MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
December 15, 2022
Note From MLA Staff
As the MLA staff reflected on another year of serving the Michigan Library community, a few things were clear to all of us: we are thankful for the right to read and we are proud to work on behalf of all Michigan libraries and Michigan residents to stand up for intellectual freedom and oppose censorship. We each wanted to take a moment to share how the right to read and access to books have impacted our lives and thank the library community for the work you do every day to make sure everyone in your community is represented in your collections and feels welcome in your library! Read more
Support MLA With Year-end Giving
For those that don’t like to read…Donate to MLA: This link…a credit card…60 seconds…and Boom! You’re done! For those who want to take some time to absorb our appeal, read on!
Wherever you happen to live and work in this beautiful state, we hope you think about the impact and influence that MLA has had on you and your library over the past year. Great friendships, professional successes, discoveries of help and support, and holding strong to the values that are engrained in our work during these turbulent times. We love how connected you are to MLA!

Through MLA, we achieve more together than any of us can do alone. Your support doesn’t just impact MLA, it contributes to a thriving and dynamic Michigan. As the year concludes and gratitude abounds, we hope you will show your pride in being a part of MLA by contributing a gift of any size that has true meaning and impact on our Michigan library community:
Donate $50 to our Educational Scholarship Fund to help shape the future of a next-generation library professional to attend an MLA program.

Donate $100 to our Equity Fund to affirm your commitment to diversity and inclusion as we reduce financial barriers and uplift people of color who impact and transform the library profession.  

Donate $500 to our Advocacy Resource Fund which allows MLA to educate and oppose any current or future legislation that infringes upon First Amendment rights and intellectual freedom.

Or, donate what you can to make sure that the values you hold dear never waiver in your professional organization.
Together, your donations will go directly to efforts that matter most for the future of libraries throughout Michigan – advocacy efforts at the legislative level and our local library and school boards to protect First Amendment rights, educational scholarships that support our ever-growing field of up and coming library professionals, engagement efforts that nourish our need as a library community to connect, unite and share challenges and successes with each other, and so much more.
Every donation works together to form something extraordinary – and right now is the perfect time to make a difference…even the smallest donation can boost the impact we make each and every day. 

As 2022 comes to a close we’re thankful for the generosity of so many of you that have already stepped up to provide financial and volunteer support to MLA. Thank you for supporting us and thank you for considering a gift to MLA!
Donate Today…There are four ways to give!
We’ve made it easy to contribute a small gift or a large gift, or if you would like to consider a legacy gift, please call Debbie Mikula, Executive Director at 517-881-1266.

Check payable to Michigan Library Association and mailed to 3410 Belle Chase Way, Suite 100, Lansing, MI 48911

Credit/Debit by calling our office at (517) 394-2774

Donate online at

Text GIVEMLA to 44321
Give the Gift of Membership
Library Directors: Can’t think of anything to get your staff this holiday season? Want a gift that will last the whole year?

This holiday season consider purchasing individual memberships for your library's staff to support professional development in the new year! Staff at member libraries are eligible for discounted Affiliated Individual memberships at $85 annually. Visit us on the web to learn more about membership or contact us at [email protected] to purchase memberships today!
Support MLA While you Shop
Attention holiday shoppers: You can support MLA by shopping online! All you need to do is log in through Amazon Smile and select the Michigan Library Association as the organization you want to support. Then just do your shopping as usual and Amazon will donate .5% of eligible purchases to MLA.

Your holiday shopping can give back to the library community by supporting continuing education scholarships and statewide advocacy for libraries. Amazon Smile has the same products, prices and services as Amazon. To make sure your shopping supports MLA, log in at
ALA Councilor's Report
By Tashia Miller
ALA Councilor, MLA Board of Directors
Continued Rise of Book Challenges Across the Nation
ALA is continuing to see an increase in challenges to reading and curriculum materials. These challenges are happening in schools, public libraries, and higher education institutions. The challenges overwhelmingly target materials supporting LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and others who have faced discrimination and marginalization. 

