Gale Supports Michigan Library Association Providing Bus Service to Rally Scheduled for September 10, 2009

Farmington Hills, Mich., August 27, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, will support the Michigan Library Association’s September 10th rally to oppose state budget cuts to library funding.  The rally, occurring on the steps of the state capitol, will encourage legislators in the House of Representatives to vote against library funding cuts proposed in the Senate passed budget.
“The Senate version of the state budget calls for slashing library funding to $7.5 million even though state law calls for it to be funded at approximately $15.4 million,” explained Gretchen Couraud, executive director, Michigan Library Association.  “If these budget cuts are enacted, the entire statewide resource sharing and interlibrary loan system could collapse, eliminating the savings realized through group purchasing.  This will put greater pressure on local communities to fund resources, or citizens will lose this information altogether.  We are proud to have Gale joining us in this fight to keep these important services alive and invite librarians and library supporters across the state to take action.”

“With our headquarters located in Michigan, we see first-hand how our state is experiencing some of the highest unemployment in the nation,” said John Barnes, Gale’s executive vice president of strategic marketing and business development.  “This is not the time to cut vital library services as more Michigan residents than ever are relying on the resources of their libraries for job-searching, skills development and life resources.

“Libraries across the state report increases in library use, a testament to how our libraries are a vital part of our state’s transitions to a knowledge-based economy dependent on technology and access to information,” continued Barnes.  “We urge the legislature to protect library funding and continue to provide free access to valuable resources.”

Gale will provide bus service for more than 250 people from two Michigan locations: its Farmington Hills headquarters and Otsego County Library in Gaylord.  Those interested in using the free bus service should register in advance at www.gale.com/michlibraries.

“Gale opposes the proposed budget cuts that threaten essential library resources, and we encourage librarians and library advocates alike to take advantage of the free Gale bus service and join us in Lansing for the September 10th rally,” said Barnes.

The Library of Michigan brings libraries together in many ways with statewide group purchasing and resource sharing, saving millions of dollars and benefiting all Michigan residents.  Additionally, the Library of Michigan is responsible for the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL.org), which provides online resources to students, faculty, small businesses, job seekers and all other Michigan residents.  Included in the free services are iMeL Tests and Tutorials providing online GED, police, fire and nursing certification tests and more.  MeLCat, a statewide interlibrary loan system, allows residents free access to a wealth of resources from their homes, offices or libraries at tremendous cost savings.  MeLCat also enables libraries to share books, CDs, DVDs and more from other communities.  

More information about the proposed cuts and their impact is available at www.milibrariesforthefuture.com/.

For more information, please contact Linda Busse at [email protected].

About Cengage Learning and Gale
Cengage Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, libraries, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats.  For more information, visit www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.