However, it is not quite that simple because the non-library district has been negotiating a "blanket rate" for all the people that live there without access to a library of their own. Having some people pay directly for a permit would mean that the library would be, in effect, paid twice for those people. But it is only because the two sides could not agree on that "blanket rate" that anyone might need to pay directly, in the first place. The library did not want to sell permits to individuals because that would cause it to lose some of its negotiating strength. The non-library district did not encourage anyone paying directly because of the "double payment" issue.
The Michigan Supreme Court has now reached a decision in the validity of the lawsuit and has answered the question of whether it is a constitutional right in Michigan to have access to a public library.
Residents not living in a community have no constitutional right to borrow books from its library, a divided Michigan Supreme Court ruled today.Maybe this will finally get the two sides to complete the stalled negotiation process that would solve this problem in a more common sense way. Let's hope so because I feel for those 4,000 Bloomfield Hills residents who don't have access to a public library at the moment. Their community is probably too small to be able to build a library of its own, but they do need to pay their fair share of the cost of running the Bloomfield Township library.
The court voted 4-3 to dismiss the lawsuit of George Goldstone, who sued after Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township Public Library refused to sell him a nonresident library card. Goldstone lives in nearby Bloomfield Hills, which does not have a library.
The township’s residency requirement is “a viable means of establishing and maintaining a local public library,” Justice Stephen Markman wrote for the majority.
He was joined by Chief Justice Clifford Taylor, Maura Corrigan and Robert Young Jr.
The 1963 state constitution says libraries “shall be available” to all Michigan residents but also gives libraries the authority to create rules.
A relatively simple problem has taken on a life of its own and it's time for the two sides to go back to the negotiating table and get this resolved.