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Message Center

Message CenterShow your support in protecting the right to read in Michigan. This message center has ready-made tools for sharing accurate information, news and messages.  We encourage you to amplify your voices at the local, state and national levels in support of intellectual freedom.

Contact Us

Website: MIRightToRead.com
Facebook and Twitter: @MIRightToRead
Hashtag: #ProtectMIRightToRead

Building a coalition? Consider purchasing MI Right to Read shirts for your team! Show support and build your own brand by wearing the same color. Profits support the MI Right to Read coalition.

 

Using the Message Center

We want to make it easy for you to amplify your voice with positive and proactive messages that can be used in five different scenarios:

Click on the above links to jump to a section.

 

Post on Social Media

Social Media Tips

  • Keep your posts short and positive
    • There is a lot to look at on social media so keep your posts short and sweet.
    • Share content that reflects a positive and proactive message as we protect the right to read for all Michiganders.
  • Post photographs or videos
    • Words are good, but images and videos are even better way to get your post read. Some of the most compelling content includes live videos, short (15-30 second) interviews, and selfie videos. Video content should be short and to the point when possible.
  • Use tags and hashtags
    • Hashtags (#) are a way to attach a keyword to your posts to increase potential reach.
    • Like hashtags, tagging your post with people and places increases your reach. You may want to tag a library or tag people from your school/municipal/legislative leadership.
  • Share and repost
    • There is a lot of good content that matches our message to protect the right to read out there.  Make sure to like, repost and follow those who share your interest/passion for protecting First Amendment rights.

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Submit a Letter to the Editor

Tips for writing a letter to the Editor

  • Content matters
    • Keep your letter short and to the point, and make sure you take a firm stand on the issue early in your letter.
    • Use only two to three points supported by data to make your case.
    • Draw a firm conclusion on where you stand to close out your letter.
  • Make it personal and local
    • We encourage you to send a letter to the editor only to your local news outlets in your hometown and personalize any template letters you use. Generic letters do not get the same attention that original letters do.
  • Before submitting your letter, double check that you've met all the requirements
    • Include your contact information with your letter, including your name, address, email. Editors want to know that you have a vested interest in your community. Never send an anonymous letter – it will not be published.
    • Check with the publication to ensure your letter meets their guidelines for length and formatting. Some letters must be submitted through a webform or to a designated email address. Some publishers also have strict wordcount limits or require a photo of the author to be submitted with the letter.

Sample letters and additional tips

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Speak Up at Your Local School, Library, and Municipal Meetings

Tips for delivering a strong message on censorship at meetings

  • Plan ahead before the meeting
    • Make sure you call ahead or view the organization's website for guidance on public comment times and how to be listed on the agenda. If possible, it is usually better to ask for the topic to be listed on the agenda before the meeting.
    • Try to memorize you comment and avoid reading from a script. Speak from your personal experiences, not hearsay.
    • Practice, practice, practice – most public comments are only 3-5 minutes long. Find out how long you will be able to speak at the meeting.
    • Be prepared to answer questions from the board.
    • Know your stuff! Make sure you know the actual definitions of relevant terms such as pornography and obscenity.
  • Be respectful at the meeting
  • If meeting is recorded, please share with us at MLA via email at [email protected]

Sample script and additional tips

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Speak Up at Your Local School, Library, and Municipal Meetings

Bring in local organizations and service clubs such as Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis, your Chamber of Commerce, or local charities. Attend their meetings, raise awareness of the importance of intellectual freedom, and make connections.

Know your stuff and be ready to share with individuals and local organizations!

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Grow the Coalition

Help us grow a strong and robust coalition to protect the right to read in Michigan!

  • Share facts and message with your family, friends and colleagues
    • Tell them that you support First amendment Rights and the right to read in Michigan.
  • Join the statewide coalition
    • Invite your family, friends, and colleagues to join the MI Right to Read Coalition at MIRightToRead.com.
  • Encourage attendance at school, library and municipal meetings
    • If challenges arise, encourage allies to attend and voice their support of intellectual freedom and First Amendment rights at their local school, library and/or municipal board meetings.
  • Encourage partnerships and local coalition building
    • All politics are local! Your school, library and municipal leadership are more apt to listen to a citizen of their community over someone who isn’t a voting member of the community.

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Media

Contact us for interviews, statistics, and more information.

Statements from Michigan Organizations Regarding Censorship

Governor’s Educator Advisory Council Statement on Banning Books and Censorship of Education

Michigan Civil Rights Commission Passes Resolution in Support of Academic Freedom and Opposition to Censorship

The Freedom to Read in Michigan: A Joint Statement Prepared by the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME), the Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE), and the Michigan Reading Association (MRA)

Michigan Library Association Statement of Principle on Intellectual Freedom

A Guest Editorial from the MLA Intellectual Freedom Taskforce

View this letter as a PDF here.

Libraries fill a role in upholding rights that are guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States and central to any functioning democracy: the rights of citizens to read, seek information, and speak freely. In the spirit of that role, we owe it to every community member to provide material of interest to them on our library shelves. 

Across our nation, at school and public library board meetings, we are witnessing an unprecedented uptick in the number of book challenges, most targeting works engaging with concepts of race and gender. Libraries recognize that parents or guardians have the right and responsibility to make decisions about what materials are suitable for their own families. And we also stand united in our belief that no one has the right to make rules restricting what other people read, or to make decisions for other families. 

The presence of any reading materials in a library collection does not imply endorsement of the ideas expressed in those materials. The library is simply doing its job to provide a wide variety of views and expressions—if the library “endorses” anything, it is your right to access a broad selection of materials. 

As champions of access, the Michigan Library Association is proud of the hard work being performed by trained and certified librarians across Michigan. They are committed to curating collections that allow every person to see themselves in the books and resources their libraries provide, choosing a broad range of subject matter that reflect diverse experiences. This is a core tenant of librarianship and one that helps ensure America lives up to its constitutional promise to protect intellectual freedom.

Key findings from a March 2022 study conducted by Hart Research Associates and North Star Opinion Research on behalf of the American Library Association found that large majorities of voters (71%) oppose efforts to have books removed from their local public libraries, including a majority of Democrats (75%), independents (58%), and Republicans (70%). Most voters and parents hold librarians in high regard, have confidence in their local libraries to make good decisions about what books to include in their collections, and agree that libraries in their communities do a good job offering books that represent a variety of viewpoints.

In early May, MIRightToRead.com was launched to bring focus to the right to read for all Michiganders. We urge parents, students, teachers, librarians, and anyone who supports intellectual freedom to visit the website and join the growing coalition. 

Ryan Wieber
President, Michigan Library Association
Kalamazoo

Dillon Geshel
Intellectual Freedom Task Force Chair, Michigan Library Association
Marquette

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director, Michigan Library Association
Lansing

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