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Updates on SB 611 - Michigan Library Privacy Act

March 26, 2020

On March 12, MLA Executive Director, Deborah E. Mikula, testified at the State of Michigan Judiciary Committee Hearing in support of Senator MacGregor’s Senate Bill 611. Supportive testimony was also delivered by Lance Werner, Director of the Kent District Library, who accompanied Senator MacGregor, and non-verbal support was issued by 10 public libraries and cooperatives.

Last October, Senator MacGregor introduced SB 611 to amend the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455. The intention of his bill was to enable libraries to work with law enforcement when the library is a victim of a crime. After hearing both concerns and support from the Michigan library community on Senator MacGregor's proposed amendments to the Privacy Act, MLA helped draft a substitute bill that clarifies and updates SB 611. The proposed substitution bill removes obstacles and legal barriers libraries sometimes face when a crime has been committed in the library while providing for continued protection to patron privacy.

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Senate Passes Historic Stimulus Package

March 26, 2020

Yesterday, the United States Senate passed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This bipartisan legislation is the largest economic aid package in US history, and was passed in the Senate with a unanimous 96-0 vote. It will next go to the House for a vote.

On Wednesday evening, before the Senate passed this legislation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House will convene at 9 a.m. Friday to consider the relief package. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is indicating that she's optimistic that the bill will pass in the House as well. President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the measure and tweeted his congratulations after it cleared the Senate. View full the bill text here.

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Contact Your Federal Legislators and Urge Them to Support Funding for Libraries

President Trump's proposed FY 2021 budget ends federal funding for libraries and museums. For the fourth year in a row the proposed budget eliminates funding critical to libraries. The budget proposal requests funding to cover the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administrative expenses for an orderly shutdown of the agency beginning October 1, 2020. The budget proposal also cuts $27 million from the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program, which helps school libraries serve students in the most vulnerable communities across America.

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MLA's Official Position on SB 611 – Michigan Library Privacy Act

February 6, 2020

On Friday, January 31, 2020, the MLA Board of Directors unanimously voted to support and approve a substitution bill for Senate Bill 611 (SB 611).

Last October, Senator MacGregor introduced SB 611 to amend the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455. The intention of his bill was to enable libraries to work with law enforcement when the library is a victim of a crime. After hearing both concerns and support from the Michigan library community on Senator MacGregor's proposed amendments to the Privacy Act, MLA drafted a substitute bill that clarifies and updates SB 611.

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Good News and Bad News for Michigan’s Budget

January 23, 2020

GOOD NEWS! While estimates set at the May 2019 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference predicted a very flat revenue scenario this year, some good news was presented to the legislative and executive branch by fiscal experts in early January. According to new estimates, Michigan expects to see an additional $235.2 million in General Fund revenue and $85.7 million more in School Aid Fund support for the current Fiscal Year 2020. For the upcoming budget, which begins October 1, 2020, officials are expecting additional revenues of $274 million in the General Fund and $138 million in the School Aid Fund for a combined $412 million in additional revenue.

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Michigan Library Privacy Act Update

January 23, 2020

First and foremost, we are grateful for all input that we have received from statewide librarians on SB611. The bill to amend 1982 PA 455, introduced by Senator MacGregor on October 29, was introduced without MLA input. MLA agrees that if these changes are to be implemented, it should be done when all voices (pro and con) have been heard, and all input has been taken into consideration. Through a very thorough vetting process beginning in November 2019, we believe that we have gained statewide and national insight into the support and the concerns that this update brings. The MLA Board will be voting on our position at the end of January, and we will communicate that with you quickly.

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Update on MLA’s Work to Address Changes to the Michigan Library Privacy Act

December 19, 2019

Since the introduction of SB611 by Senator Peter MacGregor on October 29, MLA has been gathering input from library directors, deans and others about support and concern on the proposed changes. MLA believes that library privacy is a core value to librarianship and any changes to the Privacy Act should be vetted through the proper channels. This bill was introduced without MLA input. MLA has taken the past 45 days to gather your thoughts and try to find a way to find compromises to the concerns that you’ve brought to our attention in order to get the best possible changes in front of Senator MacGregor by mid-January when it is expected to move forward in the legislative process. 

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Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan (CAN)

December 18, 2019

For the past five months, MLA has been involved in the formation of a new organization, the Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan (CAN). This new initiative was started by the leaders of eight statewide cultural organizations, including the Michigan Library Association, Historical Society of Michigan, Michigan Museums Association, Michigan Presenters Network, Michigan Festivals and Events Association, Michigan Youth Arts, Michigan Historic Preservation Network and the Michigan Humanities. We are actively pursuing a number of other statewide cultural entities to join us as well.

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Legislation Amending Library Privacy Act Introduced in Senate

November 7, 2019

On October 29, State Senators Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford), Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) and Ruth Johnson (R-Holly) introduced Senate Bill 611. This bipartisan bill amends the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455, enabling libraries, if they choose, to work with law enforcement when the library is a victim of a crime, or a crime occurs at the library. Currently, libraries cannot release library records to law enforcement without a court order. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. 

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Macmillan CEO Responds to #ebooksforall Advocates in a Letter to Librarians

October 29, 2019

Macmillan Publishers CEO, John Sargent has issued a letter in response to #ebooksforall advocates. Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publisher's eBook embargo will go into effect. The new Macmillan lending policy will allow libraries to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. Advocates have been signing the #ebooksforall petition and contacting Macmillan's CEO to urge Macmillan to abandon this new lending model. On Tuesday, October 29, Macmillan issued a response in a "Letter to Librarians" from CEO John Sargent. Stay tuned for more news on #ebooksforall advocacy. Read the full text of the letter here:

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ALA Denounces Amazon, Macmillan in Response to Congressional Inquiry on Competition in Digital Markets

October 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Current practices by content publishers and distributors in digital markets limit libraries’ ability to deliver core services, according to a new report publicly released today by the American Library Association (ALA). Submitted in response to an inquiry from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, ALA’s report underscores practices by companies like Amazon and Macmillan Publishers that threaten Americans’ right to read what and how they choose and imperil other fundamental First Amendment freedoms. The report urges lawmakers to curb anti-competitive practices of digital market actors. Download the Digital Markets Report

Read more at ALA.org

 
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