District Library Law Amendments

District Library Law Amendments

The District Library Establishment Act, Public Act 24 of 1989, has been amended by the enactment of Public Act 540 of 2002. This brief article highlights the two substantive changes to the District Library Establishment Act. The first modification provides established district libraries with the option of changing the number of mills authorized by the voters of the established district in order to attract new participating municipalities. The second amendment deals with the possibility of district library consolidation in only one county in Michigan.

Public Act 540 has amended Section 25 of the District Library Establishment Act, MCL 397.195, by allowing established district libraries to change the rate of their existing district library millage. Both partial and whole municipalities are eligible for annexation under the terms of this amendment. The district library boards, as well as the existing participating municipalities, must approve the addition of a new municipality in order to successfully amend the existing district library agreement.

Next, the change in the number of mills to be levied in the district library is contingent on approval by a majority of the voters of the new municipality, as well as the majority of voters in the existing district library. Finally, the defeat of the proposal submitted to the voters does not have any effect on the previously authorized district library millage. As of the date of this article's publication, no district libraries have utilized this amendment to attract a new participating municipality.

The second substantive change to the District Library Establishment Act is the addition of Section 25a, MCL 397.25a. This section is limited to counties with a population of 400,000-500,000 as of July 26, 2002; hence it only potentially affects Genesee County.

This section bypasses the veto power of the district library board. It provides for consolidation of at least two district libraries if approved by a majority of voters who reside in the geographical boundaries of both district libraries. The section also provides that the participating municipalities in the consolidated district must include at least one participating municipality from each of the considered district libraries. In addition, the county must be a participating municipality in the new consolidated district.

A majority of voters of each participating municipality in a district library included in the consolidation must approve the establishment of the consolidated district if a district-wide tax is already approved. This contemplated consolidation of at least two district libraries in Genesee County never came to fruition.

By Dragomir Cosanici,
Library Law Specialist
Library of Michigan
December 2002

Updated 04/27/2006