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Crisis Facing the Library of Michigan
Column published: 22 July 2009
By: Shirley Gage Hodges   Biography & Archived Articles

I would like to share with you the crisis that is facing the Library of Michigan and the genealogical community.

When Michigan's Governor Granholm released her executive order on July 13th the family history research community was in shock! It has taken years and many donation dollars to build the Library of Michigan collection into one of the ten largest collections in the United States.

The following article appeared on the front page of the Lansing State Journal (19 July 2009). Direct link to LSJ article.

As a genealogist I cannot express what the loss of this collection would do to generations of Michigan residents throughout the years. Once a collection like ours is lost it is gone forever. As a citizen of Michigan I see the loss of the State Library as something that our State has had that brought us great respect in other states and communities. When we are at national conventions, Michigan is held up as a positive example of a state that is doing everything possible to preserve the records and heritage of its people. Since Michigan was one of the great melting pots of our nation, people all over our country are aware of our great facilities and many have traveled great distances to come and use them and to bring tourist dollars into our area. Many of them have become supporters and donors.

I personally don't believe that they have taken into consideration what closing the library will do to the economy of the Greater Lansing area. Our library draws hundreds of people each year who come to do research. They stay in our hotels, use the restaurants and greatly help the local economy.

Governor Granholm dissolved HAL (Dept of History Arts & Librarys). If her order #36-2009 is not stopped, the 180+ years of collecting Michigan History materials will be lost.

Please write to the governor. Ask your friends to write. Share this news item and information about the governor's executive order #36-2009. Our legislators have only 60 days to veto her order.... or it takes effect automatically.
    Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
    P.O. Box 30013
    Lansing, Michigan 48909
    PHONE: (517) 373-3400

    FAX:(517) 335-6863
As a Michigan taxpayer, I am appalled to hear about some of the ideas for the use of that magnificent facility. I cannot believe that they could ever seriously be considered by the people who run our government.

Please contact your family, friends, coworkers, societies, and anyone else you can think and encourage them to show their support for the Library and its fabulous collection. Let us band together and save our state's history.

Check out the Michigan Genealogical Council's website every day or two. It is being updated daily. The newer items concerning this situation are on our home page. You will also find addresses for Michigan Representatives and our State Senator. If you live out of state and have traveled to Michigan to use this collection be sure and let them know that. For non-Michigan residents, write Senator Jason Allen.

Please get on board. If we can lose this wonderful facility, it can happen in your location also.

Until next time :)

Shirley Hodges

To read back issues of Shirley Hodges' articles, visit her biography & archived Articles

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