Community libraries to combine resources

Times-Herald Newspapers

Libraries in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights soon will be sharing their resources.

An agreement between the two library systems was finalized Feb. 8. after approval by the Dearborn Heights City Council.

The agreement, which goes into effect March 1, paves the way for a one-year reciprocal borrowing program trial period to begin.

After that the program will be evaluated and officials will decide whether to continue it.

Dearborn residents will have access to the John F. Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy libraries, and Heights residents will have access to Henry Ford Centennial Library, as well as the Snow, Bryant and Esper branches.

Dearborn Heights Library Director Michael McCaffery said plans have started to move forward.

“It occurred in stages,” he said. “It started from an idea.”

He said residents of both cities will be able to go to the libraries with their driver’s licenses and obtain a library card.

The libraries’ operating hours will be extended during nights and weekends and the summer.

“We’ll see how this is going to work,” Dearborn Library Director Maryanne Bartles said, adding that in the future there may be more sharing of ideas.

“We may do joint programming down the road,” she said.

Bartles said that in difficult financial times and with the proximity of the cities, combining the two library systems makes sense.

“It’s a positive for both communities,” she said. “It just makes sense to pool our resources.”

Bartles said people who no longer have Internet access, may be able to keep looking for jobs, will be able to use the libraries’ free measures.

She said employees in both library systems will stay where they are.

“There will be no melding of the systems,” Bartles said.