Publications for Library Law
Today, Governor Whitmer issued two new executive orders – EO 2020-114, which updates the safeguards for libraries and other open businesses, and EO 2020-115, which moves Regions 6 and 8 (most of the northern Lower Peninsula and all of the Upper Peninsula) into "stage 5" of Michigan's reopening plan and lifts some restrictions in those regions.
Libraries across Michigan, and across the country, are tasked with striking a tricky balance: ensuring that citizens’ constitutionally-protected rights to use library resources are protected, while creating a safe, orderly and non-disruptive environment for patrons and staff.
Generally, meetings of public bodies must be open to the public according to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act ("OMA"), 1976 PA 267. So, how can a public body maintain the confidentiality of attorney-client privileged information that must be discussed by the board, council or commission?
Public libraries play an important academic, cultural, and social role in communities across Michigan. Public Libraries are governed by elected or appointed boards that meet regularly to make important decisions and provide oversight and direction for a library. The role of a board is to set policy, and to leave implementation of policy to the library’s director and staff.
The Michigan Court of Appeals held that the Michigan Department of Education lacks authority to promulgate the State Aid Rules, which impose new conditions on public libraries' eligibility to receive critical state funding.
The Herrick District Library has succeeded in its circuit court action challenging the State Aid Rules enacted by the Department of History, Arts and Libraries and the Library of Michigan.