At its meeting on November 15, 2011, the Detroit Library Commission approved the closure of four branch libraries. The libraries approved for closure, effective December 22, 2011 are:
- Lincoln, 1221 E. Seven Mile/Russell
- Mark Twain, 4741 Iroquois
- Monteith, 14100 Kercheval/Eastlawn
- Richard, 9876 Grand River/Stoepel
In addition, the Children's Library located with the Frederick Douglass branch will be closed on December 22, 2011 and will be replaced by a Technology Center in the near future. Library on Wheels and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) will remain open for service.
"It is the most difficult decision to close libraries especially during difficult economic times when people need their libraries the most," said Judge Edward Thomas, President of the Detroit Library Commission. "We will continue to explore solutions to minimize the impact of the closures on these communities that are affected the most."
Declining property values as well as the erosion of Detroit's population has had a significant impact on the Library's budget. The Library is funded through a dedicated property tax millage approved by the citizens of Detroit. Over the last three years, the Detroit Public Library's revenue have declined by an average of 12% each year. It is projected that the Library's annual revenues will continue to decline in the next three years.