Recognition for School Libraries
The Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) has succeeded in having three bills introduced in the Michigan House that would require a school librarian in every school in the state. At MLA we fully support these bills and congratulate MAME on their effort and achievement. They worked tirelessly to raise awareness and garner attention to this crucial issue. These bills are recognition by legislators of the importance of school libraries and librarians to the education and well-being our youth.
It seems obvious that we would push to have these bills passed and signed into law since it’s a fact that only 8 percent of schools in Michigan have a certified school librarian on staff and Michigan ranks 47th in the country for its students to librarians ratio. However, the key to passage of this legislation will be bipartisan support and the identification of funding sources for those schools to develop and staff the libraries. Any outreach to your legislators indicating support of these bills is a step toward that goal.
EveryLibrary, the national library support group, has made it easy to contact your representative by following this link.
Click to sign and share the petition on Facebook and Twitter!
- HB 5909: Require every public school in Michigan to offer a library beginning in the 2018-19 school year that meets certain criteria. (Rep. Zemke)
- HB 5910: Require a school district board to employ at least one certified media specialist for each school library operated by that district beginning in the 2018-19 school year. (Rep. Camilleri)
- HB 5911: Require a principal or other appropriate administrator to designate an individual to supervise students in a school library when a certified media specialist is not present. (Rep. Greig)
It can be confusing trying to understand how a bill becomes law but the best explanation remains with the 1970s video: I’m just a Bill on Capitol Hill. If you’ve never watched it, take a minute and you’ll come away with some insight. If you grew up watching Schoolhouse Rock it’s a sweet moment of nostalgia. Either way you look at it, it highlights the fact that we have both rights and responsibilities to help establish the policies that govern our state and nation. Fair warning: after viewing the video you may be humming the “I’m just a bill” song all day long.
Health Insurance Options for Libraries Coming Soon
Health insurance options offered by MLA partner National Insurance Services (NIS) are expected to be rolled out July 1. Final approval of bylaws by the MLA board and then certification by the state of Michigan should be completed in June. Our new NIS representative Rick Labian has been reaching out to all libraries currently signed up. If you have additional questions you may reach Rick at:
Account Manager, Benefits Consultant
National Insurance Services
23952 City Center Circle
Mattawan, MI 49071
Direct: 262.780.1248 / Toll free: 800.627.3660 x1248