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July 29, 2009


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Thank you very much for bringing this to the attention of Michigan Radio listeners. I couldn't agree more with your comments. I am urging everyone to immediately contact their state legislators and make their opinions known.

I can't begin to express what the Library of Michigan means to me. As a kid growing up in rural West Michigan in the 1960s, I was inspired by JFK's space program. Our little library didn't have the science and engineering books I needed but our librarian could get books for me through the Library of Michigan. In those days it would take a month for the books to arrive but I could keep them for six weeks. I taught myself electronics for a series of high school science fair projects. I went on to study engineering at UM and graduated in 1971 a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Thank you. The Genealogy section is most affected - threatened with elimination. A rally is scheduled at the Capitol and the Library on Aug. 5

I have always had access to more than excellent libraries. I am a retired teacher, and have gone back to college to get certified to work in, or at least feel qualified to volunteer at, a small library.
Not everything can be 'Googled', or as Microsoft would have it, 'Binged'.
Real people need to be involved in a person's search for information, especially that of children, so actual knowledge can be acquired.
From "The Whole Library Handbook": "Any way you look at it, the more we expand libraries, the less we'll expand prisons. Thanks to the Chicago Public Library, I'm a writer now." --Author Sandra Cisneros, quoted in the Denver Post, on April 8, 2005
I am asking my network of family, friends, etc. to contact their State Representatives & Senators on this issue. Ironically, many of them just may end up calling their local Public Library to find out by whom they are represented.
Thank you.

Libraries are you of date; it is called the Internet now. You can find anything online with the right search string.

That $2 million that the arts cost is $2 million less out of a possible tax increase.

The arts in times like this are irrelevant; saving money and growing the economy are what count. Let people get back to work, then we can go look at paintings.

Love the podcasts, keep up the good work!

To J.L. Messer: If everything could be found on the Internet, Michigan libraries wouldn't have tens of thousands of users every year pass through their doors. Remember, not everyone has Internet access. I see those folks nearly every day. Also, once those collections are gone, you won't be able to look at them after you're "back to work". Unless tomorrow never comes, we all need to plan for it.

Good ghod. Talk about selling your birthright for a mess of pottage! This "executive order" is nothing but contemptible grandstanding and should be treated as such.

Thank you, Jack, for addressing this dreadful situation and bringing it to the attention of a wider audience. As a Michigan citizen, enthusiastic user of books, and a librarian, I have to tell you that I am truly shocked, appalled and dismayed by the governor's proposal. This is absolutely the wrong action for our legislature to take. I believe it is called "penny wise and pound foolish."

I appreciate your shedding more light on the state library's likely demise, Jack.
I was greatly dismayed at hearing the Gov announce her plan. She's pushing off our heritage in favor of an empty-sounding, glitzy focus on "innovation and reinvention". Sounds like the first reinvention is going to be access and preservation of the state's history. What will replace the library is not obvious, but the history won't be readily available, that's clear. Unfortunately, libraries have a rep as stuffy, out of date places run by stuffy, old-fashioned and overly rigid persons. Not true, of course, but the stereotype persists, and lends itself to making the library an easy target for zeroing out of the state budget.

Where would society be without arts and libraries? The arts are never irrelevant!

And no, you cannot find everything on the internet.

Although the internet is filled with information many people do not have the searching skills that librarians have, and many people do not know how to distinguish good information from inaccurate information.

And lastly, libraries have information that you cannot find anywhere else...not even on the internet. Books that are out of print and archive collections, just to name a couple.

Just noticed a typo in my first post, “Libraries are you of date” should have read “Libraries are out of date.”

Google has been working on a project now for several years to make out of print/public domain books available online to be searchable. This is the perfect way to encourage home Internet usage and search skills.

I still believe the arts are irrelevant in cases like this; it is an unneeded expense for the state to pay.


I hope you enjoy only reading books copyrighted before 1923. Books initially copyrighted in the US from 1923 are still protected by copyright law if the initial copyright was renewed. The initial copyright term is 28 years and the renewal is 67 more years. That means a book copyrighted in 1923 can be viewed for free in 2019.

Google has digitized new items however you only view a few pages. If you want to read the entire book I suggest you visit a library or purchase it.

You can purchase a Kindle and download a book. However only the purchaser is allowed to view it. You can't pass it along to another person. When your Kindle dies say goodbye to you books since they can't be transferred.

Jim S

Thank you for writing this and making clear what needs to be done. As a member of both library and philanthropic communities, I'm appalled and horrified. It is equally disturbing to think that people still don't understand why this is going to hurt the state of Michigan so badly. For the record - the huge library and archive in Lansing is amazing. It's certainly the Alexandrian library of our state.

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