MLA Legislative Agenda | How to be a Good Advocate |
Find Your Legislators | Call to Action

MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee 2020-2021 Action Plan

Michigan Priorities

  • 2020-2021 Appropriations:

    • Protect state aid to libraries, remain status quo or protect against disproportionate decrease during Coronavirus budget challenges

    • Prepare for testimony at budget hearing

    • Encourage continued support for Michigan eLibrary.

    • Set up individual meetings with key legislative leadership on Appropriations after Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference in August

  • Michigan Privacy Act

    • Move this drafted legislation through to completion

  • Look at ways to exclude guns at public libraries (opportunity may come as Capitol Commission assesses this at their facility.)

  • Long Term - Raise awareness of the Digital Divide and find Local/Regional/Statewide partners to identify solutions to this inequality.

    • Expand Broadband/Wifi Access for libraries, identify funding

  • Long Term - Continue to support MAME on K-12 School Library/Librarian challenges

    • Letter to School Superintendents drafted and sent before school begins in September.

  • Penal Fines

    • Monitor, protect and reverse any efforts to provide legislation for parallel ordinances and other methods to siphon this funding.

    • Educate all parties (legislators, county treasurers, librarians) on how this system works – we need a full picture and more consistency in reporting methods to libraries by county.

Continue to Watch and Respond, if Necessary

  • Maintain the ability to hold millage elections in key months of August and November.

  • Maintain property tax and local income tax funding structure for libraries.

    • Property taxes may decrease due to the Coronavirus in FY2022 – continue to watch and protect

    • Monitor legislation to ensure the elimination of automatic tax captures

  • Look for options to secure funding for libraries’ participation in early childhood education and literacy.

Federal Priorities

  • Partner with ALA or others on moving stabilization legislation forward during the pandemic.

Member Advocacy Development

  • Continue to motivate, mentor and assist library directors and trustees to build relationships with legislators on an ongoing basis. Educate members about best practices for working with a legislator to change laws and things that should be taken into consideration.

  • Encourage every library director to contact his/her legislators, offer to host office hours, host a tour

  • Encourage directors to contact their legislators in support of appropriations goals.

  • Encourage all public library directors to invite legislators to summer reading kickoff programs and to read a book during March Reading Month

  • Include a legislative update at MLA Annual Conference

    • Thank legislators when they vote favorable for issues/appropriations affecting libraries.

Library Advocacy Day

  • In April each year, produce a statewide library advocacy day at the State Capitol for library personnel and legislators.

    • Provide advocacy training and talking points for legislative visits    

Advocacy Communications

  • Establish a monthly newsletter for state legislators that speaks to the value and importance of libraries

  • Hold regional meetings by zoom to introduce library members to legislators

  • Establish October as Library Appreciation Month, encourage resolutions, letters to the editor, etc. about the importance and value of libraries in each community. Create a statewide campaign for libraries to use in their communities.

  • Establish short video’s or talking point articles for library personnel about the issues.