Amended Executive Order Preserves Library of Michigan Yet Funding for Statewide Library Services Remains Threatened

On Wednesday afternoon, Governor Granholm issued an amended Executive Order Abolishing the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries. The amended Executive Order does eliminate the Department of History, Arts and Libraries, but it preserves the administrative functions of the Library of Michigan, including retaining the Library of MI by name with a staff person to be designated as State Librarian. The amended Executive Order also emphasizes the importance of statewide resource sharing and services administered by the State Librarian and the Library of Michigan. The Ann Arbor District Library commends and thanks the Governor for acknowledging the importance of the Library of Michigan and its functions to the citizens of Michigan. We would also like to recognize and thank the legislators involved in advocating for this amendment, and all of the citizens who contacted elected officials to request a reconsideration of the original Executive Order issued in July.

Unfortunately, the funding required by the Library of Michigan to continue providing statewide online database access, MelCat Interlibrary loan, and Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped services at the levels offered today is not appropriated by this Executive Order, nor is it guaranteed. Funding for these services is allocated in the state budget process as State Aid to Libraries.

Please read Governor Granholm’s Amended EO and consider contacting your State Senator and your State Representative to advocate for funding of State Aid to Libraries at the current level of $10 million.

Josie

Comments

Ms. Parker in a fury of sadnes and frustration hearing about the states woes and their misuse of sad funding outside the support of the extremely valuable AADL, I have collected some news and comments and sent them to Ms. Granholm and my state representatives.

Michigan citizens should click here for voicing their opinions:

http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-21995-65331--,00.html

If Ohio can do it so can we! Perhaps it takes a protest to convince Ms. Granholm!?

Local story on the literary uprising in Ohio:
http://www.wcpn.org/WCPN/news/26777

If Detroit deserves a celebrity to promote education, then so does Ann Arbor
District Library. Perhaps Ms. Granholm would be impressed if
Bill Cosby or some other racing car celebrity promoted the Michigan Library System?!:

News addressing the education of local Michigan children:
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20090831/FREE/908319991#

Why support public libraries?
Here’s a great article why:

http://www.libgig.com/publib

It’s a proven fact that investing in toxic fumes instead of libraries is a very VERY bad idea Ms. Granholm!!:

http://blog.taragana.com/n/obamas-epa-plans-final-cleanup-work-at-fewer-toxic-waste-sites-than-did-bushs-135361/

http://www.mlive.com/business/mid-michigan/index.ssf/2009/08/granholm_new_midland_dow_plant.html

Ms. Grandholm, did you ever consider supporting Michigan libraries as part of your ‘community health, ’ ‘education’ and ‘civil rights’ budget?
Funding for libraries in Michigan is IMPERATIVE!
Where else can a family gather safely for storytime outside their home? Where else can preteen’s, teens and the elderly order books from around the world in different languages or find a variety of topics without having to pay a cent to address their educational needs. Doesn't Ms. Granholm know that most inventors and polititions got their education outside in the library after failing in the rigid school system? Where else can battered men and women go to learn about curbing codependency, read about ending spousal abuse, find lawyers and politiions to access or even learn to speak the language of the foreign culture in their community or on their block? Where else can citizen’s find out how to avoid gang violence or kick the crack addiction if they can’t even afford rent but they can afford to walk to a local library? Where else can a child of any age be exposed to celebrities coming to town to talk about creativity, writing stories or keeping a strong work ethic? Where else can a preteen, the elderly or young adult learn about the struggle of civil rights in the world without asking censored questions of their parents who rarely explain the truth about violence and corruption?!! Where else can citizens look for jobs with getting hassled by computer rental fees if they can’t afford DSL or a phone?!
The internet is NOT the only answer but one answer among many. Supporting the Michigan Library System IS the answer!

Is it true that you, Ms. Granholm, are breeding a future-state filled with chronic gamblers rather than inventors, readers, teachers, educators and hard working educated citizens’?! There are indeed citizen’s who think your state budget is lopsided with over 50% invested in salaries and fringe benefits of casino employees and a lot of angered patrons are viewing your budget as you read this!!:

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:gkaA43ZwT_wJ:www.michigan.gov/som/0,1607,7-192-49797---,00.html+Michigan+state+spending&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

This is the message I received from Ms. Grandholm’s website:

“Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with Governor Granholm.
Your message has been submitted.”

Thanks for reading this,

Curtis G.


glatterc,

You certainly cover a great deal of territory in your post, and I am glad that you are such an avid supporter of libraries and learning. Governor Granholm, by amending the Executive Order Abolishing HAL, did make a stronger statement in support for libraries and the many MI citizens served by libraries. Now, the focus must be on the funding for those services, and sending your message to our state legislators would be very helpful.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the AADL post.

Josie


I'm not actually from Michigan. I live in Keene New Hampshire and work at the Keene Public Library as an Americorps Vista specifically in the areas of gaming and technologies. I just found this site because I've recently begun reading Eli Neiburger's book on videogame tournaments.

Anyway.

I've yet to read up on all that your Governor stands for and has plans for regarding your state. However it seems that to specifically remove history, art and libraries, the governor must be planning for doomsday if money is so tight that education must be sent out the window. To remove history from our lives is to necessitate an unending cycle of repetitive and un-informing mistakes. To remove art from our lives is to stamp out all possibility of individual expression and creativity and therefore removing the possibility of innovation and creative solution to contemporary problems, the same minds that made these problems cannot solve them. And to remove libraries from our lives is to force taxpayers to pay even more for much needed resources on an individualistic basis rather than allowing the community to share the cost and the content of those resources. Without libraries what little book reading and literacy that goes on in our youth today would greatly diminish and you would find a great deal of our youth in the streets without any positive environments after school.

