As you may have heard on the news, the Governor issued an executive order last week calling for the elimination of the Dept of History, Arts, and Libraries (HAL). Of course we are focused on what might happen to the Library of Michigan, various library services, and state funding for libraries. Currently public libraries receive a small per capita allocation from the state, but more importantly, state funds are a match to federal money which pays for MeLCat, the statewide catalog used for interlibrary loan, and the MeL databases.
The Michigan Library Association (MLA) Executive Director has issued a memo outlining the executive order from the perspective of the library community. MLA urges the Governor and the Legislature to maintain library services within state government and keep the functions whole, maintain state aid at the current $10 million level, and retain the position and role of the State Librarian.
I believe the state funded service most vital to KPL’s patrons is MeLCat. We borrow over 1,000 items per month from other libraries for our patrons AND loan an equal number to other libraries for their patrons. That is only possible through the MeLCat catalog, the interlibrary loan system, and the delivery that moves the materials around the state. It depends upon state funding to match the federal funding.
Make your voice heard; contact your state senator or representative. The voice of library patrons will have more force than that of library staff alone.
Michigan eLibrary (MeL)