Extreme areas of concern include efforts to declare books obscene—ignoring the legal definition of the word, criminalizing librarians, and declaring access decisions to be the right of parents and the community rather than librarians and teachers. These organized efforts are recognized by ALA as a threat to libraries, as witnessed by the failure of the Patmos library’s mileage. ALA will continue to support libraries facing organized challenges through the United Against Book Bans and the Freedom To Read Foundation.
ALA Constitution & Bylaws
In an effort to streamline the association, ALA Council, the committee on Transforming ALA Governance (TAG) and the Bylaws committee have continued to push forward to align ALA with the needs of our members. To accomplish this TAG has identified several redundancies and overlaps within the ALA Constitution and the Bylaws that impede progress.

At the 2022 ALA Annual and a special August meeting, council has voted overwhelmingly to combine the ALA Constitution and the Bylaws into a single updated governance document. The final draft of the new governing bylaws will be reviewed by council during 2023 LibLearnX. If approved by council the full membership will be given access to the draft bylaws for review. Membership will vote on the Spring ballot on two initiatives; to rescind the current ALA Constitution and secondly, to approve the new ALA Bylaws as the official governing document for ALA.
Mentors Wanted
Help build the future of the Michigan library community by sharing your expertise through MLA’s Mentor Program. Mentees enrolled in the program are diverse and include MLIS students, new librarians, new library directors, and mid-career library staff experiencing a change in their roles.

Participants in the Mentor Program are matched by MLA staff in the spring and fall. This flexible program lasts six months, and mentor/mentee pairs set their own pace and expectations using the communication methods best suited to their own needs. If you’re an experienced library worker, consider joining the Mentor Program today for a potential match in March 2023! Learn more at
Happy Holidays!
We would like to wish the entire library community a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a happy new year!

MLA will be closed for the holidays from Friday, December 23, 2022, through Monday, January 2, 2023. We will be back to serve the library community in the new year on Tuesday, January 3!
Check out MLA's Bill Tracker to view a full list of legislation that the Advocacy and Legislative Committee is watching. View the MLA 2022-2023 Advocacy Action Plan at
Michigan’s New Legislature
At our December Advocacy Hour, MLA Lobbyist Bob DeVries, GCSI shared an update on how the outcome of the November 2022 Midterms and Michigan’s new Democratic Trifecta will influence our work in the next two years.

Incoming members of the 102nd legislature begin their work on the second Wednesday in January 2023. With a turnover of 52% for the 110 members of the Michigan House of Representatives, the House will have 56 new members in 2023 and control rests with the Democratic party on a narrow 56-54 margin. In the 38-member Michigan Senate, Democrats also have gained the majority by a margin of 20-18. The Michigan Senate will have 16 new members in 2023, for a turnover of 45%.

It is important for library advocates to reach out to their new legislators to begin building collaborative relationships. Lawmakers need to know how valuable libraries are to their communities and be educated about the library profession and libraries' role in upholding intellectual freedom, privacy, and access for all. Click the image above to watch the December Advocacy Hour recording for a refresher on the importance of relationship-building, and how to get to know your legislators!

MDHHS Library OTC COVID-19 Tests
Thanks to library partners, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Over the Counter COVID-19 Testkit Program continues to be a success. With over 250 libraries participating since the program's inception, this map shows participating libraries across the state as of November 2022. MDHHS has shared that they continue to receive positive feedback from these libraries and are very grateful for their partnership. 

Libraries from anywhere in Michigan can still sign up to be distribution sites. If you have an interest in participating, please fill out this form and MDHHS will be in touch to get you started: Interest form (Site Enrollment) for new partners.
MI Right to Read is an MLA initiative coordinated through the leadership of the Intellectual Freedom Task Force to protect the right to read in Michigan. Visit today to join the coalition and take the pledge to protect every Michigander's right to read. View resources to assist libraries with First Amendment challenges at
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 Registration is Open
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 is in person March 30-31, 2023 at the Ann Arbor Sheraton Hotel. Attendee registration is open!
Spring Institute for Youth Services highlights the brilliance of Michigan’s youth library professionals every year, from early literacy initiatives to teen programs and everything in between. In 2023, Spring Institute will focus on Sustaining Our Future. Join us on March 30-31 at the Ann Arbor Sheraton Hotel as we highlight all the ways we are working to protect books, communities, and relationships. 

