MLA News | Michigan Library Association

Letter from Debbie

February 25, 2021

With vaccines steadily being injected into the arms of those around us, there is real reason to celebrate and look at the jar as half-full rather than half-empty. Whew…what a year! Not that life will return to “normal” any time soon, but there is certainly new-found hope that we are turning a corner and will see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are hearing from more and more of you that your physical doors are open, that you have a date for reopening, or are in your final preparations. Stay vigilant!

For the past few weeks, many of you (in fact about 35 to date) have stepped up to be a part of MLA’s meet and greets with our freshman legislators. It has been inspirational to hear your stories and we applaud you for getting through the worst days of the pandemic all the while continuing to innovate, expand and evolve your programming and services. We continue to hear that you are making progress on the challenges you prioritized in 2020 and plan for even more accomplishments in 2021 and beyond. The hardships and setbacks of the pandemic have shown how capable you are at achieving your goals. Stay vigilant!

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Governor Whitmer Releases Proposed FY22 Budget

February 11, 2021

Today, Governor Whitmer released her third executive budget, centered on equitably growing the state’s economy by expanding skills training and childcare for families, providing a further down payment on rebuilding the state’s crumbling bridges and water infrastructure, and helping small businesses recover from the pandemic. All combined, the full budget is just over $67 billion.

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Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Findings for FY21 and FY22

January 28, 2021

State economists including State Treasurer Rachel Eubanks, State Budget Director Dave Massaron, Senate Fiscal Agency Director Christopher Harkins, and House Fiscal Agency Director Mary Ann Cleary, agreed to upgrade state revenue projections in response to data that shows the doom and gloom from the economic shutdowns enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will not be nearly as bad as originally feared. These projections* were presented at the January 15, 2021 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC).

When Michigan’s government finally closes the books on FY2020 (last year), it is projected to have a $2.5 billion surplus in the General Fund and a nearly $1.2 billion balance in the School Aid Fund. These numbers will be carried over into the current fiscal year. The combined $3.7 billion surplus is a complete turnaround to where state officials projected the budget's position to be last summer when Michigan was staring into a $2.2 billion hole for FY2020. The state economists stated that the federal government's help with unemployment payments, stimulus checks, and COVID-19 relief help for public health care, is a big driver for the change.

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Mitch Albom Selected to Receive the 2020 Michigan Author Award

January 28, 2020

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased to announce that Mitch Albom has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Michigan Author Award.

Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 40 million copies worldwide; have been published in 49 territories and in 47 languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

A work group representing MLA and the Michigan Center for the Book determine the Michigan Author Award recipient on overall literary merit. To be eligible, authors must be a current resident of Michigan, a long-time resident of Michigan, recently relocated or an author whose works are identified with Michigan because of subject and/or setting.

“Of this year’s nominees, Mitch Albom was the obvious choice. In addition to his literary body of work, Mr. Albom is a humanitarian and has exhibited an enduring commitment to Metro Detroit and Michigan as a whole," said Work Group Chair Eric Stanton, Public Services Librarian, Capital Area District Libraries. "The committee felt that this is an honor that is well overdue.”

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Homeland Security Guidance for Essential Workers

January 28, 2021

On December 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, updated their guidance in version 4 of their document “Ensuring Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Have the Ability to Work Safely”.

As the nation continues to respond to COVID-19, it is important that considerations regarding essential critical infrastructure workers continue to inform response policies and activities. The ability of these workers to perform their jobs safely is critical to our Nation’s ability to maintain the resilience of national critical functions. It is for this reason that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in collaboration with other federal agencies, State and local governments, and the private sector, has issued the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidance for COVID-19 response (first issued in August 2020). This guidance is intended to help State, local, tribal, and territorial officials and organizations protect their workers and communities and ensure the continued safe and secure operation of critical infrastructure, by identifying the universe of essential workers that may require specialized risk management strategies so that they can work safely. It can also be used to begin planning and preparing for the allocation of scarce resources used to protect essential workers against COVID-19.

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Letter from Debbie

January 28, 2021

Depicted in ancient stories as a bearded, wise old man, wearing long robes and a timepiece, Father Time left us at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2020. He imparted his wisdom and reinforced his message – time is passing. I know that we all gave a huge sigh of relief that 2020 was finally over (and with a sigh, many of us silently, or loudly, added…"don’t let the door hit you in the rear as you leave.")

At exactly one second past midnight as the new year dawned on January 1, 2021, we marked the change that everyone desperately needed. In the same ancient stories alongside Father Time is Baby New Year, commonly depicted as a baby swaddled in a diaper and looking at what lies ahead with the promise of rebirth; a new beginning; a fresh start; an important, promising turning point.

The MLA staff conversed about the opportunities ahead of us as a new year dawned and as you can see, they were up for some fun in our cover photo to give you their rendition of Baby New Year. Can you guess who is who?

But more seriously…while I think we were all looking forward to a bright and beautiful 2021, it is somewhat interesting to note that in the first 20 days of the year, we experienced one of the most horrific days in our lifetime AND one of our brightest. Within six days of the calendar turning over, we found ourselves reacting to the violent attack on our nation's Capitol. Fourteen days later, we witnessed the inauguration of Joe Biden as our 46th President, and Kamala Harris as the first woman, first Asian American, and first Black American Vice President.

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MLA Advocates for Upgraded Vaccine Eligibility for Library Workers

January 25, 2021

We know vaccine eligibility is of great concern to many Michigan library workers. MLA is advocating for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for library workers using a two-pronged approach. We are requesting the prioritization of public and academic library workers as essential service providers in the vaccine rollout program and we are also providing a template for library leadership to use to contact their local health departments.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations place our school and academic library workers in Phase 1b of a vaccine rollout, but public library and archive workers are in Phase 1c. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) guidelines (Michigan COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Prioritization Guidance – January 6, 2021) prioritize vaccine allocation for only K-12 school personnel, including K-12 library workers, in Phase 1b of the rollout.

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