By Seth Kinker,

On July 8 representatives from the Chelsea District Library (CDL) attended the city council meeting to give a presentation on progress from the past year and to ask voters for a renewal of their operating millage that will be on the ballot on Aug. 6.

“It’s a renewal, not an increase,” said Lori Coryell, Library Director of the CDL.

The renewal of the 10-year millage at 1.9231 mills wouldn’t result in a tax increase. They also informed council on their progress with their strategic plan over the past two and a half years.


Coryell went through their vision and mission statements while prefacing their strategic plan that was made in 2016, that includes their resource management, programs offered, initiates, etc.

That plan had three main areas of focus – facilities, finance, and technology. Portable walls, easels, improvements to outdoor areas, furniture relocation, distribution of wi-fi hotspots, and security improvements were all touched upon.

Coryell reported 90% of the CDL’s operating revenue comes from property taxes and that is also supplemented with grants and donations.

The second main area of focus was community engagement. Coryell told council about outreach initiatives including meeting with nearby municipalities to figure out how they could best serve the local community.

CDL Delivers!, a book delivery service, walk to school days, and a veterans card with different requirements for checking out books were just a few examples given of outreach initiatives.

Finally, Coryell talked about their third area of focus which had to do with programs and collections a big part of their strategic plan.

“We heard from the community we needed to do more to appeal to teens,” said Coryell. As a result, programs geared towards that audience were incorporated over the past two years with Coryell telling council that it doubled youth participation from 2017 to 2018.

After the review, Coryell took questions from council.

Besides a few members asking where they could get a yard sign supporting the CDL, Mayor Melissa Johnson commented on how important of a community partner the CDL is, whether that be providing books to the community or hosting community meetings at the city and county level .

For more information on the CDL and the millage renewal, you can visit their website at