Update: Be sure to check out Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran (Impromptu Librarian)'s take in No card for you... Mary Beth does a great read-between-the-lines (actually, just read the lines she selected from the library's Q & A, supplemented by her own reactions). (p.s. if you're reading this, hi Mary Beth!)
Peter Hirtle sent me this AP story by David Eggert about a Michigan case that will be heard this week by the Michigan Supreme Court. Do Michiganders have a constitutional right, based on the Michigan constitution (see below), to get a library card in a neighboring community?
Facts: A contract agreement between the city and library expired. Nonresidents could no longer borrow library materials or have full access to online databases and other programs that were available to township residents.
Lower Courts: The trial court ruled that the state constitution and statutes did not require the library to allow nonresidents to get cards. The Appellate court agreed, saying that the constitution,when read with consideration of drafters' intent, did not mandate libraries to issue nonresident cards or offer all services to nonresidents.
Some more background here: Michigan Library Association
CONSTITUTION OF MICHIGAN OF 1963
Article VIII Education
§ 9 Public libraries, fines.
The legislature shall provide by law for the establishment and support of public libraries which shall be available to all residents of the state under regulations adopted by the governing bodies thereof. All fines assessed and collected in the several counties, townships and cities for any breach of the penal laws shall be exclusively applied to the support of such public libraries, and county law libraries as provided by law.