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Letters to the Editor

June 11, 2014 - Reader finds lots of value in library

Dear Editor,

On Aug. 5 voters in Independence township and the Village of Clarkston will decide the fate of our library. The average homeowner in both the township and the village has been paying $69.10 per year (at a rate of .6910 mills) to support the library. (The average home in the area is worth $200,000, but $100,000 is its taxable value.) If the Aug. 5 vote to raise the rate to 1.25 mills passes, the average tax bill will be raised by $55.90 for a year. If the vote fails, Clarkston's library will disappear.

How much is the library really worth? I decided to imagine what it would cost to replace the entertainment the library provided our household in the past year:

Just since September, my husband and I read 21 books, at $20 each, about $420.00.

For myself, I listened to 12 recorded books. At about $30 each, $160. I could purchase a membership from a company at $17.98/month to rent one audiobook per month would be $215.76/year.

We watched four seasons of both "Foyle's War" and "All Creatures Great and Small," plus all episodes of "Fawlty Towers." It was a long winter. Nine sets of DVD's, used, from Amazon costs $195.

Total cost to replace what we used last year is between $775 and $830!

If our library closes, we will not be able to take out materials from neighboring libraries without a library card. Cost to purchase a library card, spending on the library and the services the card would afford, would be $250 to $750 a year.

Even at the new, proposed millage, our library is a bargain! One of the best things about a library is that it is a great equalizer. anyone walking into a library can feel rich!

Someone who can't afford a computer can use the library's - they even offer lessons. Parents with small children can check out a bagful of picture books, videos, and puppets every week. Raise a reader - bring your kids to the summer reading programs. Or, sit in a leather easy chair in a quiet room and read a good book. Movies, music CD's, and E-books are free, and Kindles can even be checked out on a library card.

Clarkston is full of optimistic people - they can be seen decorating the lampposts and planters in our downtown for every season; they enjoy our wonderful shops and flock to summer concerts; they built Depot Park and donated the gazebo. Two generations of these hard-working people worked to provide the beautiful library we have today.

Vote "yes" on Aug. 5 to save our library.

Susanne McVinnie


Local library offers reader more than books

Dear Editor,

A library is so much more than books. I have always appreciated the programs that have been planned to appeal to community members. I have taken my grandchildren to enrichment programs. I have met friends to listen to Michigan authors and other programs of interest to adults. Did you happen to attend the recent celebration of chocolate? Fantastic!

A library is so much more than books. I have a laptop but no longer have a printer. I print at the library for a nominal fee. This is much more cost effective than keeping a printer and cartridges at home.

A library is so much more than books. I connected with some local residents who knit at the library on Wednesday evenings. I am now a knitter. I have learned so much from the knitters. It is great to have a comfortable facility where we can meet.

A library is so much more than books. Let's keep the library open and available. It fills the needs of the residents.

Sandy Diederich

Independence Towship

Online database services key benefit for user

Dear Editor,

Clarkston/Independence Township residents may not realize that our library offers over 50 databases for use from home or at the library using your library card which can be obtained for free at the Clarkston Independence District Library.

Connecting with the library at, and selecting "online resources" on the home page, allows the user to access databases in the areas of auto repair, business, careers, consumer information, education, genealogy, government documents, health, investments, languages and more. If you locate the cursor over each Database, information on contents and audience are displayed.

For example, Rocket Languages allows you to learn a language on your own terms in your own time. InfoTrac Newsstand contains 1,000 US and world newspapers. ValueLine contains key investment information. Kids Info Bits is great for beginning researchers. Books and Authors helps you select the best book to read, based on your interests.

Get online this summer and browse our library's databases for fun and information before Aug. 5. Then please vote yes to keep this important community resource for lifelong learning.

Marilyn Pomeroy

Independence Township

Reading club


Dear Editor,

The Evening Book Discussion Group of the Clarkston Independence District Library concluded its 2013-2014 season on Tuesday June 3. At this meeting, besides discussing the book designated for that month, the group optimistically chose ten books to discuss in the 2014-2015 season.

Among the books selected for the next season are recent fiction like Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt, classics like One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Quiet American by Graham Greene, and the inspiring World War II account Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

Why was this an optimistic act? Because the group which has met continuously since 1998 along with the Morning Book Discussion Group that dates back to 1994 would cease to exist if the Library's millage does not pass on Aug. 5.

The book groups sponsored by Clarkston Independence Library are open to any participants who wish to join. You don't have to be asked or belong to any specific group. You can come together with other readers to learn and explore ideas, make friends, and have fun.

The library not only provides a convenient meeting place, it provides the books in several formats. Many of the copies are borrowed for us through the interlibrary loan system. The librarians are happy to help us find supplemental material about the books or authors to enrich our discussions.

Other book groups throughout the community also benefit from these two book groups because books that have been purchased in multiple copies for the book groups over the years have been assembled into Book Group Kits that they can borrow. Currently the Library offers 174 different book group kits.

The book discussion groups are just one of the many services provided by the Clarkston Independence District Library that add to the quality of life in our community. Please join me in voting "yes" on Aug. 5 to keep the doors open for this vital community asset.

By the way, the name of the book we discussed at our last meeting? Its title is Life After Life. May it be so.

Patience Beer

Independence Township

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