MLC Board adopts resolution in support of the Library of Michigan and State Aid
At the September 18, 2009, board meeting, the MLC Board formally adopted the following Resolution.
Michigan Library Consortium Board Resolution on
Cutting of State Aid to Public Libraries and the Library of Michigan
WHEREAS it is essential for the future well-being of the State of Michigan economy and citizens that libraries thrive as the cornerstone of a literate society on the cutting edge of a knowledge-based economy;
WHEREAS State aid to libraries serves as the maintenance of effort requirement by the federal government to sustain federal funding for the MeL databases, MeLCat, and MeL Tests and Tutorials, and the Senate budget to cut state aid from $10 million to $7.5 million therefore threatens the entire statewide library resource sharing system adversely affecting every library in the state—academic, public, K-12 and special libraries; and
WHEREAS the current $10 million state aid to libraries representsonly 65% of the statutory requirement of State Aid to Public Libraries Act 89 of 1977, which stipulates that libraries receive a total of $1.50 per capita or approximately $15.4 million; and
WHEREAS the State Library of Michigan, the third most visited with the fifth highest circulation of state libraries nationwide, is being dismissed as a vital educational and economic resource in Michigan; and
WHEREAS the State Library of Michigan and Michigan’s libraries serve as an economic lifeline for Michigan residents seeking jobs online and filing unemployment and disability benefits; and
WHEREAS Sixty-four percent of Michigan libraries report that they are the only source of free Internet access in their communities, providing a critical link to technology and training for many who cannot afford them; and
WHEREAS the State Library of Michigan provides the irreplaceable leadership to develop and sustain statewide library services—MeL online databases, MeLCat interlibrary loan, and MeL Tests and Tutorials—all resources used for academic research, educational purposes, workforce development, job seeking and job preparation, saving the taxpayers $72 million by library resource sharing; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Michigan Library Consortium, representing over 550 academic, public, K-12, and special libraries in the state, strongly urges the Michigan Legislature to:
·Support all legislative efforts to keep the Library of Michigan whole within state government, including the retention of the position and role of the State Librarian.
·Maintain the state aid to libraries at $10 million so as to retain the federal funding required to sustain the statewide resource sharing system of MeL databases, MeLCat interlibrary loan, and MeL Tests and Tutorials.