The next MCIR Board meeting is scheduled for May 19, 2010, from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m at the Archives Reading Room, 2nd floor, Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing. This is the board that the Governor of Michigan appointed to provide recommendations for the future of the Library of Michigan and the collections now under the umbrella of the Department of Education. These meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in the outcome of the Executive Order affecting the Library of Michigan and its genealogy collections, I encourage you to attend.

Besides the presence of Frank Boles representing the Michigan Genealogical Council, 100% of the public in attendance at the last meeting on May 4th were from the Western Michigan Genealogical Society. But, there were only two of us making up that constituency. One of the reasons for the low attendance is because there were problems on the Michigan.gov website preventing the listing of the meeting until the day before.

Another possible reason is that interest has waned. From many discussions I’ve had with various people, I am confident that is not the case.

Or, it could be because we haven’t announced the meeting schedule proactively within the genealogical community. So instead of just providing a link to the Michigan.gov website on our own website, I want to take this opportunity to give our audience more direct notification and explain what you can do to be involved with this situation.

From my experience attending some of the past meetings, the public voice is very much desired by the board members and hearing public comments is very important to them with their deliberations and what ultimately will be their final recommendations to the Governor’s office. Board members have made multiple comments during their discussions in reference to the genealogists that “surrounded this building last year.” And one of their top priorities is to protect the rights and wishes of the public concerning open access to these significant collections within the “peoples building.”

If you go, when you enter the meeting room you are asked to fill out a brief sign-in form and you have the opportunity to indicate your intention to speak in the public forum portion of the meeting near the end of the meeting agenda. Your voices will be heard!

The MCIR Board members are:

Ron Boji, Orchard Lake, President of the Boji Group

Gregory Eaton, Lansing, Partner in Karoub Associates

Michael Flanagan, Lansing, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Rebecca Humphries, Lowell, Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment

Michael D. Moore, Lansing, President of Moore and Associates

Nancy Skowronski, Detroit, Member of the Michigan Library Association

Michael O. Smith, Farmington, Director of the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

Bob Trezise, Lansing, President and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corporation

Kate Pew Wolters, Grand Rapids, President of the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation and Chairperson of the Steelcase Foundation Board

Staff, Sandra Clark and Michelle Davis

You can find more information, schedules, agendas and meeting minutes at www.michigan.gov/mcir/