News - Advocacy
Friday, April 28, 2023 12:00 AM

Michigan Library Advocacy Day

On Tuesday, April 25 the Michigan Library Association hosted its first in-person Michigan Library Advocacy Day in more than a decade. The sold-out event brought together 125 library advocates representing public, school, academic, tribal, and special libraries from all over Michigan to share the message that Strong Libraries = A Stronger Michigan.

Throughout the day, librarians attended more than 140 visits with Michigan lawmakers to advocate for library services and funding. Bookmobiles from across Michigan were showcased onsite at the Capitol for advocates and legislators to explore, including ten bookmobiles and two book bikes.

The day's activities also included a Read-in on the Capitol Steps with a formal welcome from Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist who proclaimed the value of libraries in our communities and the important role they play in promoting literacy.

“All the things that reading unlocks are all the things that people should have; imagination, courage, creativity, connection, ambition, wonder,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist as he addressed library advocates. “I'm so thankful to be a guest here of the library association and all of our amazing library systems across every community in the State of Michigan. We all have a role to play to make sure we can strengthen our culture of literacy and of reading, understanding, and growth.”

Guest speakers Senator Sam Singh, ACLU Executive Director Loren Khogali, and Plymouth District Library Board President Yasir Khogali also joined library advocates on the Capitol steps to celebrate and champion libraries. The Michigan House of Representatives welcomed librarians to Lansing and adopted a resolution declaring April 25 as Michigan Librarian and Library Worker Day, making it an even more significant occasion. The event coincided with National Library Worker Day and National Library Week, which libraries and library workers around the nation are celebrating throughout this week.

"The event proved to be a powerful display of the library community's collective voice in support of all Michigan libraries. Strong libraries truly equal a stronger Michigan," said Deborah E. Mikula, MLA Executive Director.

View the event photo album. More photos will be added in the coming weeks! If you have a great photo from the event that MLA can use in future communications, please share it with us by emailing it to [email protected].

Michigan Librarian and Library Worker Day

While the call out of librarians and library workers on the House Floor on April 25 was delayed by over two hours during Michigan Library Advocacy Day, we were very proud that the values they hold dear, and the work they perform each and every day was recognized. Ultimately Tuesday, April 25 was designated as Michigan Librarian and Library Worker Day. Thank you so much Representative Veronica Paiz for the “Call Out” and librarian recognition. Read the resolution: 2023-HIR-0081 (pdf).

Take Action to Amplify our Message: STRONG LIBRARIES = A STRONGER MICHIGAN

Add your voice to amplify our message: Strong Libraries = A Stronger Michigan.

Email your legislators and tell them that Michigan libraries need their support! Ask them to prioritize library funding in Michigan by supporting increased and secured funding for State Aid and capital improvements and by reforming Headlee to stabilize library revenues during economic downturns. Ask them to support policy and funding for certified school librarians and that schools in Michigan be required to have a school library. Urge them to protect intellectual freedom.

We've made it easy to take action:

Step 1:

Click the button below to take action through our contact center.

Step 2:

Enter your contact information to connect to your State Representative and Senator.

Step 3:

Customize your email! We’ve indicated suggested areas for you to add content to personalize your message. Add personal details about how your library’s services have impacted you and/or your community; how State Aid is used at your library and how increased funds would enhance your ability to serve your community; capital improvements your library needs; how the Headlee amendment has impacted your library’s budget; or add any stories or information about the importance of intellectual freedom. We encourage you to customize and personalize your message for greater impact and share your library name and contact information. Make sure you edit our prewritten template before you hit send! The text of the template email is also copied below. Feel free to customize any part of your message, but please note the draft email will need to be edited in the email contact center before you submit your message!

Step 4:


Step 5:

If your legislator's office responds, make sure you follow up with any information requested! Offer yourself/your organization or MLA as a resource for finding solutions.


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.

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