Thursday, March 12, 2009

Library of Michigan and State Archives News: Possible Closure?

I've just learned from a genealogy group on yahoo that there is some discussion about closing the Library of Michigan due to the budget. If true, this not good for genealogists. I'll try to find some more information, and post it here later if it is true.

Update at 1:12 p.m.: I've found a message from the State Librarian here. As for whether it is true or not that the Library might be closed, I'm still not completely sure.


Brenda said...

This is a letter from the Michigan Genealogical Council.

Fellow Michigan Genealogists,
The economic situation in Michigan and America continues declining. Michigan's state departments are attempting to restructure, and legislators are working on new budget proposals with huge cuts.
The rumor mill is lethal! As researchers we need to remember that a rumor is not primary or even secondary source information, but based on, like so much of our family information, probably a grain of fact which can be misinterpreted.
At this time, there is a rather public rumor that one group is considering closing the Library of Michigan entirely, and emptying the west side of the History, Arts and Libraries building. The Library's collection might be offered to a "local university," obviously Michigan State University, which has never had a genealogy collection and is itself facing large cuts. Some form of legal and archival support for the Michigan government must be maintained by law, but its format is debatable.
Now is the hour! All genealogists need to get into immediate contact with their local Senators and Representatives, emphasizing forcefully that the Library, even downsized severely, needs to be preserved. Make it plain to your legislator that you understand our state's fiscal situation, and that you are amenable to severe cuts, but that the statewide internet, inter-library loan, electronic support, are crucial to Michigan citizens and that you as a taxpayer feel they must be maintained in at least some format.
Do it now! Do it often! Get several other society members to contact their legislators and keep track of which legislators have been contacted and their response, forwarding this information to MGC at Your on-site research team is providing speakers for legislative committees and will be a presence there.
On Thursday, March 12 there will be a Senate Appropriation Committee meeting and the subject is libraries. Please contact Senator Thomas George immediately at 517-373-2768 and show support for the Library.
Fight for the Library of Michigan!
Joanne Harvey, Research Access Chair
Michigan Genealogical Council

Brenda said...


Here is a link you can write online to

There is a form you can fill out and when done you will get a copy of this in your email.

I did post it on FB a few days ago..

Brenda said...

Jessica.. I have put this on FB but here is the last thing I have gotten:
I would like to see folks who call or write.. to mention their disapproval of Gov Granholm having a 2nd home paid for (1st is too) by taxpayers to the tune of $61,000+++
Ridiculous in this time frame.

Original Message ----- From: "Judith Moore"
To: "Judith Moore">
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 3:08 PM
Subject: Update on the Library of Michigan

Dear Library of Michigan Foundation Donors & Friends:

I am writing today to update you on new information we have about the
future of the Library of Michigan.

This week, Governor Granholm's administration confirmed that
consideration is being given to possibly placing the collections and
services of the Library under the direction of Michigan State
University, as part of the Governor's efforts to reduce the state budget.

The board of directors of the Library of Michigan Foundation recognizes the Governor’s and the Legislature’s efforts to restructure state government due to Michigan’s challenging economy. The board also
understands that tough times require tough decisions. Yet the board is
concerned about the prospect of losing our State Library as the
repository of Michigan’s printed history for nearly 200 years, and the possibility of discontinuing the valuable resources and services it
offers to libraries and thousands of our residents each and every day.

Since its founding in 1828- during territorial days--the Library of
Michigan has served as a statewide resource for both individuals and
agencies, as well as for the state legislature and government. It
functions in much the same way as the Library of Congress does for the
federal level of our government.

Today, the Library of Michigan also ensures that electronic access to
information is available to everyone, not just to those who can afford it. Other key functions include:
· Promoting key initiatives that ensure an educated workforce
· Providing statewide literacy programs that benefit our youngest
· Preserving our state’s printed history
· Offering library services to the blind and physically
· Providing leadership, significant savings and valuable resources to libraries of all types and sizes. State representation at the national level. The Library of Michigan is a central, truly unique library with a distinctive mission not easily combinable with that of other libraries and other institutions.

It should be noted also, that in these trying economic times, libraries across the country are reporting a huge surge in the number of people seeking the services they offer.

The Library of Michigan Foundation was formed in 1985 to help raise
private funds for Library collections and services that are otherwise not provided for through state or federal funding. As an independent, tax-exempt, non-profit organization, we’ve been deeply involved in helping the Library of Michigan by raising more than $5 million for essential programs and collections that include a notable compilation of Michigan rare books and history, a library that services blind residents around the state, and a genealogy collection that ranks as the fifth largest in the United States.

The board of directors of the Library of Michigan Foundation has
contacted Senator Tom George, Chair of the Sub-Committee for the Dept.
of History, Arts & Libraries (HAL). Also, at a hearing held by Senator George yesterday, representatives of the Michigan Library Association, the library community and the genealogy community urged Senator George and his sub-committee members to consider the vital role the Library of Michigan plays in our state and the critical functions it performs.

What's next?

We expect that Governor Granholm will soon issue an executive order
eliminating the Department of History, Arts & Libraries, and
reorganizing the library, history functions and other areas of the
department. Once an executive order is issued, the legislature has 60 days to approve it, modify it or reject it.

> We will keep you informed as more information becomes available. In
> the meantime, please email or phone me if you have questions or
> comments.
> Thank you for your continuing support.
> Sincerely,
> Judith
> Judith K. Moore, CFRE
> Executive Director
> Library of Michigan Foundation
> 702 W. Kalamazoo Street
> P. O. Box 30159
> Lansing, MI 48909
> Phone: 517-373-4470
> Fax: 517-241-9048
> Email: