Gov. Granholm Threatens to Dismantle the Library of Michigan

Tough times...but what's expendable and what's not?

From The Toledo Blade: Librarians and library advocates across the state of Michigan are mobilizing to defend the Library of Michigan, which could be dismantled and its collections scattered in a budget-cutting move.

An executive order from Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm last week transferred control of the Library of Michigan in Lansing to the Department of Education and recommended the department implement cost-cutting measures that library advocates believe may leave state residents without an important resource.

While previously the state library had operated under the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries, and in that capacity been able to allocate its budget as it saw fit, the order abolished that department at a savings to the state of $2 million.


I'm trying to find more details, but as someone who interned at the Archives of Michigan while in library school, I know that it also operated under the Dept. of History, Arts, and Libraries.

No mention is made in the article about the Archives (except for raising the possibility of moving the "non-Michigan Genealogy collection", which had been part of the Archives when I was there.

This isn't a matter of "what's expendable and what's not" ... the Governor wants to use the existing Library building for a boondoggle project called the "Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention, an as-yet unformed entity that the governor hopes will draw visitors to the state and create opportunities for residents."

They only save $2 million by eliminating the DHAL ... this isn't a matter of prioritizing or being expendable; it's bald-faced grandstanding at the cost of something that cannot be replaced. They will spend more than that in the dispersal and have less at the end of the day. And given the state of education in Michigan, the Department of Education is one of the last places to be overseeing this process (I have a sister-in-law who has been a teacher in Michigan for over 15 years, I am a product of graduate education there ... and it scares the hell out of me).

Good luck and good bye, Library (and Archives) of Michigan .

As a genealogist, and having worked for a number of years in a university library, I deeply disagree with Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm's recent executive order which takes drastic action against the genealogical collections in the Library of Michigan. It would disband and separate to the four winds the collection which has taken decades of work to accumulate in one place. It would defund the collection all together, transfer the stewardship to the Department of Education (and we all know how fabulous a job THEY already do) and possibly make access to all genealogical records impossible to obtain.

You may not realize it, but Pornography is the #1 use of the Internet. Pornography shatters the family. Genealogy is the #2 use of the Internet. Genealogy is the work of seeking out and binding together the family. If as a taxpayer, I am forced to fund welfare and health care, then at least some of my money ought to go where I actually can get some use out of it! Michigan receives FEDERAL tax money matching the money that they use to fund their genealogical record collections! That's MY money!!

A nation that does not know it's history is either bound to repeat it - in terms of the bad historical patterns - or, in terms of the good, bound to abandon it. I think it's worth tax dollars for my children and grandchildren to know who they are and where they came from. With more than one line on both my and my husband's families going back many generations in Michigan, I need MICHIGAN census records, MICHIGAN birth certificates, MICHIGAN death certificates, MICHIGAN marraige certificates, MICHIGAN land ownership records, MICHGAN probate records, MICHIGAN cemetery records, MICHIGAN local historical records, etc to know that. With the "hobby" of genealogy being such a goose-chase in the first place, it would be a HUGE pain if I had to go from one poorly run building to another to find everything, especially when everything is so well organized and in one place at the current time in the Library of Michigan.

Does it not occur to ANYONE that part of the progressive/socialist agenda is to break apart the family, and if people can't trace back their families, or don't give a care for their roots, then all the better for the agenda? What exactly is Jennifer Granholm's intent, here? Does it just boil down to the personal level? Does Michigan's genealogical information mean so little to Jennifer because, her ancestors' genealogical records are safely ensconced somewhere in Canada?

MORE GOVERNMENT RIGAMAROLE: My Michigan state representative has just informed me, "You may know, under the Michigan Constitution, the state must have a balanced budget. [Um, DUH!] If it appears that the current budget year will not be balanced, the Michigan Constitution requires the Governor to achieve a balance by proposing cuts through an Executive Order. [They think the "common people" are idiots.] The EO must be approved by the House and Senate Appropriations Committee to take effect. It is important to note that Executive Orders may not be amended; it is merely a yes or no vote. Further, it is only the Appropriations Committees that may vote on such Executive Orders. I am not a member of the Appropriations Committee... Virtually no one was spared from the difficult cuts the Governor felt were necessary. "

This is RIDICULOUS!! The cut to the Library of Michigan is being made to fund a boondoggle, and is a BREACH of public trust! What is so unnecessary about maintaining public birth, death, marriage, census, etc records??

Committee Members:
George Cushingberry Jr. (D), Committee Chair, 8th District
Richard E. Hammel (D), Majority Vice-Chair, 48th District
Joan Bauer (D), 68th District
Doug Bennett (D), 92nd District
Terry L. Brown (D), 84th District
Robert Dean (D), 75th District
Fred Durhal Jr. (D), 6th District
John Espinoza (D), 83rd District
Lee Gonzales (D), 49th District
Vincent Gregory (D), 35th District
Shanelle Jackson (D), 9th District
Michael A. Lahti (D), 110th District
Richard LeBlanc (D), 18th District
Gary McDowell (D), 107th District
Fred Miller (D), 31st District
Alma Smith (D), 54th District
Dudley Spade (D), 57th District
Jon M. Switalski (D), 25th District
Rashida Tlaib (D), 12th District
Chuck Moss (R), Minority Vice-Chair, 40th District
David Agema (R), 74th District
Darwin Booher (R), 102nd District
Bill Caul (R), 99th District
Bob Genetski (R), 88th District
Kevin Green (R), 77th District
Gail Haines (R), 43rd District
Dave Hildenbrand (R), 86th District
Matt Lori (R), 59th District
John M. Proos (R), 79th District
Bill Rogers (R), 66th District
Tonya Schuitmaker (R), 80th District
Darlene Moore, Committee Clerk
[email protected]

Moving and splitting up the Library of Michigan, one of the finest and most useful archival collections
anywhere must not be moved. It would be a tragic mistake! There are lots of ways to cut the budget without undoing what has taken generations to create for the citizens of Michigan, so they can access
genealogical history. The proposed Center of Innovation and Reinvention is not a money saving venture - it
is just a new idea, not anything we need to use The Library of Michigan with which to experiment.

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