When was the Allegan District Library established?
In 1913, the City of Allegan received a grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to construct a library building, which opened in 1914 with 3,400 sq. ft. An addition of 7,000 sq. ft. was built in 1976.
The Allegan District Library was established in 2008 to serve residents and businesses in the Allegan Public School District. A seven-member Library Board of Trustees governs the library. Under the Michigan Constitution, district libraries are granted taxing authority and can place a millage request on a ballot for voter approval.
Library staff is comprised of 9.7 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Five emplooyees are full-time and nine are part-time. When all employee hours are added together, they equal 9.7 full-time employees.
How is the library funded?
Currently the library is funded with a dedicated property tax, which is used solely for operating the library. Typically, about 73% of the library’s total revenue comes from property taxes. Other sources of revenue include penal fines, state aid and library fines.
In 2010, voters approved a .85 mill property tax for 10 years to fund library operations; this millage expires at the end of 2019. The library will ask for the .85 operating millage to be renewed in 2018.
The library is debt-free.
Impact of the current operating millage on property owners.
Home Market Value Home Taxable Value Tax (.85 mills)
$50,000 $25,000 $21.25/year or $1.77/month
$100,000 $50,000 $42.50/year or $3.54/month
$150,000 $75,000 $63.75/year or $5.31/month
$200,000 $100,000 $85/year or $7.08/month
How is the Allegan District Library used?
The Allegan District Library provides its service population with tradition and emerging library services, including materials, resources and technology.
The library is used most often in the following ways:
- To develop early literacy skills in young children to help them become school ready
- To obtain popular materials like bestselling books, audio books and DVDs
- To use computers, the Internet and WiFi
- For personal research, homework help, and to pursue professional and personal goals and interests
- For job searches and resume preparation
What is the Library Improvement Plan?
As part of its long-range strategic planning process, the Allegan District Library Board and staff spent time over the past five years studying ways to update and improve library space and services, in line with the library’s mission and values.
The result of the strategic planning process, which included the development of the Allegan District Library Building Program, is the Allegan District Library Improvement Plan.
What improvements did residents say they wanted?
Residents of the Allegan District Library were invited to participate in the strategic planning process. Residents provided input through a planning workshop and surveys that identified the following as desired library improvements:
- Better and barrier-free access into the library building and an elevator
- An improved children’s room
- Updated technology
- Study rooms
- Reading areas with comfortable seating
- More space for programs, especially for children’s programming
- More programs for all ages
- Better community meeting space
- Improved shelving to make finding materials easier
- A local history area
What does the Library Improvement Plan include?
The plan calls for existing space to be reorganized and renovated. Current design plans would add approximately 7,400 sq. ft. of new public service space and construct a lower level of about 4,000 sq. ft. for mechanical systems, storage, Friends book sale space and other purposes. The overall size of the public service space will increase from about 10,500 sq. ft. to 17,900 sq. ft. The building’s final design will take place after funding for the improvement plan is approved.
The plan is intended to improve access to the building and increase the library’s capacity to offer services, materials, technology and programs. The plan includes:
Barrier free access from Hubbard St. and from the Riverfront parking lot, as well as an elevator that provides access to the Riverfront lower level, main level and Carnegie Meeting Room
More space and learning activities for children
A larger children’s room with an interactive learning environment
A teen room
Dedicated space designed for teens to meet, study and read
A Digital Media Lab with equipment and software that can be used to produce videos, record oral history, create music, scan and touch up photos, design websites and learn about animation
Media transfer equipment to convert VHS tapes and similar media to DVDs
Laptop computers for check out
Expanded computer workstations with more work space and privacy
Additional storytimes and family programs
After-school enrichment programs and activities for K-12 students
Workshops about searching for jobs, researching potential employers, writing resumes and using social media to find jobs
Workshops about using the new Digital Media Lab to create video, music and websites
Daytime programs for seniors
Expanded digital and virtual services
More e-books, e-audiobooks and streaming videos
An updated online catalog
Digitized Allegan newspapers going back to 1856
New spaces to study and read
Study rooms where K-12 students and others can meet, study and collaborate
Quiet reading areas
A Riverfront Reading Deck
A business area with a specialized collection and resources for business owners and entrepreneurs
More popular and high-demand materials like bestselling books and DVDs
A restored Carnegie Meeting Room with professional presentation equipment, WiFi, chairs and tables that can be arranged either in theater-style or classroom style, and an adjacent restroom
Restrooms on the main level near the adult area and in the children’s area
A Reading Deck overlooking the riverfront
A drive-up book and media return that is accessible from a vehicle
ADA parking spaces close as possible to the Riverfront entrance
Open, flexible and multifunctional space designed so it can respond to changing needs and be reconfigured to incorporate new technology, formats and services
The improvement plan also will replace mechanical infrastructure and equipment that is near or past its expected lifespan.
What costs are associated with the Plan?
The cost to implement the Plan is $6.5 million. Costs in the Plan include:
- Architectural and engineering fees Site preparation
- The renovation and reorganization of existing library building space
- Construction of new space on the main level and the addition of a lower level
- Improved access to the building, including a ground-level entrance and elevator
- Upgraded and new technology Some new furnishings Construction contingencies Additional digital and virtual services Increased operating funds
How will the Library Improvement Plan be funded?
The library has placed a millage proposal on the August 2, 2016 primary election ballot asking whether voters approve .95 mills for 30 years to fund the Plan.
If approved, the millage will be used to:
- Repay bonds issued to pay for construction-related costs
- Pay the additional cost to operate the larger space
What is the cost to property owners?
The cost of the millage to property owners in the Allegan Library District depends on the assessed or taxable value of a property. The assessed value is about half of a home’s market value.
Impact of the proposed new millage on property owners.
Home Market Value Home Taxable Value Tax (.95 mills)
$50,000 $25,000 $23.75/year or $1.98/month
$100,000 $50,000 $47.50/year or $3.96/month
$150,000 $75,000 $71.25/year or $5.94/month
$200,000 $100,000 $95/year or $7.92/month
What ballot language will voters see?
Allegan District Library
Library Millage Proposal
Shall the Allegan District Library, County of Allegan, Michigan, be authorized to levy a new additional millage in an amount not to exceed .95 mill ($.95 on each $1,000 of taxable value) against all taxable property within the Allegan District Library district for a period of thirty (30) years, 2016 to 2045, inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for all district library purposes authorized by law, including an addition to and renovations of the library building? The estimate of the revenue the Allegan District Library will collect if the millage is approved and levied by the Allegan District Library in the 2016 calendar year is approximately $474,000. By law, the City of Allegan Downtown Development Authority will receive a portion of the millage collected only from the City of Allegan Downtown Development Authority District.
When would construction on the library building begin?
The Library Board anticipates construction will begin in May 2017. The building renovation and expansion is tentatively scheduled to be done by late 2018. During the time the building is being renovated and expanded, the library will continue to operate in its current location and not need to move into temporary space.
Can some new services be offered before the building expansion is complete?
Yes. The Plan provides that the library will begin in fall 2016 to upgrade some of the digital services that are part of the improvement plan.
- Add the online service “hoopla,” which lets you borrow and download digital music, video and books
- Increase the number of e-books and e-audiobooks available to borrow
- Begin to digitize back issues of Allegan newspapers and make them available on-line
When are information meetings about the plan and millage proposal?
You’re invited to learn more about the Library Improvement Plan and the millage proposal by attending a Community Information Meeting in ADL’s Carnegie Meeting Room.
Tuesday, May 10 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, May 19 at 10 a.m.
Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 21 at 10 a.m.
Saturday, July 30 at 2 p.m