinton Township, as well as create a facility where WSU can offer classes. County commissioners on a community service committee ought to approve the partnership Friday so Macomb and WSU can work out a contract to take effect this fall.
Facing a $10-million budget shortfall next year, Macomb commissioners have considered closing the library to save $2.7 million a year. That’s not smart. Smaller, local libraries can’t provide the legal or research material offered at the Macomb County Library, which already has been cut nearly 30% over the last two years. The county library also serves the visually impaired and disabled.
A plan to lease the library to Wayne State University would maintain library services while lowering costs by $400,000 the first year. It calls for Wayne State to lease and manage the library, covering building and maintenance costs. Macomb County would retain its library employees, except for the director, but would not replace those employees if they leave or retire. Wayne State would hire any new employees.
Wayne State would offer classes at the site in its library science program. Commissioner Paul Gieleghem, D-Clinton Township, who helped negotiate the plan, said the deal would take Macomb County one step closer to a much needed four-year university.
A library contract with Wayne State University would enable Macomb County to expand service and save money. That’s something no one should oppose.
Sandra Yee, dean of the Wayne State University Library System, was elected to the OCLC Board of Trustees. The OCLC has adopted a new governance structure designed to extend participation in the cooperative to an increasing number of libraries and cultural heritage institutions around the world. Under the new structure, the Board will normally have 15 trustees elected to a four-year term, but can vary in size from 13 to 17 trustees from time to time as determined by the trustees. The Global Council will elect six trustees, and the Board will elect the remaining trustees. The President and CEO will continue to hold a voting seat on the Board. Normally, a majority of the Trustees will be members of the library or cultural heritage communities. The Board of Trustees performs all of the traditional fiduciary and constituency duties related to such governing bodies.
For more information and full description of the new OCLC governance structure, visit http://portal.mlcnet.org/communique/?p=467