Brandenburg honored with first-ever Michigan library award

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published September 22, 2017

 Harrison Township Public Library Director Dan Hutchins and Michigan Sen. Jack Brandenburg attend the Michigan Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award reception at the Chesterfield Township Library on Sept. 8.

Harrison Township Public Library Director Dan Hutchins and Michigan Sen. Jack Brandenburg attend the Michigan Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award reception at the Chesterfield Township Library on Sept. 8.

Photo provided by Dan Hutchins

MACOMB COUNTY — State Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, was recently awarded the first Michigan Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his leadership promoting libraries in Michigan.

Brandenburg was recognized during a reception held at the Chesterfield Township Library on Sept. 8.

“I think that municipalities and cities need libraries because libraries are essential in educating people,” Brandenburg commented in a statement released by his office after the reception. “I’ve made sure throughout my entire time as a public servant that our libraries have had the resources they need. This recognition from the Michigan Library Association is one of the most meaningful honors I have ever received.”

In 2015, Brandenburg introduced a package of bills that changed how library special millages are treated by tax capture authorities. This tax capture relief means that libraries now have a say in how their specially dedicated millages are used by many of these authorities. It means the return of up to $10 million a year to libraries.

“Senator Brandenburg’s unparalleled efforts to see that libraries’ dedicated millages are used to fund libraries and his support for transparency and accountability for voters exemplifies the leadership our library patrons and all Michigan residents can appreciate,” said Michigan Library Association Board President Steven Bowers during the ceremony. “His efforts have helped to ensure the future of our Michigan libraries.”

Harrison Township Public Library Director Dan Hutchins and library Treasurer Carole Wolf also attended the reception.

Hutchins said they were both moved by what Brandenburg had to say about the importance of libraries, specifically the still fairly new full-time Harrison Township Public Library, which voters approved to help fund in 2014.

“The Harrison Township Public Library could not be more thrilled,” said Hutchins, referring to the senator being honored. “No legislator in Michigan has done more for public libraries than Senator Brandenburg. It was touching that he included his parents in the award ceremony. It was also touching that the senator shared with the audience how proud he is of his hometown public library in Harrison Township.”