Image by Andy Thompson

In case you’re just tuning in, before my 30th birthday,I began pondering something unique and special to celebrate the milestone. At first I thought about a staging a literary-themed costume party, hosting a read-in, or even a literature-to-film night; however, a better idea came to me: a campaign of library tours called 30 Years and 30 Libraries.

Throughout the months of November, December, January, I visited, photographed, and toured 30 different libraries and wrote about my various adventures via this blog. The 30 Years and 30 Libraries project not only provided me with fun and adventure, but also served as a learning experience for my professional development.

This post will serve as a final wrap-up that’ll share some interesting 30Y.30L statistics and anecdotes! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at hermionish at gmail dot com.

Fun with Numbers

  • Negativity: In the early stages of putting together this project, I ran into issues with 6 libraries — one of which, the director actually laughed at me and was incredibly rude on the phone when I was attempting to explain the project (this was even after she received a letter in the mail detailing the project and explaining my background). Needless to say, I didn’t end up touring her library!
    • The remaining 5 libraries didn’t return phone calls during the planning process and were subsequently dropped from the 30Y.30L list after several unsuccessful attempts;
  • I drove 3,035.80 miles (round trip — plus picking up a travel companion prior to heading to the upper peninsula)
    • Averaging the cost of gasoline at $3.50 a gallon, I spent about $530.00 on fuel.
  •  I spent a total of 73 hours driving;
This photo was taken after the weeds and debris
were removed from the truck’s undercarriage.
(Notice the mudsplatter is backwards on the
truck because I left the highway at a spin!)
    • Out of the 73 hours, I spent 16.5 hours driving for the upper peninsula trip;
    • Sans the 2 libraries located in the upper peninsula, the average drive time to a library visit (one-way) was about 1 hour;
    • I got into one single-vehicle accident due to an encounter with black ice on westbound I-69 just slightly past the on-ramp near Imlay City. My truck ended up on the far north-end of the grassy slope near the MDOT fence — OnStar as well as my four-wheel drive assisted in the recovery effort.
  • A total of 59.25 hours were spent touring the thirty libraries which means the average visit lasted around 2 hours;
  • For two library visits, I had to use a ferry — tour #4: Reader’s Cove Library and Tour #29: Drummond Island Library — total fares $19.00 ($7.00 for the ferry to Harsen’s Island and $12.00 for the ferry to Drummond Island);
  • I stayed two nights in a hotel for this project;
  • Of the libraries toured, 7 were in Sanilac County, 6 were in Tuscola County, 5 were in Huron County, 5 were in Oakland County, 2 were in Lapeer County, 2 were in St. Clair County, 1 was in Chippewa County, 1 was Mackinac County, and 1 was in Wayne County;
  • 60% of the libraries were located in Michigan’s Thumb area;
  • 18 libraries belong to White Pine Library Cooperative, 5 libraries belong to The Library Network (TLN), 3 libraries belong to the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative, 2 libraries belong to the Superiorland Library Cooperative, 1 library belongs to the Suburban Library Cooperative, and 1 library didn’t belong to any cooperatives due to being private;
  • 2 agencies were a blend between public libraries and school media centers — Tour #18: Opperman Memorial Library and Tour #29: Drummond Island Library;
  • 2 libraries renovated former strip malls for their new homes — Tour #9: Reese Unity District Library and Tour #27: Addison Township Public Library;
  • Of the 29 library directors interviewed, only 4 were male — Tour #6: Bullard Sanford Memorial Library (Eric Andreychuk), Tour #16: Oxford Public Library (Bryan Cloutier), Tour #21: Fairgrove District Library (Larry Haubenstricker), and Tours #29 and 30: Drummond Island Library and Les Cheneaux Community Library (Ken Miller).
  • Out of the 30 libraries toured, 11 were under the supervision of a director holding an MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited institution.
  • The average size of a library toured was a Class 3.
    • Class 0 (private library): 1;
    • Class 1 (population served: 0 – 3,999): 4;
    • Class 2 (population served: 4,000 – 6,999): 10;
    • Class 3 (population served: 7,000 – 11,999): 6;
    • Class 4 (population served: 12,000 – 25,999): 3;
    • Class 5 (population served: 26,000 – 49,999): 4;
    • Class 6 (population served: 50,000+): 2
  • Press and Coverage: The 30Y.30L project was featured on the front page of the Vassar Pioneer Times; via Facebook, the School of Library and Information Science shared the Hermionish link to the Vassar Pioneer Times article; Bullard Sanford Memorial Library featured the project on their website; my ‘featured student’ profile on the School of Library and Information Science website mentions the 30Y.30L project and links to this blog
    • At the 2012 Rural Libraries Conference at the Grand Traverse Bay Resort, I was approached by several librarians who inquired if I was ‘the same Jill Brown who toured all of those libraries.’

