LANSING — State Representative Adam F. Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) thanked his colleagues in the House for passing House Bill 5597, legislation he introduced to allow local units of government, including school districts, to continue creating district libraries. The bill removes a sunset included in a 2005 law. HB 5597 passed unanimously and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Reading is one of the most essential tools for children’s educational success, and for many children around the state, local libraries are the only source of books and other educational materials,” Zemke said. “We should not arbitrarily limit the ability of school districts to create libraries where there’s a need. Giving students the resources they need will allow them to succeed in school and beyond.”

Zemke’s colleague, Rep. Dale Zorn (R-Ida), co-sponsored the bill. “I am pleased to have co-sponsored this bill to remove the sunset for a school district joining in the formation of a district library,” said Zorn. “The issue is a particular concern for the city of Milan, a portion of which is in both Rep. Zemke’s district and my own. Allowing school districts to participate in these intergovernmental relationships makes sense, especially since library access is so closely connected to education.”

Milan Mayor Michael Armitage also voiced his support for the bill. “This bill will allow for intergovernmental cooperation to continue when it comes to providing library service,” Armitage said. “For Milan, this will mean an opportunity to have a library that serves the entire Milan Area School District, which just makes sense.”