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Please Continue to Reach Out to Legislators

May 27, 2020

MLA continues to reach out to all of our Senators and House members to remind them of the importance of libraries throughout Michigan. Last month we contacted every State Representative and Senator to remind them that while libraries' doors are closed, libraries continue to offer many valuable digital services online. We shared that even though library buildings are closed to the public, many have taken this opportunity to expand access to digital resources and online services, launch virtual programs, and coordinate services with local government agencies. We reminded them that library patrons can access eBooks, audiobooks, online learning and tutoring help. We shared that libraries are engaging readers of all ages by streaming book discussions, author visits and storytimes, offering access to skill-building activities and resume development for those who have been recently unemployed, as well as offering telehealth resources and trustworthy public health information.

We invited our legislators to include information in their own newsletters to constituents and provided the sample write up below. We had several positive responses, thanking us for the information and letting us know they are happy to share the information with their constituents.

We encourage you to reach out to them as well and make sure that in these difficult times they are hearing from you too. Since we cannot visit with legislators in person or invite them to hold their coffee hours at our libraries right now, we suggest you email them and let them know what your library is doing now, even with the physical doors closed.

Sample Write-up Shared With Legislators:
While our local libraries are temporarily closed due to the current public health crisis, it's a great time to explore the many digital resources they provide. Check out your local library online! You can find trusted health information and community resources; access online services to learn a new language, brush up on job skills, get homework help or explore your family history; stream movies and music; take advantage of fun and educational virtual events and digital programs like storytimes, escape rooms, author talks and book clubs. Plus, access audiobooks, eBooks, newspapers, magazines and more - all for free and all accessible online from anywhere.
Don’t have a library card? Visit your library’s website, or give them a call! It’s easy to sign up for a library card and your card grants you access to all of the free and helpful digital services and resources your library provides.

Our state legislators need to know that access to digital resources, delivered by our libraries, has become critically important to our citizens in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Libraries have stepped up to successfully deliver these resources to our communities.

Today…call them or write them. We must stay in front of them and amplify our voices about the importance and relevance of our libraries. We must continue to advocate for library resources that will go elsewhere if we do not.

You can find your legislators and their contact information using these links: Find your Representative | Find your Senator

 


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