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News - Advocacy
Thursday, June 18, 2020 12:00 AM

Governor Whitmer Extends State of Emergency Through July 16, Allows Remote Meetings Through July 31

June 18, 2020

On June 18, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-127, which extends the state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic until July 16. In doing so, Governor Whitmer joins nearly every state in the country in maintaining a state of emergency to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. This executive order will allow her to continue taking action to protect Michigan families and workers.

She also signed Executive Order 2020-129 which extends a previous Executive Order allowing public bodies to conduct public meetings remotely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Under EO 2020-129, public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act, including boards, commissions, committees, subcommittees, authorities, councils and nonprofit boards, can use telephone or video-conferencing methods to continue meeting and conducting business during the COVID-19 public health crisis, so long as they follow certain procedures to ensure meaningful access and participation by members of the public body and the general public. The order also temporarily authorizes public bodies, departments and agencies to use technology to enable remote participation in public comment and hearings, and temporarily excuses school boards from monthly meeting requirements. EO 2020-129 expires on July 31, 2020.

Public bodies must meet the following criteria when holding a public meeting remotely:   

  • Ensure two-way communication for members and the public to hear and address each other when speaking.   
  • Provide adequate notice to the public of the meeting.   
  • Post a public meeting notice on their website.   
  • Permit participants to record or broadcast the public meeting.    
  • Allow participants to address the public body during a public comment period. 

Executive Order 2020-127

Executive Order 2020-129

MLA Connect Archives
Thursday, June 11, 2020 12:00 AM

MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Reopening Communications Strategies

This week, join MLA for a discussion about communicating your library's reopening plans effectively to your patrons and community. How do you tell your story? How do you prepare your patrons for a reopened library with new safety protocols in place? MLA has encouraged “over-communicating” during this time. Learn from some exemplary communications directors about best practices and ideas.

Special guests include Trenton Smiley, Director of Marketing and Communications, Capital Area District Libraries, and Victoria Meadows, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), who previously served as Library Communications Manager for Lansing Community College.

View Coffee Hour Recording
News - Advocacy
Saturday, June 06, 2020 12:00 AM

Reminder: Reopening is a Dimmer Switch

June 6, 2020

MLA wants to remind all libraries in Michigan that we are behind you as you gradually bring your services and your facilities back up to speed. We encourage you to over-communicate your reopening plans through your website, your social media sites, through your local radio stations and newspapers, and other communication vehicles that will inform your patrons and others that it will take time once you are back in your buildings to prepare your sites, first to offer limited services (like curbside), and doing everything you can to mitigate the further spread of the coronavirus before you open your doors.

News - Advocacy
Friday, June 05, 2020 03:19 PM

Governor Whitmer Releases Updated Workplace Standards for Retail Including Libraries, Reopens More Regions Under MI Safe Start Plan

June 5, 2020

On June 5, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-114 and 2020-115 to reopen more regions and economic sectors under the MI Safe Start Plan.

Starting on June 10, Regions 6 and 8 — which include much of northern Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula — will advance to Phase 5 of the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan. Phase 5 allows the reopening of salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

MLA Connect Archives
Thursday, June 04, 2020 12:00 AM

MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Reopening Plans

Grab a cozy mug of your favorite beverage and join MLA Executive Director, Debbie Mikula as she moderates a panel discussion of how libraries across the state are planning their safe reopening. Panelists will discuss how they created their libraries' reopening plans, important phases and milestones included in their plans, and hurdles their libraries are facing. Each panelist will have 10 minutes to review the major components of their plan, followed by discussion.

View Coffee Hour Recording
News - MLA
Wednesday, June 03, 2020 12:00 AM

Necessary Conversations on Institutional Racism

A message from MLA President Kristin Shelley
June 3, 2020

Black Lives Matter

In an October 4, 2013 “Scientific American” article by Julianne Chiaet, she writes that “reading literary fiction improves empathy.” It is evident, now more than ever, that we need empathy. As we grapple with racial inequities and racial conflict in our communities and our country, we need to have difficult discussions with elected officials, with community members, with our neighbors, with our friends, and with our families. However, many of us do not know how to begin these conversations. We do not know or understand what institutional racism is; and we do not know the historical context of the protests that are happening in our communities today. So often it is easier for many of us not to discuss race and the history of Black Americans, but this silence impedes healing and progress. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

News - MLA
Monday, June 01, 2020 02:39 PM

Governor Whitmer Moves Michigan to Stage 4 of MI Safe Start Plan, Libraries Allowed to Open June 8

June 1, 2020

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-110, rescinding her Safer at Home order and moving the entire state to phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan. As a result, Michiganders are no longer required to stay home. Instead, certain businesses will remain closed and specific activities that present a heightened risk of infection will remain prohibited. Any work that is capable of being performed remotely must be performed remotely.

Executive Order 2020-110, Section 10 states: "Unless otherwise prohibited by local regulation, libraries and museums may open as of June 8, 2020, subject to the rules governing retail stores described in Executive Order 2020-97 or any order that may follow from it."

Read EO 2020-110

View EO 2020-97, 6. for rules governing retail stores:,9309,7-387-90499_90705-529864--,00.html?fbclid=IwAR2tcgMBhTDxOf8CoLj7AxcTTZnbc2GZWjbgYR2keNHSF6Tz-RWo9MWVdBs

You can also take a look at the quick update from the legal community here in Foster Swift Legal Update:

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