Monday, September 7, 2009

Madness Monday: Save the Library of Michigan

Although Ancestry's removal of the Drouin collection - hopefully temporary - is enough to make anyone with Canadian ancestry angry, my anger is overshadowed by the Library of Michigan situation. There are options to everything Ancestry has, even if those options are not available on my living room computer 24/7. The same cannot be said for the wonderful collection at the Library of Michigan. If you have not read about the Michigan governor's plan, please visit the Michigan Genealogical Council's page. Then, sign the online petition, the sooner the better. The Library of Michigan is a wonderful facility, one of my favorite state libraries. It seems that schools and libraries are always the first to see cuts in budget crises. Why? Education and knowledge should be near the top of the must-be-preserved list, not near the bottom.

I have had great days in the Library of Michigan, and I still have so much more research to do there. This situation started me thinking about the state libraries and archives I've used over the years, all different, but all holding millions of tiny treasures of information bits: the Maryland State Archives, the Delaware Public Archives, the Pennsylvania State Archives and the Pennsylvania State Library, the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration and the Vermont Department of Libraries, and the same for New Hampshire, Maine, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, and Kansas. The state repositories of New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California are on my list of must-visit-one-day, but I haven't made it yet. Don't forget that many of these state archives and libraries have impressive on line presences, as well. Like its library the Michigan History, Arts and Libraries web site is a wonderful resource. What happens to the web site when the collection is dismantled? I really don't want to find out.

Save the Library of Michigan!

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