You can help save the Library of Michigan from closing and having our invaluable genealogical collection from being destroyed by signing the online petition. http://www.fgs.org/rpac/
Every person Counts!
Unfortunately I don't think so. The governor's order has been signed and it needs to be rejected by both the state house and state senate. It has been rejected by the senate and is infront of the house right now. Our best hopes is the petition and the house deliberations right now. The decision has to be made by Sept 11th.
The Executive Order http://michigan.gov/documents/gov/EO36_285881_7.pdf does not state that the records themselves will be "destroyed". I signed the petition of course, but the actual documents will likely be transfered to another institution. Granted, they could be spread out or sent out of state making them more difficult for us Michiganders to access them.
Please continue to sign the petition. At 9:57 a.m. this morning there are 4485 signatures. We need to keep at this as strong as ever. Read the MI Gen Council update for reasons why. Anyone in state or out-of-state can sign. I don't know if out of the country qualifies but I would think so if you were ever wanting to visit the library for research.
12 September 2009
As many of you already know, Wednesday afternoon, the Governor issued Executive Order 2009-43, which amends her previous EO 2009-36 abolishing the Department of History Arts, and Libraries. The full text of her EO 2009-43 may be found at her website, http://michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-21975-221451--,00.html. The portions of greatest interest to us as genealogists, is the second half of this document, Parts III and Part IV. We have copied and highlighted these two sections below.
While this is a step in the right direction and the Governor is to be commended for recognizing the importance of the Library of Michigan and the value of its collections for patrons, there is still some very vague language here that will require continued vigilance on our parts. We should not be led into a false sense of security that the collections we treasure at the Library of Michigan or its current home in downtown Lansing are safe. There are many ‘outs’ built into the amended Order and it appears anything that may have been possible under the original Executive Order 2009-36 is still a danger. Senate Concurrent Resolution 18, which would have disapproved the original order died in the House Judiciary Committee, probably as a result of the “amended Executive Order”. So effective October 1, the Library of Michigan will be under the Department of Education and the Archives of Michigan will be part of the Department of Natural Resources. Two of the many areas with troubling language include.
Subject to available appropriations”
“Qualified individuals recommended for consideration for appointment to the Board should include librarians, historians, archivists, and others with relevant expertise." It states should rather than must.
We must remain on guard to protect and keep these priceless collections together and include Federal Documents, Michigan Documents, Law, Newspapers, Main and Dewey in addition to the collections mentioned in the amended Executive Order. We must also look to see that “available funding” is in place so these institutions may continue to operate.
III. Section II.B.8 of Executive Order 2009-36 is amended to read as follows:
8. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall administer the assigned functions transferred to the Department of Education under Section II.B of this Order in such ways as to promote efficient administration and shall make internal organizational changes as may be administratively necessary to complete the realignment of responsibilities under this Order. To achieve efficient administration and effectuate necessary cost savings consistent with appropriations provided by law, the Library of Michigan shall evaluate and implement measures designed to reduce expenditures and eliminate duplicative services. Subject to available appropriations, the Library of Michigan shall focus on the provision of leadership and critical services to libraries and patrons throughout this state, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
a. Continuing this state's vital role in maintaining and delivering online services to libraries around this state, including prioritizing the provision of services that affect libraries and their patrons throughout this state such as continued support for, and availability of, the Michigan eLibrary (MeL) and MelCat, the statewide online catalog and resource sharing systems.
b. Continuing state-level support for the cost savings and effective delivery of statewide library services achieved through the leadership of the Library of Michigan and the collaboration and resource sharing of libraries throughout this state.br />
c. Preserving important collections maintained by the Library of Michigan, including the Michigan Collection, the Rare Books Collection, and the Genealogy Collection.
IV. Section II of Executive Order 2009-36 is amended to add the following new Section II.P to read as follows:
1. Subject to available appropriations, the Department of Education, the Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Commission for the Blind, and other state department and agencies shall actively cooperate to facilitate the continued operation of the Michigan Library and Historical Center and the preservation of the important historical resources and library collections maintained at the Center on behalf of the People of the State of Michigan.
IV. Section IV.A of Executive Order 2009-36 is amended to read as follows:
A. The Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention Board is created as an advisory body within the Department of Natural Resources. The Board will, among other tasks, consider potential ideas to preserve and maximize the benefits to the public of the existing Michigan Library and Historical Center, including public input and scrutiny regarding the most effective delivery of state library and historical services and facilities including, but not limited to, collections, buildings, and skilled personnel. The Board shall recognize the importance of preserving unique historical assets and collections, including, but not limited to, Michigan's Civil War and other military flags, the Michigan Collection, the Rare Books Collection, and the Genealogy Collection of the Library of Michigan. Qualified individuals recommended for consideration for appointment to the Board should include librarians, historians, archivists, and others with relevant expertise.