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Citizen's Rally to Block Governor's Closing of Michigan's State Library
Column published: 07 August 2009
By: Shirley Gage Hodges   Biography & Archived Articles

Background: A previous article was published July 22 outlining the the Governor of Michigan's plan to close the state library, and then a followup article on 30 July regarding a quickly organized rally to seek the support of legislators and interested parties to reverse the Governor's unilateral decision.

The "Hands Around the Library Rally" draws a big crowd on short notice
The rally was held on 5 August 2009.

It was a wonderful example of how people will join together to help a cause that is important. It was refreshing to see genealogists, historians, military groups and concerned citizens gathering to protest a proposal by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to break up the genealogical collections at the Michigan Historical Center.

Protestors of the planned closing of the state library assembled in front of the state capitol building to make their case
prior to proceeding to the Library of Michigan building to form "Hands Around the Library"

It was also wonderful to see so many genealogical societies represented that day.

More than 525 supporters of the Library of Michigan gather to protest
Governor Granholm's planned closing of Michigan's State library this Fall.

Unfortunately Governor Granholm was not in her office that day. While we were there trying to convince her to continue to spend the $2 million on the library, she was in Detroit with Vice President Joe Biden. They were discussing a plan to spend $1 Billion on battery technology. We know that she is getting the message that we were there. You can help the cause even more by making sure that she is getting the message.

Share your opinion directly with the Governor's office with this online form, results will be reviewed, tallied and reported to the Governor and her Executive staff, but there will be no response.

At one point during the rally 525 people were counted at the Library and we know that did not include everyone that was there.

Supporters of the Library of Michigan formed "Hands Around The Library", surrounding the 1800' perimeter of the building.
People from all walks of life and all age groups joined together to attemp to block the closing of this world class facility.

I particularly loved the signs. Some of them were very creative and to the point. One of my favorites said "Genealogists do research - they also vote. It is important that our representatives and senators remember that fact.

Be sure to keep contacting everyone you can. If our representatives do not reject this, the Governor's order formally takes effect October 1.

The following video clip was produced and published by the Lansing Journal newspaper.

Finally, I would like to thank Bill Atkinson of Lansing for his photography (more photos), the Lansing Journal for their coverage and video, and the many supporters who made time in their busy schedules to begin the journey to save the Library of Michigan.

Thank you for your continued support. Let's show those who want to close the Library of Michigan, that we do care and that we can make a difference.

Until next time :)

Shirley Hodges

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

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