MLA News | Michigan Library Association
News - Advocacy
Tuesday, August 01, 2023 12:00 AM

New campaign urges Michiganders to protect their right to read and oppose book banning efforts

LANSING, Mich. – With the rise of book banning and censorship efforts in libraries around the country, the Michigan Library Association (MLA) is launching a six-month MI Right to Read campaign, encouraging residents to oppose censorship and book banning efforts and protect their First Amendment right to read whatever they choose to at public libraries.

Public libraries are being targeted at an alarming rate by individuals and extremist groups to remove books that discuss topics such as racism, sexuality, gender, and history – censoring different perspectives.

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News - Advocacy
Thursday, July 27, 2023 12:00 AM

Intellectual Freedom Resources

MI Right to Read is an MLA initiative coordinated through the leadership of the Intellectual Freedom Task Force to protect the right to read in Michigan. Visit MIRighttoRead.com today to take the pledge to protect every Michigander's right to read. Then take action to stand up for your First Amendment rights and intellectual freedom. Check out ten ways you can help support every Michigander's right to read and take action today!

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News - MLA
Thursday, July 27, 2023 12:00 AM

Note From Debbie

July 27, 2023

Like other places throughout the country, Michigan libraries are facing calls from some parents and conservative groups to ban certain books.

In Ottawa County's Jamestown Township, residents voted down a library millage in the last midterm election, forcing the eventual closure of the only local library after staff refused to remove LGBTQ books from the collection. 

Earlier this year, Michigan libraries were thrown into the political spotlight once more with a party-line vote on a resolution in the state House to honor Librarian and Library Worker Day, with Republicans all opposing.

In Lapeer County, a prosecutor threatened to have the librarian arrested as she stood strong to protect First Amendment Rights and the right to read at her library.

In March 2023, the Michigan Library Association contracted with EPIC-MRA to conduct a statewide survey of 800 Michigan voters on their awareness of, and attitudes toward, the increasingly intense and coordinated efforts to dictate the collection content of local public libraries.

The overall findings indicate that groups and organizations that favor banning books in Michigan are clearly going against an overwhelming majority of public opinion that opposes book banning. 

Now, to address these challenges, the Michigan Library Association has contracted with Martin Waymire*, a PR firm in Lansing, who will help us launch a six-month, strategic public education effort to head off censorship efforts or other restrictive or punitive measures for Michigan public libraries by local, state and federal lawmakers.

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News - Advocacy
Thursday, July 27, 2023 12:00 AM

Michigan’s FY24 State Budget

On June 28, Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2024 state budget was approved. Even with hard work and many communications with state legislators from our members, MLA staff, Board, and lobbyist, State Aid to Libraries has remained flat. At the request of the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), the library pilot program was cut even though we requested that the boilerplate language be changed to include all counties. We were happy to see that there was a special appropriation of $100,000 for new learning pods in the Hazel Park District Library. We must all keep working and communicating the needs of our public libraries, now even more than ever.

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News - Advocacy
Thursday, July 27, 2023 12:00 AM

New Distracted Driving Law Anticipated Impact on Penal Fine Revenue

Michigan’s new distracted driving law could create an increase in Penal Fines for Michigan’s public libraries. Public Acts 39, 40, and 41 of 2023 amend the Michigan Vehicle Code to prohibit, holding or using a cell phone or other mobile device while operating a motor vehicle, beginning June 30, 2023.

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News - MLA
Written by Tashia Miller, ALA Councilor, MLA Board of Directors   
Monday, June 26, 2023 12:00 AM

ALA Councilor's Report - June 2023

Below is a report of Council meetings and activities during the 2023 Annual conference. Agendas and council documents including committee reports are available online through the ALA website: ala.org/aboutala/virtual-llx-and-annual-conference-council-meetings. Recordings and minutes will subsequently be available on their respective pages of the ALA website.

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News - MLA
Friday, June 23, 2023 12:00 AM

Michigan Library Awards Call for Nominations

Do you know an awesome library professional or library supporter who deserves recognition for their work in Michigan libraries? The Call for Nominations for the 2023 Michigan Library Awards is open through Friday, July 14!

We encourage and welcome your nomination for any of MLA's Awards for recognition at the 2023 Michigan Library Awards on Wednesday, October 18 in Kalamazoo during the MLA 2023 Annual Conference.

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