I hope and pray that your histories, arts and libraries remain in contact, indeed even flourish, and that this "executive order" may find a fitting demise as such a careless and inhumane idea ought to have.

Best of luck,
Sincerely,
Michael M. Soldati


Thanks Michael, and best of luck with your stint at the Keene Public Library.

Josie


The idea that MEL would be threatened is awful. What can I do to help?


wfzimmerman,

The most effective action that you and others can take at this point is to contact your state legislators and the leadership in the MI House and Senate asking that State Aid to Libraries be funded at the current level of 10M. Funding for libraries in MI has declined steadily for years, even through the good economic years. The decrease in revenue has been managed and leveraged to provide efficient statewide services through libraries serving all citizens of MI under the administration of the Library of Michigan. MEL is likely the best example of how collaboration, resource sharing, and consolidation can work at a state level. It can't work without adequate funding.

Links to contact information to legislators is available at the end of my post. Thank you for supporting library services.

Josie


I am a former resident of Michigan and user of the Ann Arbor District Library. I am sorry to hear about the economic woes for the Library of Michigan and potential loss of services that have been in place for years. These are difficult times.


Here is part of the response that I received from Pam Byrnes, District 52 Representative and Speaker Pro Tempore, today regarding the Amended Order.

"The new order preserves important HAL functions, such as the operations of state libraries, e-resources and genealogical collections."

Pam Byrnes also stated:
"I worked closely with the Governor's office and I am thankful the Governor has made the decision to preserve the Michigan State Library. The programs the Michigan Library offers are vital to sustaining our communities."

It seems clear that the importance of the State Library has be acknowledged.

On reading the Amended Order, it would appear to me as though the underlying intent is to reduce and redundancy in departmental functions, to allow more efficient spending of State funds but also to ensure the survival of the important roles HAL filled.

One of the amendments alludes to a possible shift of some of the functions that the State fulfills to a non-profit org, charged with the same in appropriate areas. The other side of this is that would allow for State funding to be reallocated to the State treasuries and allow for charitable contributions to assist and possibly improving the services provided by a non-profit. Also, non-profits would then be eligible to apply for certain grant programs that might not be otherwise available to the State and allow the services to become more self-sustainable (museums charging user fees/donations), rather than being wholely supported by the tax base.

Her message also stated:
"Different budget bills for the library were introduced by both the Senate and House. The versions of the budget are in disagreement and the bill will be moved to a conference committee. Please know that as this process progresses, I will continue to be an advocate for our State Library."

I most certainly hope that the Michigan House and Senate can find a common ground for more efficient spending, and preservation of this key function, currently affiliated with the State.

That said, I too, in the past, have greatly benefited from the use of MEL and state wide access to resources in the libraries participating in the State Library system, both in Ann Arbor, and when I was attending school up north in Houghton. As the UP has limited resources in general, it was a wonderful way for students to access resources originating elsewhere in Michigan.

Unfortunately with this economic climate, it has become difficult to differentiate which roles should be fulfilled by the State, and what is deemed the most efficient manner for provisioning. As a side effect of scrutiny in its funding, its possible that the evolution of the program may be promoted, as it may help the program become more progressive and efficient in providing the same and similar services in the outcome.


I came across the following researching another matter, and it appears that state funding of specific programs which existed in 1978 is provisioned and preserved by legislation passed at that time.

Did the Michigan Library System exist back then? If so, it may fall under the category of a maintenance-of-support program and may have a state financing requirement for the "necessary costs" of the program, per the following legislative reference about the Headlee Amendment:

http://council.legislature.mi.gov/files/mlrc/1998/headlee.html

Can anyone speak to if the Michigan Library System existed in 1978?

Thanks!


rubylight,

The State Aid to Public Libraries Act of 1977 requires that public libraries receive a total of $1.50 per capita, but are currently receiving .96 per capita. That 10M includes the funding that is used to fulfull the maintenance of support that garners a federal match for the programs that we enjoy today administered by the Library of MI. The State Aid to Public Libraries funding is likely to be cut. How that affects services and programs is yet to be determined.

Thanks for your earlier post, and for your support of library services.

Josie


I am a native of Michigan; graduated from Michigan, and was for a time, President of the Michigan Council for State Agency Libraries. At the time there were 72 state agency libraries all requiring services from one another that make up the Library of Michigan collections, not just the main library. Of course many of those libraries were prison libraries (55) established by consent decree.
I've read the Governor's orders and amended orders...and still don't get it. Knowing about what goes on, I suspect what she wanted to achieve is not doable under the current laws. Even if the other state departments could figure out what they are supposed to do with library administrations such as federal grants, it will mean a long line of failures before things worked out. Perhaps the governor initially wanted to throw out the libraries, arts, and history programs like some corporation mergers do. Either that or, I suspect she figured out who would lose the most and used it as a "get-the-most-protest" from the citizens, but what that might do for the legislature in coming up with more funds, is an unknown at this point. Or perhaps she is not a library user or a user of the Internet made possible to her by the library of Michigan and library systems/consortia in Michigan, when first installing the Internet T1 and T3 lines throughout Michigan.
Governments, whether state or federal, do have to come up with solutions to problems created by all of us...creators of debt, creators of rights, creators of litigation, creators of entitlements, creators of games that milk the systems (think health care) and on and on. At some point we have to pay for it, and should...that's our job and responsibility as citizens...not the government's.


Thank you for your comments. I agree that we will all feel the effects of the Governor's EO and it may well be years before all of the consequences are known and understood.

Josie