Tuesday, August 04, 2009

MHAL Closing Protest

In an earlier post this summer I mentioned the executive order that abolished the Michigan Department of Histories Arts and Libraries. In the days that followed things appeared surprisingly quiet. In the next week word trickled down to many of my fellow students at the School of Information and there were a lot of questions being asked about what could be done about this. And until recently it appeared like not much at all. Then I was forwarded this message that I wanted to share with anyone who has been reading this:

“On Wednesday the 5th of August, let's assemble at the State Capitol, on the lawn. We have reserved the North and South lawns, and the steps. Time, 9:45 a.m. The State Senate goes into session at 10 a.m., the only time in the next few weeks we can be certain our legislators will be assembled at Lansing. At 10:30 a.m., we will process/march over to the Michigan Historical Center and form our *Hands Around the Library* -- in hopes of good media coverage! Since the perimeter of the building is a round 1800 feet, it is obvious we can use as many genealogists or friends of libraries/history of all types as possible. Please definitely let your local Society know you are coming for sure, since you can see that we need coverage - flags and ribbons can be held between people as well as hands and arms. We'll stay around the building probably 20 minutes starting at 11:00 a.m. -- then off to lunch, research, or museum viewing!”

Further information can be found at Michigan Genealogical Society's website as well as their official press release which contains the above statement and some more information. While feelings behind the scenes are mixed about MHAL closing (it is helping to streamline some parts), the general inclination is that the implications of this loss will only continue the decay of important social programs in Michigan.

Please again, pass this information along and help get the word out. I hope to see as many people as we can muster at the capitol tomorrow.