Sep 102009

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?

  3 Responses to “MLA Rally at the Capitol”


    […] good and it seems that all of least year’s efforts – Hands Around the Library and MLA Rally at the Library not to mention all the letters, lobbying by individuals that went on have ended up with about a […]


    […] 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 – […]


    I was there protesting the closing of the Library of Michigan shown in the photos above. I am in photo 14 and carrying a sign that says “Penny Wise and Pound Foolish.” This cause to Save the Library of Michigan is the first time I have ever demonstrated for ANYTHING. However, as a genealogist that uses the Library of Michigan the collection is so important to all of us who care about History, whether it be Family History or any other type of history. The building also houses the Law Library of Michigan, the Michigan Archives and Michigan Historical Museum. It is all there in that 180 year old collection housed in that location, and should remain there. It is an important resource and all Michigan citizens, as is MeL and MeLCat very important all Michigan citizens, students, and library users. September 10th was also the first time I have ever been in our State Capital building. It is a magnificent structure that I understand a few years ago was also in trouble under another State administration and was saved because so many protested it being demolished in favor of a new or modern facility. Please continue to write your State Senators, State Representative and Governor to keep the funding for the Library at $10 million and to keep the Library of Michigan open and accessible to public in its current location. Several have suggested that they might consider a user fee for the libraries, archives and museum which would be far better than closing these great resources or dispersing them to the highest bidder.

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