MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
August 26, 2021
Letter From Debbie
The world is a complex place, and our workplaces are only getting more complicated and challenging to navigate and manage. Michigan libraries included. For close to 18 months, since the pandemic began, MLA has pivoted, molded, shaped, and continues to spin new ideas based on a new reality. We are planning for our future. We provided rapid answers when they were needed. We incorporated solutions outside of our normal channels. We unleashed an entrepreneurial spirit. And we cultivated a more open, questioning climate.

We didn’t waste a moment!

This window of opportunity led us to have more conversations with the leadership of MLA and our library directors. To meet the expressed demand that they shared for higher-level educational content, MLA is excited to add to our professional development plate. Designed by library directors for library directors, it is called THINK SPACE and is an all-inclusive event including sessions, overnights, meals, shuttles, tours, hallways conversations, and the opportunity to build deeper, lasting relationships with other directors and deans of libraries throughout Michigan. Read more
On September 1, MLA will celebrate 130 years of serving the Michigan library community!

MLA is Michigan’s oldest and largest library association spanning more than a century. It has influenced the course of Michigan’s libraries since its inception in 1891, when Mary A. Eddy, the librarian at Coldwater Free Public Library, wrote to Henry M. Utley of the Detroit Public Library about organizing a state library association.

Show your pride in being a part of MLA by sharing a message on social media and tagging MLA on Wednesday, September 1! Send a happy birthday message, share how long your library has been around, or give us a shout-out and let us know how long you have been a member!

Facebook: @MichiganLibraryAssociation
Twitter: @MLAoffice

In celebration of our 130 Anniversary, we’ve also made it easy to contribute a small gift or a large gift -- $13.00, $130.00, or $1,300.00. Celebrate the longevity of the Michigan library community by contributing a gift to help grow MLA's educational and equity scholarship funds. If you would like to consider a legacy gift please call us at (517) 394-2774. Contribute online at

Here's to another 130 years!
Mentor Program Autumn Cohort Accepting Application
Applications for mentees are accepted through September 10, 2021. Interested in being a mentor? Apply at any time throughout the year to be placed in our mentor matching pool. Learn more about the program and apply at
The MLA Mentor Program is a trusted resource for emerging professionals and leaders to foster bidirectional professional development and growth. The Mentor Program creates structured relationships that last for six months and provides mentors and mentees with a cohort of others at similar places within their careers. Participants set their own goals and objectives and MLA provides resources beneficial to both parties.

Applications are accepted August 2, 2021 – September 10, 2021, for the Autumn cohort, and the program will begin in October 2021. We invite you to be a part of this benefit to MLA membership. You never know where it might take you.

For more information, contact MLA Program and Event Director Amber Sheerin at
Nominations for MLA Board Open September 24
This September, MLA will open the call for nominations seeking candidates for the 2022 Board of Directors. The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC) will be seeking nominations/self-nominations for four member-at-large directors as well as the President-elect position, with terms beginning in July 2022 and ending in June 2025. The call for nominations will be open from Friday, September 24, through Monday, November 8.

Watch for the open call for nominations in September.
Annual Member Meeting Notice
Notice is hereby given to MLA members that the Annual Meeting will take place during MLA 2021 Annual Virtual Conference on Thursday, October 14, 2021, from 3:00 to 4:00 PM via Zoom. MLA 2021 Annual Virtual Conference registration is not required to attend the annual meeting and all members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Members will receive an invitation with the Zoom link to attend the meeting in early October. Watch for more information in our September newsletter.
October is Michigan Library Appreciation Month
Get ready to celebrate Michigan Library Appreciation Month! This October we are celebrating Michigan libraries and library staff and highlighting all the many ways libraries keep our communities connected!

Join us in participating in Michigan Library Appreciation Month and help us highlight just how much of an impact our libraries have made in the lives of Michiganders and how libraries and library staff help keep us connected while we need it most.

We will offer several ways libraries, library staff and patrons can get involved. This month we ask that you submit the Michigan Library Appreciation Month proclamation to your local elected officials to give them time to proclaim their support! Issuing a proclamation can sometimes take a month on more but it's simple to do. Identify a council member, mayor or supervisor to sponsor the proclamation. Contact information can be found on your local city, county or township website.

Watch for social media ideas, newsletter copy, graphics and more resources and easy ways to participate next month and plan to join the celebration to highlight Michigan libraries, librarians, and library workers all October long!
We Need Your Help!
Share quotes or testimonials and photos from your library patrons or staff to help us celebrate Michigan’s libraries this October!

