|Case Forum:||Michigan Supreme Court|
|Keywords:||Michigan Constitution, public library, contract, policy, nonresident|
Stephen Schultz | Stephen Rhodes | Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith | 313 South Washington Square | Lansing MI 48933 | 517-371-8100
1. Michigan Library Association (MLA)
Const 1963, art 8, § 9 provides that libraries shall be “available” to Michigan residents. Const 1963, art 8, § 9 further provides that the “legislature shall provide for the establishment
Michigan Supreme Court:
|MSC requested LDF amicus brief?||Yes|
Plaintiff is a resident of the city of Bloomfield Hills. The city does not have its own public library, but from 1964 to November 12, 2003, had entered into a “library service agreement” with defendant Bloomfield Township Public Library that, for a fee, permitted city residents full access to the library and to other area libraries that were also signatories to the agreement. When the agreement expired in 2003, the city and the township library did not renew it. As a result, city residents, including plaintiff, were allowed by the township only to visit the library and to use its materials on site. They were not allowed to borrow library materials or to fully access online databases and other programs, services, and activities that were regularly available to township residents. Plaintiff believed that, notwithstanding the lack of a service agreement between the township library and the city, the Michigan Constitution guaranteed availability to him and to all other state residents. Thus, he felt he had the right to full use of the library and its collections, including borrowing privileges. Plaintiff sought a nonresident library card and offered to pay a borrowing fee. Pursuant to its local policies, the township library refused and asserted that the access it allowed was sufficient to meet the requirements of Const 1963, art 8, §9.