Bloomfield Hills, MI is a very wealthy suburb of Detroit. But they are lacking something nearly every town in the USA has.
Since 2003, when Bloomfield Hills opted out of a 39-year relationship with the Bloomfield Township Public Library, its 4,000 residents (median household income: $172,000 a year) have been library-less by choice.
The same city that boasts of being home to executives and sports stars, exclusive country clubs and fabulous homes, has been going cheap on borrowing books.
City Commissioner Robert Toohey urges residents to avail themselves of the “free” libraries in nearby Birmingham and Bloomfield Township. If they need to check out books, residents can buy $200 library cards, with check-out privileges, from the Troy Public Library. Fewer than 100 do so, even though Bloomfield Hills reimburses the cost.
As one father found out though, just because you have a library card at a library, doesn’t mean you have access to all of its programs.
New city residents like Dr. Homa Hasnain are sometimes surprised to discover their beautiful new home in a prestigious community doesn’t include access to the nearby library.
“I was shocked,” said Hasnain, whose 9-year-old couldn’t participate in summer reading programs. “We thought a library is automatic. … It feels like a punishment to my daughter.”
Tut-tut. It’s clear that the doctor doesn’t understand the social mores of Bloomfield Hills. If you’re wealthy enough to live in Bloomfield Hills, surely you have the means to acquire your own library, complete with mahogany tables, Levenger pens and reading lights, dark leather furniture, and oak bookshelves lined with leather-bound books. Only a socialist, Obamacare-loving, Death Panel Member would place any kind of value on a public library.
Some do-gooders want to change this, and put a millage on the ballot that will renew the rich enclave’s previous contract with the Bloomfield Township library, granting them full library privileges. This being Michigan, there are people against that. Because in Michigan (as has become fashionable all over this great country of ours), the two things people hate more than anything else are taxes and book-learnin’.