When: Wednesday evening, 12 May 2010.
Where: Archives side of the Michigan Library and Historical Center, Lansing, Michigan
What: To Celebrate the 2010 Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship Winner
Who: Randy Riley is the winner of the 2010 Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship

The Michigan Genealogical Council, in conjunction with the Michigan State Archives and Museum put on a gathering to celebrate Randy Riley’s award of the 2010 Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship. The venue was on the 2nd floor of the Michigan Historical Center, almost in amongst the exhibits.

The Backdrop

Looking over a table at the amazing backdrop for the evening - most of that is painted on the walls and ceiling.

A number of people with connections to genealogy in Michigan, and/or the Library of Michigan spoke glowingly of Randy’s contributions since joining the Library of Michigan.

Kim Harrison

Kim is a past president of the Michigan Genealogical Council, and currently works for Ancestry.com. On the left Randy is with Jan Alpert, President of the National Genealogical Society having just received the 2010 Filby Award.

The last speaker was the Man of Honour – Sir Randy of Filby (see below in photo gallery).

Randy's Speech

Randy was the last speaker. He spoke of the honour, and of how it is about the Collection and the Staff, not just about him.

A photo gallery of the evening follows… Continue reading »

 
Randy Riley receives 2010 Filby Award

Randy Riley receives 2010 Filby Award. Photo by Tom Koselka.

Congratulations to Randy Riley, Special Collections Manager at the Library of Michigan on his receiving the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City last Friday.

Here is the list of previous winners of the Filby Award:

  • 2009: No nominees met the qualifications for the Filby Award in 2009.
  • 2008: David Dearborn of New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 2007: Curt Bryan Witcher of Allen County Library, Ft. Wayne, Indiana
  • 2006: Eric Grundset of DAR Library, Washington DC
  • 2005: Ron D. Bryant of the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky State Parks Department
  • 2004: James Jeffrey of the Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado
  • 2003: Carole C. Callard (1941–2005) of the Library of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan
  • 2002: Jim Hansen of the Wisconsin Historical Society Library, Madison, Wisconsin
  • 2001: Martha Henderson of the Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Missouri
  • 2000: Pamela Hall Cooper of Indian River County Public Library, Vero Beach, Florida
  • 1999: Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck of the Dallas Public Library, Dallas, Texas

So a quick look at that list quickly reveals that the Library of Michigan is the ONLY facility to have won the award twice – 2003 awarded to Carole Callard and 2010 awarded to Randy Riley. That speaks VOLUMES to the prestige with which the Library of Michigan’s Genealogical collection is held in the genealogy community.

This is the very same Library of Michigan that Governor Granholm is trying very hard to eviscerate by starving it of funding, and placing it in the Department of Education – a department already seriously short of the funding needed to fulfil its primary purpose – Education – where it is now hit even harder by funding difficulties.

Instead this facility should be maintained as the treasure that it is for the treasure that it holds. Let’s hope that

  • the Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention Board realises this and makes the appropriate recommendations to Governor Granholm in their report;
  • Governor Granholm recognises the value of the report and the process that led to it and acts accordingly.

1 June, when the report is due, isn’t so far away.

 

Over the last several weeks we have heard several times that the proposed funding of $7,500,000 for Michigan libraries is only 50% of what is required by law.

What law?

And if it’s a law, why is not complying with it subject of legal action by someone – there’s no shortage of lawyers that’s for sure!!!!

So I set out to try and find out just where this “requirement” is. It turns out that this was laid down in Act 89 of 1977 – State Aid to Public Libraries, which contains a list of the requirements that must be met by libraries in Michigan, categorises them based on the population they serve and lays out the amount of state aid that they must receive. See here, here and here for several presentations of Act 89.

From State Aid Guidelines on page 3 we see this list of the funding categories required in Act 89.

PA89, §13 Public library cooperatives shall receive 50¢ per capita for their served population.

PA89, §16(2) Public libraries shall receive 50¢ per capita for their served population if minimum standards are met.

PA89, §16(4) Public libraries that meet minimum standards and are members of a cooperative library shall receive 50¢ per capita to pay for services provided by the cooperative.
All or part of this amount shall be used to purchase these services.

PA89, §16(4) A cooperative shall receive $10 per square mile for the area it serves if the area has less than 75 persons per square mile.

PA89, §16(5) County public libraries serving a population of 50,000 or less with a director who meets educational requirements can receive a maximum of $400 per month or $4,800 annually for salary reimbursement. A form must be filed quarterly by the county library to claim the reimbursement.

So while I’m certainly no lawyer, one has to wonder why if there’s a law, then this law can’t be enforced?!?!

The main thing I got out of the Rally at the Capitol was just how important it is that Michigan Libraries receive $10,000,000 in funding – “only” 2/3rds of the required $15,000,000 – so that they then receive the $5,000,000 in Federal money which is what by and large seems to pay forMeL and MelCat. The Governor is proposing $7,500,000, while the Senate is proposing $10,000,000.

How hard is to to realise that for a further measly $2,500,000 they would be able to treble their money, since that last $2,500,000 would trigger the Federal $5,000,000. That’s a return on investment that it ought to be criminal to turn down.

This page MHAL – Significant Dates in Michigan Library History should be required reading for all decision makers before they decide to underfund the Libraries of Michigan, so that they might get even a small grasp of what they’re about to undo before they go and undo it!!!!

And finally (maybe) this from writer Anne Herbert

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”

 

Thursday 10 September 2009 was the day of the Michigan Library Association “Rally at the Capitol” where Librarians and other interested parties from across Michigan rallied to express their displeasure at the proposed funding cuts to Libraries in Michigan overall and specifically the plans to dismantle and disperse the collections of the Library of Michigan, which have been being collected for more than 180 years.

The theme of the day was RED – people were encouraged to show their support for Libraries by wearing a red shirt – and there were a LOT of RED shirts. Thanks in no small part to Gale Group of Michigan who were giving out free red shirts that said on the front “Protect Michigan Libraries”. Others were wearing red shirts from the Grand Rapids Public Library that said on the back “I ♥ Grand Rapids Public Library”.

Roger Moffat and Shirley Hodges on the Capitol Steps

Roger Moffat and Shirley Hodges on the Capitol Steps

The emphasis today in particular was to keep State funding for Libraries  at $10,000,000 – at this level there is a matching Federal $5,000,000 which is largely what keeps MEL – the Michigan Electronic Library and MelCAT operating. If the state funding drops to the proposed $7,500,000 then the Federal $5,000,000 will be lost, and MEL is in serious danger.

It was also the day chosen for Michigan Fire Services Awareness Day so there was a large presence of Firemen, and firetrucks present with displays of firefighting and HazMat equipment. I hope they knew we were coming, or else they got a large surprise when a crowd that was about the same size as the “Hands Around the Library” event a month earlier.

Below is a photo gallery of some photos from today with the “Sea of Red” or is that the “See of Read” perhaps?

 

This is a photo gallery of some pictures taken during today’s “Hands Around the Library” Rally at the Michigan state Capitol, and the Michigan Library and Historical Center.

The count of 494 in the circle didn’t include everyone who was there, so it’s safe to say a crowd in excess of 500 was there to show their thoughts on Governor Granholm’s Executive Order which would see the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries dismantled, and its components scattered hither and thither.

Thanks to Kyle and Zoe (my 1st cousins once removed-in-law) for being the banner bearers for much of the day.

Added 7 August 2009 – “borrowed” from Cindi Shearer who posted it as her facebook status, and first coined by writer Anne Herbert

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”

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