Rank by Miles Away

A map showing the 30 libraries!
    1. Sandusky District Library (6.3 miles)
    2. Elk Township Library (7.5 miles)
    3. Aitkin Memorial District Library (18.2 miles)
    4. Deckerville Public Library (18.4 miles)
    5. Lapeer District Library: Clifford Library (18.9 miles)
    6. Marlette District Library (19.0 miles)
    7. Brown City Public Library (20.1 miles)
    8. Moore Public Library (21.8 miles)
    9. Opperman Memorial Library (22.6 miles)
    10. North Branch Township Library (25.9 miles)
    11. Sleeper Public Library (31.8 miles)
    12. Burtchville Township Library (33.3 miles)
    13. Rawson Memorial District Library (34.1 miles)
    14. Caro Area District Library (38.4 miles)
    15. Bad Axe Area District Library (40.7 miles)
    16. Bullard Sanford Memorial Library (46.8 miles)
    17. Fairgrove District Library (47.5 miles)
    18. Harbor Beach Area District Library (50.3 miles)
    19. Reese Unity District Library (52.7 miles)
    20. Addison Township Public Library (52.9 miles)
    21. Pigeon District Library (56.6 miles)
    22. Port Austin Township Library (58.0 miles)
    23. Reader’s Cove Library (64.3 miles)
    24. Oxford Public Library (64.5 miles)
    25. Orion Township Library (65.7 miles)
    26. Eastpointe Memorial Library (71.2 miles)
    27. Brandon Township Library (75.5 miles)
    28. Holly Township Library (86.8 miles)
    29. Les Cheneaux Community Library (287 miles)
    30. Drummond Island Library (319 miles)

Rank by Class Size

(Note: this ranking is slightly skewed due to several libraries being a branch of a larger system library)

Class 1 (population served: 0 – 3,999)
Class 2 (population served: 4,000 – 6,999)
Class 3 (population served: 7,000 – 11,999)
Class 4 (population served: 12,000 – 25,999)
Class 5 (population served: 26,000 – 49,999)
Class 6 (population served: 50,000+)

  1. Class 0 (private library): Reader’s Cove Library
  2. Class 1: Elk Township Library
  3. Class 1: Fairgrove District Library
  4. Class 1: North Branch Township Library
  5. Class 1: Sleeper Public Library
  6. Class 2: Addison Township Public Library
  7. Class 2: Bad Axe Area District Library
  8. Class 2: Brown City Public Library
  9. Class 2: Deckerville Public Library
  10. Class 2: Harbor Beach Area District Library
  11. Class 2: Marlette District Library
  12. Class 2: Moore Public Library
  13. Class 2: Opperman Memorial Library
  14. Class 2: Port Austin Township Library
  15. Class 2: Reese Unity District Library
  16. Class 3: Aitkin Memorial District Library
  17. Class 3: Bullard Sanford Memorial Library
  18. Class 3: Caro Area District Library
  19. Class 3: Pigeon District Library
  20. Class 3: Rawson Memorial District Library
  21. Class 3: Sandusky District Library
  22. Class 4: Brandon Township Library
  23. Class 4: Holly Township Library
  24. Class 4: Oxford Public Library
  25. Class 5: Drummond Island Library
  26. Class 5: Eastpointe Memorial Library
  27. Class 5: Les Cheneaux Community Library
  28. Class 5: Orion Township Public Library
  29. Class 6: Lapeer District Library – Clifford Branch
  30. Class 6: St. Clair County Library – Burtchville Branch

Rank by Operating Budget
Note: three libraries will be excluded from this list — (1) Reader’s Cove Library on Harsen’s Island due to being private and operating on donations; (2) Opperman Memorial Library — only a collection development budget was provided; (3) Burtchville Township Library (a branch of the St. Clair County Library System) — only a collection development budget was provided.

  1. Bayliss Public Library (Class 5): Drummond Island Library: $25,440
  2. Lapeer District Library (Class 6): Clifford Library: $42,688
  3. Brown City Public Library (Class 2): $45,000
  4. Elk Township Library (Class 1): $45,000 – $50,000
  5. Bayliss Public Library (Class 5): Les Cheneaux Community Library: $48,180
  6. Deckerville Public Library (Class 2): $64,000
  7. Port Austin Township Library (Class 2): $72,000
  8. Sleeper Public Library (Class 1): $72,000 – $75,000
  9. Reese Unity District Library (Class 2): $100,000
  10. North Branch Township Library (Class 1): $101,000
  11. Marlette District Library (Class 2): $110,000
  12. Fairgrove District Library (Class 1): $134,000
  13. Moore Public Library (Class 2): $175,000
  14. Addison Township Public Library (Class 2): $210,000
  15. Aitkin Memorial District Library (Class 3): $230,000
  16. Bad Axe Area District Library (Class 2): $248,000
  17. Pigeon District Library (Class 3): $250,000
  18. Sandusky District Library (Class 3): $250,000
  19. Rawson Memorial District Library (Class 3): $300,000
  20. Holly Township Library (Class 4): $344, 193
  21. Bullard Sanford Memorial Library (Class 3): $400,000
  22. Harbor Beach Area District Library (Class 2): $438,710
  23. Caro Area District Library (Class 3): $500,000
  24. Eastpointe Memorial Library (Class 5): $708,000
  25. Brandon Township Library (Class 4): $908,149
  26. Oxford Public Library (Class 4): $1,100,000
  27. Orion Township Public Library (Class 5): $2,500,000

Total: $9,418,360*
(*Note: When a range was given, the smaller budget amount was utilized.)  

Once again, I’d like to thank the 30 libraries that participated in this project I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for this special and unique opportunity. I learned so much from them!

Please, please support your local library. As Marcia Dievendorf of Caro District Library said, “Access to information and knowledge — that’s the driving force. Libraries are an important part of our democracy. You can educate yourself for free.”

Lady Bird Johnson said, “Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.”

And Lesley Conger once said, “The best of my education has come from the public library…my tuition fee is a bus fare and once in a while, five cents a day for an overdue book. You don’t need to know very much to start with, if you know the way to the public library.”