Operating the Fruitport District Library

By Adam DeWitt

In August, electors voted against a “new” proposal funding the Fruitport District Library.  Supporters of the Library feel that the defeat was due to a misunderstanding of the proposal’s wording, which had to state that this levy is new, due to the fact the Library is, for the first time, on the ballot as “Fruitport District Library.”  This “new” millage continues where the current millage ends.  The current millage, expiring December 2018, levied .75 mills.  The November proposal will continue to levy .75 mills for the next ten years, until 2028.  With this money, the Library purchases new books and materials, provides staffing for reference, operation, and support, and maintains the facility.

Fruitport District Library is a vibrant part of the community.  The shelves are full of books, many published since 2015.  At last count, there are over 16,000 items with new books continuing to arrive.  In addition to books, there are DVD’s, books-on-CD, magazines, and book club kits.  Onsite library services also include free Wi-Fi, inexpensive printing and faxing services, and computer use for anything from playing online games to filling out job applications.  Electronic books and audiobooks are available with the Overdrive app; or you can read your favorite magazine with the RB Digital app.

The Library partners with other West Michigan and more distant in-state libraries.  You may have a book delivered to the Fruitport District Library from almost any library in Michigan.  The Michigan eLibrary Catalog (MeLCat) provides books and databases.  These databases provide information that help children with homework, adults with legal and consumer questions, and even automotive repair.

Fruitport District Library hosts a weekly children’s story time, which includes a craft or activity.  In addition, this year was the first official Summer Reading Program that offered participation for everyone.  Over 300 people participated.  We had seven programs, including the Outdoor Discovery Center from Holland brought “Animal Chorus” to Pomona Park.  Meyer Music also presented “Touch-a-Tuba”.  More programs are yet to come this Fall.

The Library staff include three members.  Beth Werking, a veteran children’s librarian, lives in Grand Haven.  Erica Huyser, the Library Assistant, lives in Fruitport.  Adam DeWitt, the Library Director, lives in Grant.

The lower level of the Library building is being refurbished with new flooring and a fresh coat of paint.  Our upper level is clean, organized, and mixes the traditional library of books and tables with modern internet technology.  The Library also purchases supplies needed on a day-to-day basis.

This is how the Fruitport District Library uses millage money.  New materials are purchased.  Membership fees are paid.  Programming is planned and executed.  Staff members are paid.  The Library building and daily operations are kept in working order.  Please come into the Fruitport District Library, and see your money at work.

Find more information about the Library’s millage proposal, the Library’s budget, and other information about the Fruitport District Library on our Facebook page (search: Fruitport District Library), on our website, at www.fruitportdistrictlibrary.org, or by calling us at (231) 366-6107.