We are collecting quotes or testimonials and corresponding photos from library personnel and Michigan residents about why they love their library, how their library has kept them connected to the community, resources and information, or how a library worker impacted their life during the past year. 

We are looking for original photos that tell a story! Examples include photos of library curbside services in action, patrons attending virtual programs from home, photos of library workers mentioned in a quote, or patrons using library services in the library. 

We know many libraries collect quotes and testimonials, will you help us celebrate all Michigan libraries this October by sharing the feedback you are most proud of and a corresponding photograph?
MLA Welcomes Riz to the Team!
MLA is adding more talent to our team! We are proud to announce that Riz Hatton, a Detroit native and senior at Michigan State University will be joining us as an intern for three months as our social media strategist to promote both MLA and Michigan’s awesome libraries and library workers.

How did we choose Riz? Well, we found out that she is a stellar writer with imagination and a creative flair and we felt that she would be able to adapt and translate MLA’s voice and personality into digital content. In her cover letter she wrote, “When I was a child, there was a fake dragon inside of a castle surrounded by books in the kid’s section at my local library. Trips to the library were exciting and fun and I believe everyone should experience the joy libraries bring.” Read more
The MLA office will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 6, 2021.
Check out MLA's Bill Tracker to view a full list of legislation that our Advocacy and Legislative Committee is watching.
MLA 2021-2022 Advocacy Action Plan
The MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee finalized the 2021-2022 Action Plan. The plan outlines the top legislative priorities on both a State and Federal level as well as an advocacy plan to promote the value of libraries and librarians to both legislators and the general public.
View the plan here: Advocacy Action Plan
State of Michigan Budget Updates
MLA continues to advocate behind the scenes as the FY22 State of Michigan budget continues its slow progress over the summer months. At stake is a $2 million increase to State Aid to Libraries in the Senate version of the budget and $100,000 to employ a poet laureate for Michigan (to be administered by the Library of Michigan). Our legislators are again taking their time and there is still much to accomplish before October 1 when the fiscal year begins. The House and Governor’s proposed budgets call for flat funding, but we are hopeful that the Senate’s proposed version is taken into consideration when negotiations pick up. MLA will keep you informed and will make sure that our advocacy efforts include your voices when the time is right.

Also being pushed to the back burner are the COVID relief supplemental funds (OVER $5 billion) from our federal government of which approximately $4 million is designated for grants to libraries and statewide partners. It is our understanding that the approval for spending these federal funds will not happen until after the FY22 budget is adopted.   
Michigan Library Millages - August Election Results
The Library of Michigan provides a listing of Public Library Millage Election Results from 2010 to the present. View the results (pdf)
Glen Lake Community Library
Election Result: Millage Passed
The 5-year millage renewal passed for the Glen Lake Community Library, serving the residents of Empire, Glen Arbor, and Kasson Townships since 1977.
Saugatuck-Douglas District Library
Election Result: Millage Passed
The Saugatuck-Douglas District Library's 5-year millage renewal was passed - approximately $175,000 will be collected in the first year for all district library purposes.
Dearborn Public Library
Election Result: Millage Passed
Dearborn Public Library is celebrating the passage of its 6-year millage by 67.4% of its residents.
Public Library of Westland
Election Result: Millage Passed
The Public Library of Westland was successful in passing their new 10-year term millage during the August elections.
Chesterfield Township Library
Election Result: Millage Failed
Residents of Chesterfield Township voted against the library's millage requesting 1.00 mill for 20 years for the construction and operation of a new public library.
Kent District Library - Nelson Township Branch
Election Result: Millage Failed
Not by much, but the Kent District Library - Nelson Township Branch saw a defeat of a proposed 4-year operating millage on the August ballot.
Pandemic Watch
We are still actively monitoring legislation and regulations related to COVID-19. Please watch MLA's website for important news and announcements as we keep you informed.
With the rise in COVID cases (especially the Delta variant) in Michigan, MLA continues to watch the guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

As always, we encourage you to remain vigilant to reduce the continued spread of COVID-19. MLA continues to encourage our libraries to promote: hand washing, mask-wearing, physical distancing, getting vaccinated, robust cleaning, improving ventilation systems, and anything else that goes along with keeping staff and patrons safe. 

We continue to receive questions about mask-wearing and have provided the guidance below from the CDC for your consideration.
New CDC Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated in Response to the COVID Delta Variant 
As of July 27, 2021, the CDC has updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.

