Today marked the first time Bloomfield Hills residents had full access to the materials and services offered at the , and many new library users took full advantage.
"My kids were raised with a library and I've seen them go from unlimited use to no use, so this is a huge step for the community," said Carol Young, a Bloomfield Hills resident for 41 years, as she signed up to get her first card at the library.
She was with a handful of other residents that visited the library in downtown Birmingham exactly one week after voters narrowly passed a 0.39-mill levy to fund a three-year contract with the library. Residents had been without a library to call their own for seven years and rejected two previous millage attempts before last week's victory by a 39-vote margin.
The first resident in line for her card was 7-year-old Caroline Baxter, who arrived at 9:30 a.m. to fulfill a promise, said her mother, Margaret.
"If it passed, I promised her she'd get her own library card as the very first thing and this will be so nice," Margaret said. "With my older children, as soon as they could sign their name they could get library cards and I think this is really important. Especially with a child learning to read because we go through such a huge volume of books."
Library staff assures that won't be a problem. Baldwin's collections include 140,000 books and 30,000 DVDs, CDs video games and toys. Bloomfield Hills residents will now be able to borrow and take advantage of their programming.
The immediate goal for the library staff is to help educate Bloomfield Hills residents about the programs and services they offer, and to get a feel for what the residents want, said Associate Director Matt Church. Residents will begin getting electronic and print versions of library newsletter, and Baldwin will also have a presence on the city's newsletters as well.
They're encouraging residents to use the library's website and don't hesitate to ask staff or send e-mails with questions.
"There's a good chance we offer something they'd like to see and getting connected through the newsletter and website are good places to start," Church said.