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Close up of Education Muse painted on the interior of the Capitol dome in Lansing, Mi 

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State AId to Libraries - MLA Advocacy Priority Area

State Aid to Libraries and Michigan's Budget

In 1977, the State Aid to Public Libraries Act (Act 89 of 1977) was enacted and funding for public libraries and cooperatives was set at $0.50/capita. Based on the rate of inflation, $0.50/capita in 1977 would be equivalent to approximately $2.50/capita in 2023. It took 46 years to reach only $0.50/capita. It is now long past time to increase the state’s financial investment to keep our 397 public library systems viable and strong in each of our Michigan communities.

State aid helps our library systems continue their mission to provide education, training and resources to Michigan residents. Every Michigan resident needs convenient and timely access to the world of information — print, digital and electronic. An educated society deserves access to unbiased, accurate information not always available on the “open Internet.”


The State Aid to Public Libraries Act 89 of 1977 was enacted to supplement local and federal fund sources for libraries in Michigan.

State Aid to Public Libraries Act 89 of 1977 specifies an allotment of $.50 per capita.

Each fiscal year, the state appropriation process establishes the amount for State Aid. The Library of Michigan, housed in the Department of Education (MDE), administers State Aid to Public Libraries (State Aid).

The Statutory formula for State Aid grants is based mainly on the state’s population and paid based on per capita rates, changes in the state’s population alter the appropriation necessary to fully fund grant awards.

Public libraries in Michigan are generally funded through three primary sources of revenue: Penal fines, millages and State Aid. While millages generally make up the largest percentage of a library's budget, penal fines and state aid make up approximately 10% and they are critical sources of funds that contribute to the important work that libraries perform.

The new total for FY 21, about $13.1 Million dollars -- equals 43 cents per capita. While we are getting closer to the allotted 50 cents per capita that Act 89 of 1977 specified, we are still a long way away and must continue to advocate for the resources that make our libraries innovative and essential in today’s world.

It must be noted that with these recent increases, our legislators, on both sides of the aisle, absolutely know the importance and value of libraries in their communities.


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.

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