MLA News | Michigan Library Association
Thursday, April 16, 2020 12:00 AM

MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Reopening Guidelines

Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and join East Lansing Public Library Director and MLA President, Kristin Shelley for this week's MLA Connect Coffee Hour. Each week we will provide a platform for you to ask questions, share ideas, and provide input to other library professionals struggling with the global health crisis, remote work, and how to prepare for the future. Kristin will help facilitate this conversation about how Michigan libraries can best prepare to keep their staff and patrons safe when the time comes to reopen. Having a plan in place is critically important to keeping our communities healthy.

View Coffee Hour Recording
 

Call to Action - Urge Governor Whitmer to Dedicate CARES Act Funding to Libraries

April 15, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan has received $89.4 million in federal aid through the CARES Act that will help K-12 schools, colleges and universities and other educational organizations. MLA has contacted Governor Whitmer requesting that a portion of these funds be used for libraries.

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Call to Action From ALA - Urge Your U.S. Representatives to Support Emergency Funding for Libraries

April 15, 2020

On behalf of American Library Association, MLA is asking you to please reach out to your federal house members to let them know what you anticipate for future needs. The next federal stimulus package is being developed as we speak, and Michigan Congressman Andy Levin is once again standing strong and leading the effort for libraries.

Reps. Andy Levin (D-MI), Don Young (R-AK), and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter calling for $2 billion in emergency funding for libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The letter will be delivered to the House soon and we need more of our Michigan Representatives to sign on.

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Lynda.com Discount for MLA Members

We are excited to partner with LinkedIn to offer Lynda.com to Michigan libraries at a discounted rate. Libraries that join our consortium will receive a minimum discount of 5% but the more libraries that join, the greater the discount will be! With libraries closed across the state, Lynda.com provides public library patrons with access to 15,500+ online courses. Inspire anyone to learn the latest software, creative and business skills. Give users of any skill level bite-size tutorials, or comprehensive courses, on hundreds of topics and encourage personalized and self-paced learning for those looking to gain new skills in their time at home or to re-skill after a layoff.

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Letter from Debbie

March 26, 2020

I really don’t even know how to sum up a week like the one we’ve just gone through, nor how to anticipate what we’ll be going through for the next few weeks, let alone months. We’ve seen our daily routines upended, and we are now all isolated from each other in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a week ago. I know you’ll agree with me, we’re living in unprecedented times…so please, take it one day at a time!

The board and staff of MLA hope you are staying safe, keeping distance, washing hands, and remaining healthy during this global health pandemic. MLA continues to work hard (from our homes, of course) to ensure that libraries can weather this storm together. And even though we are physically separated we remain committed to being STRONGER TOGETHER.

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Updates on SB 611 - Michigan Library Privacy Act

March 26, 2020

On March 12, MLA Executive Director, Deborah E. Mikula, testified at the State of Michigan Judiciary Committee Hearing in support of Senator MacGregor’s Senate Bill 611. Supportive testimony was also delivered by Lance Werner, Director of the Kent District Library, who accompanied Senator MacGregor, and non-verbal support was issued by 10 public libraries and cooperatives.

Last October, Senator MacGregor introduced SB 611 to amend the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455. The intention of his bill was to enable libraries to work with law enforcement when the library is a victim of a crime. After hearing both concerns and support from the Michigan library community on Senator MacGregor's proposed amendments to the Privacy Act, MLA helped draft a substitute bill that clarifies and updates SB 611. The proposed substitution bill removes obstacles and legal barriers libraries sometimes face when a crime has been committed in the library while providing for continued protection to patron privacy.

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Senate Passes Historic Stimulus Package

March 26, 2020

Yesterday, the United States Senate passed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This bipartisan legislation is the largest economic aid package in US history, and was passed in the Senate with a unanimous 96-0 vote. It will next go to the House for a vote.

On Wednesday evening, before the Senate passed this legislation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House will convene at 9 a.m. Friday to consider the relief package. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is indicating that she's optimistic that the bill will pass in the House as well. President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the measure and tweeted his congratulations after it cleared the Senate. View full the bill text here.

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