News - Advocacy
Friday, January 19, 2024 12:00 AM

Freedom to Read Legislation Update

Just when Michigan House members were set to introduce the Freedom to Read legislation in November, we stepped back and are taking a pause. Why? In the course of about two months, residents in the state of Michigan experienced a pause in the legislative cycle due to sine die; we saw two House Democrats elected in November to mayoral positions leaving the House evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, which also is leading to a new election being scheduled for these two districts in late April; and adding fuel to the fire, seven of the newly adopted House districts in SE Michigan were challenged and must be redrawn before any further elections can take place.

So where does that leave us with the Freedom to Read Legislation? We ask for your patience as we await further word from Rep. Glanville and Rep. Paiz on the date in which these bills will be introduced. Stay tuned! Our hope is to see them introduced sometime between now and the beginning of March and then our main focus during Michigan Library Advocacy Day will be on this proactive legislation that incorporates both the principles of the First Amendment and the rights afforded and upheld in civil rights protections. By incorporating both principles into standard library policy, libraries are able to 1) protect citizen’s rights to receive and express diverse ideas without censorship, and 2) put to rest baseless challenges targeting authors or the subject matter, content, or viewpoint of material based on protected class.

We are also applauding several states that have recently introduced anti-book ban legislation. Among them are Massachusetts (HB 4229 and SB 2528), New Mexico (HB 123), Kansas (SB 358) and Colorado (SB 049) (as well as last year’s Illinois legislation). Michigan will be a part of this list very soon. Stay tuned.

Record a Video to Support the Freedom to Read

We need your help to spread the message for Michigan Library Advocacy Day! Record a 30-second clip asking your legislator to support intellectual freedom and First Amendment rights by supporting the Freedom to Read Legislation.

It’s quick and easy to record and submit the video – just click the link and follow the prompts. You can even record it on your phone! Then share a short personal message about why the right to read is important, share your name (first name only is fine!) and where you are from, then ask your legislator to support the Freedom to Read legislation.

MLA will be sharing these videos with legislators on social media and using them in our communications to advocate for the right to read during Michigan Library Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 16. Advocates from all over Michigan will be meeting in person with legislators, and we want to continue to amplify our message and ask for their support. We will tag your legislator so they see your message.


MI Right to Read is an MLA initiative coordinated through the leadership of the Intellectual Freedom Task Force to protect the right to read in Michigan.

Visit today to join the coalition and take the pledge to protect every Michigander's right to read.


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