Full conference early-bird registration is only $250 for members! For details, visit
Location and Hotel
3200 Boardwalk Street
Ann Arbor, MI, 48108
(734) 996-0600

Reserve your room before March 1, 2023 to receive the MLA discounted rate of $139 plus tax, per night. Please note, to receive the discounted rate you must call the hotel and identify yourself as part of the MLA Spring Institute.
Keynote Speakers
We are pleased to announce our Opening Keynote Speaker is award-winning author Kyle Lukoff and our Friday Morning Keynote Speaker is pediatrician Dr. Dipesh Navsaria!
Kyle Lukoff writes books for kids and other people. Before becoming a full-time writer, Kyle worked at five bookstores, in four libraries, for three schools, as two genders, through one intersection: people, and books.

He is most known for the Stonewall award-winning When Aidan Became a Brother and for Call Me Max. Other titles include Explosion at the Poem Factory, Too Bright to See, Different Kinds of Fruit, and If You’re a Kid Like Gavin, among others.

Find him on Twitter at @KyleLukoff, Instagram at @kylelukoffwritesand Facebook at
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria is a pediatrician working in the public interest. He blends the roles of physician, occasional children's librarian, educator, public health professional and child health advocate. With graduate degrees in public health, children’s librarianship, physician assistant studies, and medicine, he brings together a unique combination of interests and experience.

Dr. Navsaria is strongly engaged with early literacy programs in health care settings, particularly around ideas of early brain and child development, which include neurobiological effects of adversity and poverty upon the developing brain.
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 Call for Proposals
The Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 Workgroup is seeking digital poster proposals as well as individuals interested in participating as panelists. Visit for complete details and to submit your proposal using the online form.
Digital Poster Proposals
Digital Posters are short videos, 5 minutes or less, that share an idea, program, or story about your library with the conference attendees. A good poster session focuses on one main theme, presents useful information, and is funny and engaging. It’s a great way to jump into presenting without building a full-blown program.

Submissions are welcome through Friday, February 3, 2023. Download the MLA SI23 Call for Posters Guidelines (pdf).
Call for Panelists
If you are interested in sharing your experiences with others or want some experience speaking to an audience, this might be a great fit for you! Our panel conversations will discuss ‘Scaling and Failing Ideas’. Each panel will feature 3-5 different speakers who will have the opportunity to share their experiences for 5-10 minutes and engage in audience discussion and Q&A.

Submissions are welcome through Friday, January 13, 2023. Download the MLA SI23 Call for Panelists Guidelines (pdf)
Check out the MLA Connect On Demand virtual education platform! MLA members have access to dozens of virtual programs and sessions on a wide variety of topics, all available to view on-demand. To view available programs, visit MLA Connect On Demand, browse the archives, and log in with your MLA individual login credentials.
MLA Connect: Supporting Trans Staff and Community in Your Library Trans Allyship Part 2
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
10:00 - 11:00 AM

How can library workers and leaders support trans staff and patrons in our spaces? How can we make our trans employees feel valued and accepted, and our patrons feel safe? This can be daunting if you are not sure what to do, especially in the context of heightened tension around LGBTQ+ inclusive materials and programs. We will discuss barriers faced by many trans folks in the workplace and solutions to overcoming these obstacles to create a safer, more inclusive library where everyone can belong.

MLA is proud to invite Farmington Hills-based organization Stand with Trans to join us for a 2-part webinar series on how to be a better ally in your library. The second session will build on the first and each will address issues such as what it means to be transgender, why pronouns are important, understanding the gender spectrum, language dos/don’ts, vocabulary, statistics, and allyship, with plenty of time for discussion and Q&A.

You may register for one or both of the webinars. A recording of the first webinar is available on MLA Connect On Demand.

