LANSING — State Representative Adam F. Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) introduced a bill that would remove the sunset on school districts establishing a district library. The law allowing local governments, including school districts, to form new district libraries currently prohibits districts from doing so after Jan. 1, 2015. Zemke introduced House bill 5597 to remove that provision.
“Teaching children to read early, and cultivating a love of reading, makes them much more likely to have educational success. And that’s not to mention all the other wonderful resources libraries provide,” Zemke said. “We should continue to allow school districts to establish libraries where there’s a need so that students have all the tools they need to thrive.”
The issue is a particular concern for the city of Milan, a portion of which is in Zemke’s district. The city straddles the line between Washtenaw and Monroe counties. Monroe County Representatives Dale Zorn (R-Ida) and Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) signed onto the bill as co-sponsors. Milan Mayor Michael Armitage also voiced his support.
“Removing the sunset for a school district joining in the formation of a district library will help ensure that all residents in the Milan area have access to the local library,” Armitage said. “Allowing school districts to participate in these intergovernmental relationships makes sense, especially since library access is so closely connected to education.”