Close up of Education Muse painted on the interior of the Capitol dome in Lansing, Mi 

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MLA Advocacy News


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.

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Cass County Proposed “Child Protection Ordinance"

April 27, 2023

Last week, MLA worked on an issue that was taking shape in Cass County that would have had far-reaching ramifications for other counties. It was a proposal, unlike anything MLA has responded to in the fight against book banning and censorship.

The Cass County Board of Commissioners was looking to adopt a “Child Protection Ordinance” which would have required signed legal statements attesting to the “safety” of materials at the three local libraries among other places. While the title of the ordinance is a “bit” misleading – this was an attempt to censor and ban books. They were also proposing a county-wide threat of felony charges and warrantless arrests to operate the libraries and curate the collections if materials didn’t satisfy their definitions. 

The good news: the Cass County Board pulled the ordinance from the agenda due to the “heat” of inquiry from librarians and others who were appalled that this was on the agenda. 

There are many issues with the ordinance and the three affected library systems have already engaged legal counsel; are opposed (obviously); and will work through the legal systems to ensure they continue to offer library services without censorship.  

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MLA Condemns Lapeer County Prosecutor for Suggesting Criminal Charges Against Library Officials if Book "Gender Queer" Not Removed

The Michigan Library Association stands united with our libraries and library workers to condemn the threats of the Lapeer County prosecutor, John Miller who has stated publicly that he is considering filing criminal charges against the director and officials at the Lapeer Public Library if “Gender Queer: A Memoir”, an LGBTQ-themed graphic novel, isn’t removed from the adult section of the library collection.

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What Do Michiganders Really Think? MLA Launches Public Opinion Poll on Book Banning

Last month, the Michigan Library Association contracted with EPIC-MRA, a full-service survey research firm with expertise in Public Opinion Surveys and Market Research Studies. EPIC-MRA has a proven track record of producing accurate and useful research data based on public perceptions and opinions. While we have been using national studies (like those produced by ALA and EveryLibrary) to prove that book banning and censorship issues are not tolerated by the majority of voters in the country, we felt that we needed solid Michigan data to back this up.

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MLA Supports Passage of the Crown Act Introduced by Senator Sarah Anthony

The MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee supports Senate Bill 90 a bill introduced by State Senator Sarah Anthony known as the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act. If made law, this bill would add language to Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists as traits historically associated with race.

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