MLA News | Michigan Library Association
News - MLA
Written by Ryan Wieber, MLA President   

Letter From Ryan

Well, here we go again Michigan library professionals, trustees, and advocates. Nearly one month into 2022 and it’s more of the same ol’ pandemic (thanks a lot, Omicron), and yet at the same time, a constantly shifting library service and life-on-earth landscape remind everyone how important Michigan libraries are for our local communities. 

We have learned to adapt on the fly now for nearly two years, can you believe that! The way that all libraries, both big and small, have pivoted to virtual programming and services, to curbside delivery and — by whatever means necessary — meet the needs of patrons and students all while taking the steps on a weekly basis to protect the health and wellbeing of patrons and staff, is frankly INCREDIBLE. You know it has not been easy, and we’re all aware of the mental and emotional roller coaster we face every week. Yet we cannot help but remain optimistic, and as a profession, stronger together! 

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News - Advocacy
Thursday, January 27, 2022 12:00 AM

2022 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference

In mid-January, state budget officials met at the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference. "Higher than anticipated growth in income tax and sales tax revenues means the state probably has about $600 million a year in ongoing general fund revenues beyond what it anticipated earlier," stated Budget Director Christopher Harkins.

The state has $5.8 billion in anticipated surplus state revenues and about $15 billion in still unspent federal stimulus and infrastructure funds that it can spend over the next several years. Much of this is for “one-time expenditures” and not to begin new programs or to sustain programs already a part of state government.  

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News - MLA
Thursday, January 27, 2022 12:00 AM

MLA Welcomes New Staff

The MLA staff are welcoming some new individuals to our team this month! We are pleased to announce that Keeley Briggs will be joining us beginning Monday, January 31 as our new Database Coordinator! Earlier this month, we also welcomed our winter semester Social Media Strategist Intern, Sophie Techentin.

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News - Advocacy
Thursday, January 27, 2022 12:00 AM

GCSI Redistricting Analysis

In late December, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission completed their work and voted to adopt new district lines for Michigan’s Congressional, State Senate, and State House. These districts are a dramatic departure from the current seats and will change the landscape for the 2022 election.

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News - MLA
Thursday, January 27, 2022 12:00 AM

MDHHS COVID Test Pilot Program

On January 14, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced a pilot program in partnership with 18 libraries across the state to offer free, at-home testing kits for Michiganders.

Why Libraries? MDHHS was thinking outside the box to find community organizations that people trust to give them access to the kits besides health care agencies. Other partners of MDHHS include schools, community action agencies, local Departments of Health.

The initial distribution of COVID-19 tests to select library branches will inform MDHHS’ approach to formalizing and sustaining the program in partnership with Michigan libraries. After this first phase/trial, MDHHS will consider input from the participating libraries and add additional sites based on the availability of test kits.

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News - Advocacy
Thursday, January 27, 2022 12:00 AM

Open Meetings Act Changes for Libraries Introduced in the Michigan House as HB5689

Allowing library boards to meet remotely has taken on a new purpose with increased engagement/attendance of the public in remote meetings, and recognizing the extreme geographic distances traveled by many board members to participate at in-person meetings. 

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased to inform you that yesterday, Representative John Damoose (District 107) has introduced House Bill 5689 which will update Section 3a (MCL 15.263a) as amended by 2021 PA 54 of the Open Meetings Act to allow cooperative library boards and local library boards to meet virtually if they choose.  The bill was referred to the Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee.

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MLA Connect Archives
Friday, January 21, 2022 12:00 AM

MLA Connect Advocacy Hour: Penal Fines, Civil Fines and Library Funding

SPECIAL DAY AND TIME! Friday, January 21, 2022
3:30 - 4:30 PM

Join us for a special Friday afternoon edition of our MLA Connect Advocacy Hour! On Friday, January 21 at 3:30 PM, we will welcome Michigan State Senator Ed McBroom and MLA Lobbyist Bob Devries for a discussion on the difference between penal fines and civil fines, and the ripple effects on library funding as a result of criminal justice reform. Join us to learn more about civil fines and penal fines, how these fines fund libraries, and the laws that surround them. 

Senator McBroom represents Michigan’s 38th Senate District, located in the Upper Peninsula, and Chairs the Senate Natural Resources and Oversight Committees.

View Coffee Hour Recording
 
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