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Birmingham library bond issue raises question of role of libraries

“When voters in Birmingham head to the polls Tuesday to decide a $21.5-million bond proposal to rebuild the city’s library, the question they may really be answering is this: Do public libraries play a necessary role or a shrinking one in an era of e-books, instant Internet reference searches and the burgeoning outsourcing of government services? The bond proposal, which calls for tearing down 68% of the Baldwin Public Library and rebuilding it with meeting space, a larger children’s area, coffee café and other amenities, would cost an estimated $154 a year in taxes for 20 years on a house with a taxable value of $200,000.” (via Detroit Free Press)

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