One webinar: $25 member / $50 non-member
Both webinars: $35 / $70 non-member
Now Available On-Demand
Recordings of MLA 2022 Annual Conference Keynotes are available on MLA Connect On Demand. Conference attendees automatically have free access to the recordings. Couldn’t make it to the conference? Purchase access to all three keynotes for $25 for members or $50 for non-members.
MLA Connect 2023 Virtual Programs
We are excited to share the 2023 MLA Connect lineup! Watch for more event details in the new year. Visit us on the web to register now or save the date for upcoming programs!
Do you have news you want to share? Contact Lisa Buttigieg at [email protected] to share news of promotions, new hires, appointments, awards or a tribute in memoriam.
On the Move
Congratulations to Liz Breed who has been appointed as Jackson District Library’s new Director. Wishing you great success Liz!
Capital Area District Libraries announced that Jolee Hamlin is moving into a new role on their Management Team as the Assistant Director. Congratulations Jolee!
The Genesee District Library has named Brian Cutter as the new Branch Librarian at the Linden Library. All the best in your new role Brian!
Wishing all the best to Angela Badke who has moved into a new position as the Instruction and Scholarly Communications Specialist with Michigan Tech University's J.R. Van Pelt and Opie Library. Congratulations to you Angela!
The DeWitt District Library has welcomed Glenn Fischer as the new Director. Good luck to you in your new role Glenn!
Kudos and Congratulations
Congratulations to Novi Public Library for being awarded the 2022 Community Collaboration Award presented at the Michigan Association for Media in Education President’s Award Gala in Ann Arbor on November 10. Way to go Novi Public Library and Novi Community School District librarians!
The Xavier DeGroat Autism Foundation is honoring Thomas Moore for his ongoing focus on diverse services at Capital Area District Libraries' Haslett and Okemos branches. Congratulations Thomas!
Advertise on MLA’s Job Board
Members receive deep discounts on job postings through the MLA Career Center job board. Learn more here.
Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library – Alpena, MI

Chesterfield Township Library – Chesterfield, MI

View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
GRANTS AND RESOURCES - Free at-home COVID-19 tests

Every U.S. household is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-⁠19 tests.

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Series of Comprehensive History Webinars Announced for 2023

LANSING - A series of webinars offering educators greater depth of knowledge for social studies instruction in a variety of important historical movements was announced today by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Opening the 2023...

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Now accepting applications: NEA Big Read and Shakespeare ...

Applications are now open for our two national grants programs: the NEA Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities. Read below to learn more about these upcoming opportunities for communities and theater companies across the country!

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Minimum Wage & Overtime

Minimum Wage & Overtime

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Cultural and Community Resilience Grants

The Cultural and Community Resilience program supports community-based efforts to mitigate climate change and COVID-19 pandemic impacts, safeguard cultural resources, and foster cultural resilience through identifying, documenting, and/or...

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FINRA Foundation Library Grants Program

Application deadline: March 1, 2023 Purpose: This grant program supports public libraries and academic libraries in their efforts to meet financial and/or investor education needs at the community level by providing high-quality education,...

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Science Kit for Public Libraries (SKPL)

Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) program that raises funds for public libraries to make science kits as easy to check out as a book! With access to a public library and a...

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Libraries Transform Communities: Engagement Grant
Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme. For the 2022-2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on connection and reconnection with your community. Applications are due February 1, 2023.
Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities
Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities will offer more than $7 million in grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities. To be eligible, a library must have a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and be located at least five miles from an urbanized area, in keeping with Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) definitions of small and rural libraries. Applications are due February 28, 2023.
Peggy Barber Tribute Grant
The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant is an annual grant of the American Library Association (ALA) that recognizes, promotes, and supports meaningful programs in libraries that have limited and/or no access to budgetary support for programming. The grant, named after the late library leader Peggy Barber, aims to help ease library budget challenges by awarding three libraries $2,500 to support a proposed program, program series, or programming effort. Applications are due February 1, 2023.
Fight Censorship
With the severe uptick in local and statewide book challenges, ALA offers this clearinghouse of resources to assist library workers and library advocates in responding to and supporting others facing those challenges. Report challenges to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, and let ALA know if you need assistance.
 Don't keep this great resource to yourself!
Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and networks.
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Connect on Social Media
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Uniting the Michigan Library Community
MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.