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MLA Advocacy Update

Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan (CAN)

December 18, 2019

For the past five months, MLA has been involved in the formation of a new organization, the Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan (CAN). This new initiative was started by the leaders of eight statewide cultural organizations, including the Michigan Library Association, Historical Society of Michigan, Michigan Museums Association, Michigan Presenters Network, Michigan Festivals and Events Association, Michigan Youth Arts, Michigan Historic Preservation Network and the Michigan Humanities. We are actively pursuing a number of other statewide cultural entities to join us as well.

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Legislation Amending Library Privacy Act Introduced in Senate

November 7, 2019

On October 29, State Senators Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford), Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) and Ruth Johnson (R-Holly) introduced Senate Bill 611. This bipartisan bill amends the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455, enabling libraries, if they choose, to work with law enforcement when the library is a victim of a crime, or a crime occurs at the library. Currently, libraries cannot release library records to law enforcement without a court order. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. 

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Macmillan CEO Responds to #ebooksforall Advocates in a Letter to Librarians

October 29, 2019

Macmillan Publishers CEO, John Sargent has issued a letter in response to #ebooksforall advocates. Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publisher's eBook embargo will go into effect. The new Macmillan lending policy will allow libraries to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. Advocates have been signing the #ebooksforall petition and contacting Macmillan's CEO to urge Macmillan to abandon this new lending model. On Tuesday, October 29, Macmillan issued a response in a "Letter to Librarians" from CEO John Sargent. Stay tuned for more news on #ebooksforall advocacy. Read the full text of the letter here:

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ALA Denounces Amazon, Macmillan in Response to Congressional Inquiry on Competition in Digital Markets

October 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Current practices by content publishers and distributors in digital markets limit libraries’ ability to deliver core services, according to a new report publicly released today by the American Library Association (ALA). Submitted in response to an inquiry from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, ALA’s report underscores practices by companies like Amazon and Macmillan Publishers that threaten Americans’ right to read what and how they choose and imperil other fundamental First Amendment freedoms. The report urges lawmakers to curb anti-competitive practices of digital market actors. Download the Digital Markets Report

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State Aid and the Library of Michigan Budget

October 23, 2019

The Governor and the state legislature kept us in suspense about the state budget right down to the deadline – with all being finally adopted on October 1, 2019.  We all breathed a sigh of relief that state aid for libraries and the Library of Michigan budget were generally status quo from the year prior. In a tumultuous environment and budget cycle like FY20, we are thankful that state aid was not touched. Members…rest assured that MLA was watching carefully and ready to react in an instant if anything would have affected the state aid that libraries rely on.  Long-held relationships and daily dialog with leaders in the House and Senate went a long way in protecting these funds. 

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