  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

For those who are not vaccinated, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated and continuing to mask until they are fully vaccinated. Per the CDC's latest update, "With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever." 

For more information, please review the CDC guidance for vaccinated individuals, and review the CDC COVID tracker to determine community spread in your area.  
MIOSHA Urges Employers to Follow CDC Guidelines
MIOSHA is strongly encouraging Michigan employers to follow recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines due to the Delta variant of COVID-19. According to the CDC, the Delta variant is much more contagious, may infect those that have been vaccinated and may also allow vaccinated individuals to spread the virus. Prior to Delta, the probability for vaccinated individuals to spread the virus was considered low. Read more
FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine
On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. Read more
US Census Counts and Redistricting
As reported by MLive: New population data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows West Michigan counties grew the fastest during the last decade, while Upper Peninsula counties experienced the biggest loss in residents since 2010.

Demographic and localized population data collected for the 2020 Census was released earlier in August. The numbers reveal how communities changed in the 10 years since the last census count and inform the process of redrawing political boundaries ahead of 2022 elections and influence the allocation of millions of dollars in federal funds.

The Census estimated Michigan had 10 million residents in 2020. The state’s population grew by just under 2% in the last decade, an increase of 193,691 people since 2010. More than 4.5 million housing units were counted in 2020. Read more

Michigan is home to more people than ever, but the state’s rate of growth lags behind most of the country. Michigan’s sluggish population growth during the last count cost the state a U.S. House seat.

With the loss of a US House seat, the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is hard at work to amend district maps. Recently they amended their schedule for releasing draft maps. The new schedule is based on region, rather than the type of district boundary being drawn. The updated schedule is available here on pg. 4.
Build America's Libraries Act - Deadline Approaching: Tell Congress to Invest in Library Facilities Today!
Do you have a minute to take action on behalf of historic library funding?

The House of Representatives passed the budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2022, following passage in the U.S. Senate. Now, Congress is working to develop a budget reconciliation package that may provide up to $3.5 trillion in new federal spending. Congressional committees must submit legislation that determines the distribution of this funding no later than September 15. From now until this deadline, we need to do all that we can to ensure the funding outlined in the Build America's Libraries Act is included in this package.

Congress is expected to move quickly. Will you reach out to your legislators today and urge them to include this funding for libraries in the budget reconciliation package?

We also highly encourage you to post on social media to increase the overall visibility of this ask. Use this sample tweet below, or create your own, along with ALA's Twitter graphic:

Libraries are critical community lifelines for many - @[YourSenators/Rep], we must invest in & #BuildLibraries now. Please include libraries in the budget reconciliation plan, an investment for all Americans.
MLA 2021 (Virtual) Annual Conference: Connect to the Future
Connect to the Future this October 13 and 14 at the MLA 2021 Virtual Annual Conference.

Registration is open and we've got great individual rates and scholarship opportunities, discounted group packages for organizational members, plus students can attend for free! Check out the schedule at a glance and featured speaker lineupbreakout sessionsreview registration options and register today at
Are you coming?? Let us know!
MLA 2021 Virtual Keynote Speakers
Thank you to our All Conference Sponsor!
MLA 2021 Virtual Partner Opportunities
Do you offer products and services for libraries? Don't miss the opportunity to connect with hundreds of library staff at the MLA 2021 (Virtual) Annual Conference. Exhibit in the virtual expo hall, or become an event sponsor with one of our virtual sponsorship opportunities!

Check out detailed sponsor and exhibitor information on our website or download the Vendor Prospectus (PDF), and sign up to participate or share this invitation with your vendors!
SAVE THE DATE: October 13 at 7 PM
The Michigan Library Awards are presented annually to celebrate Michigan's libraries and library staff and are co-hosted by the Michigan Library Association, the Library of Michigan, the Library of Michigan Foundation, the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME), and the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA).

Honorees will be recognized during a special virtual ceremony on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at 7:00 PM as we celebrate the accomplishments, dedication and service of outstanding libraries, library staff, trustees and supporters.
Michigan Library Awards Hosts
SAVE THE DATE: Spring Institute 2022
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2022 is back in person! Save the date and join us March 10-11, 2022 at the Comfort Inn & Suites Conference Center Mt. Pleasant at Central Michigan University.

