Members of the Michigan Library Association are very disappointed that Governor Snyder signed SB 571 into law without sending it back to the senate for revisions.
However, we look forward to working with legislators to help craft a clean-up bill that would not impede the libraries’ ability to educate and inform voters.
The language in SB 571 creates criminal and civil penalties for librarians and library boards concerning sharing of factual information about their elections within 60 days of Election Day. This language blocks access to unbiased, objective communication and dissemination of information – the very definition of a library’s purpose.
As librarians, we see this as not only a free speech issue but also a blow to transparency in government and harmful to one of librarians’ basic doctrines which is to educate patrons and inform citizens about issues impacting their communities.