Upcoming dates to watch for:
  • Call for Proposals Opens: September 10, 2021
  • Call for Proposals Closes: October 22, 2021
  • Attendee Registration Opens: December
MLA Connect provides virtual education and engagement opportunities you can access from anywhere to keep you connected to the library community in Michigan! Read on to check out the lineup of upcoming MLA Connect programs. Missed an MLA Connect event? Check out archived webinars and coffee hours on the MLA website. Please note recordings are provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.
Upcoming MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Are You Prepared for Your Next Ballot Proposal?
Thursday, September 16, 2021
10:00 – 11:00 AM
Are you prepared for your next ballot proposal? The MLA Connect September Coffee Hour is all about how to build community support for your library. 

Learn why voter support for funding libraries is dropping in many places, and what support is for your library looks like in your community. Know in advance what amount voters are willing to pay to keep your library open, improve or expand access, what can be done to increase support, and who you need on your team. 
Do you have news you want to share? Contact Lisa Buttigieg at to share news of promotions, new hires, appointments, awards or a tribute in memoriam.
On the Move
Welcome to Janice Jones, the new director of the Constantine Township Library. Janice has worked as a library clerk at the Constantine Township Library since August 2005, and was the Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary School in Constantine from 2001-2005. Congratulations Janice!
Wishing all the best to Dillon Geshel, who has been chosen as the new Director of the Superiorland Library Cooperative.  Dillon is currently Director of the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton, MI, and serves on the MLA Board of Directors.
Erin Zabonick was just promoted to Assistant Director at the Three Rivers Library! Congratulations Erin!
Kudos and Congratulations
Not every educator comes in the form of a classroom teacher or even someone who works for an educational institution. Sue Carlson, assistant director for the Mason County District Library, educates library-goers about books and reading and the importance of literacy for all ages.
Congratulations to Lance Werner, Executive Director of Kent District Library, who has been appointed to participate as a member of the Michigan Library Board of Trustees.
Wishing Jane Moe, director of the Constantine Township Library for 28 years, a very happy retirement. Jane started her career with Constantine Township Library in 1974 as a library board member and then became a library clerk in 1983. In March of 1993, Jane was appointed to be the library director. Thank you, Jane, for your devoted service. You will be missed!
In Memoriam
Kalamazoo Public Library recently lost an instrumental figure in the history of KPL. Longtime, former director Saul Amdursky passed away July 30, 2021. Saul brought significant, positive changes in library service to Kalamazoo, and his efforts led to the library becoming one of the first formed as a district library in Michigan. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Advertise on MLA’s Job Board
As the employment picture improves, competition among employers for the best candidates is increasing. MLA’s job board has been used by hundreds of employers and job-seekers throughout the state, helping match needs and skills in the library community. It is designed to help you locate qualified staff to fill current positions by announcing your job openings to a wide audience of library and information professionals and support staff. Members receive deep discounts on job postings through the MLA Career Center job board. Learn more here.
Library of Michigan – Lansing, MI

Portage District Library – Portage, MI

View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
Libraries Transforming Communities
The American Library Association invites library workers to apply for the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries. Up to 100 libraries will be awarded in this round of grantmaking, part of ALA's longtime community engagement initiative. Library workers may apply online for grant funding by September 16.
Library Grants for National Leadership, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now accepting FY 2022 proposals for National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21). The National Leadership Grants for Libraries program supports projects that address critical needs of the library and archives fields and have the potential to advance practice in these professions to strengthen library and archival services for the American public. The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports the development of a diverse workforce of librarians and archivists, to better meet the information needs of communities being served. Applicants have through September 24, 2021, to submit their two-page preliminary proposals.
Communities for Immunity Initiative
Libraries and museums are invited to submit proposals for funding efforts that support vaccine confidence where it matters most―at the local level. Funding awards will be provided to museums and libraries to leverage their deep relationships with local communities to improve vaccine confidence.

The award program will fund projects of a range of sizes and complexity in two rounds. Round one applications are due September 2, 2021. Learn more about how your library can get involved and apply for funds.
Library Card Signup Month
Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the American Library Association and libraries unite in a national effort to ensure every child signs-up for their own library card. Check out the press kit here and tons of free resources to celebrate on ALA's website:
Nominate your favorite librarian for the prestigious I Love My Librarian Award. This national award recognizes librarians working in public, school, college, community college, or university libraries for their outstanding public service contributions. Nominations will be accepted online through September 27, 2021.
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Connect on Social Media
Connect with MLA on social media! Like and Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest real-time updates from MLA staff, library news, inspirational and educational posts and more! We also ask that you share this invitation with friends and help us extend our reach so important advocacy updates and calls to action are heard by library supporters throughout the state.
Uniting the Michigan Library Community
MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.