MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
February 27, 2020
Letter from Debbie
Most of you know that I come from an arts background…more specifically, a theatre background. From my humble beginnings in the MSU theatre department, I have been blessed to work and build friendships for the past 40 years in an industry that is populated by individuals driven by sheer talent and devotion to their calling.

A healthy theatre environment thrives, indeed soars, when a new production is staged; a group of artists and technicians come together to form a new family; group effort and teamwork are prevalent; and innovative, creative, challenging ideas are put on the table. That is what producing theatre is all about – molding and shaping of ideas from hundreds of different perspectives and opinions – a truly collaborative environment.

Happy Library Lovers Month!
We love libraries every month of the year, but this month we wanted to take a moment to share just how much libraries, and the amazing people that work in them, mean to us!

Thank you to all of you who make our communities and lives better each day.
2020 Board of Directors Election
Meet the candidates for the 2020 MLA Board of Directors Election and plan to cast your vote April 6 - April 19, 2020.
We are pleased to announce the candidates for the MLA 2020 Board of Directors Election. MLA will hold elections for the Board of Directors April 6 - April 19.

One of the benefits of membership is the right to vote for the leaders that will help chart MLA's course into the future. MLA members will vote for the next President-elect and three member-at-large board members, who will serve three-year terms beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2023.

View detailed information on each candidate by clicking on their photo or name or visit the MLA website for details.
Library Director
Muskegon District Library
Library Director
Troy Public Library
Library Director
Presque Isle District Library
Executive Secretary
Michigan Association for Media in Education - MAME
Head of Special Collections
Library of Michigan          
 LRC Coordinator
Wayne County Community College District
Youth Services/Teen Librarian 
Ferndale Area District Library
White Pine Library Cooperative

Last Call for 2020 Michigan Author Award Nominations
Last Call! The nomination period for the annual Michigan Author Award closes tomorrow!
Help us recognize an author who has made a significant contribution to Michigan's literary heritage. Submit a nomination for the 2020 Michigan Author Award!
The nomination deadline is February 28, 2020 . Visit the MLA website or download the criteria and guidelines (pdf) for more information. Anyone is eligible to submit a nomination. Submit your nomination and supporting materials through the MLA website using the online form.

Questions? Please contact Rachel Ash, Membership and Communications Director at or (517) 394-2774 ext. 225.
MLA 2020 Annual Conference Call for Proposals
Submit a proposal for a breakout session program or a poster presentation at MLA 2020 Annual Conference, October 28-30, 2020 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Review submission guidelines and submit your proposal on the web at
You're invited to submit a proposal for a breakout session or poster presentation at MLA 2020 Annual Conference.

We encourage participation from librarians, staff and administrators from all types of libraries. The deadline to submit a proposal for a poster or program is March 27.

Visit the Call for Proposals web page to review submission guidelines and submit your proposal using the online form.

Questions? Contact MLA Program and Event Director Amber Sheerin at (517) 394-2774 ext. 223 or
Call for Michigan Library Awards Gala Work Group
Do you love a good awards show? Then we need you! The new Michigan Library Awards Gala will be the can't-miss red carpet event for celebrating excellence in the Michigan library community! We are seeking individuals interested in serving on the new Michigan Library Awards Gala Work Group. Work group members will work closely with the Annual Conference work group and will be responsible for planning entertainment and securing sponsorships.

If you are interested in participating please contact Amber Sheerin, MLA Program and Event Director at (517) 394- 2774 ext. 223 or
MLA 2020 Youth Literary Awards Top Titles
We are excited to announce the top titles of the 2020 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! Awards!

The winner and honor books will be announced at Spring Institute 2020 during Thursday's Literary Awards Lunch! Can't make it to Spring Institute this year? Make sure to follow us on Facebook and tune in to Facebook Live, Thursday, March 19 at 12:15 when we will live-stream the event!
2020 Mitten Award Top Ten Titles
2020 YouPer Award Top Ten Titles
2020 Thumbs Up! Award Top Ten Titles
The Thumbs Up! Top Ten Teen Vote is Live!
Celebrate reading month and get your teen patrons involved!

Through March 15, teens aged 13 to 18 can vote online for their favorite book from the top titles. Distribute the Top Ten Titles flyer (pdf) with the link to the online survey or share the link below on your library's website! Voting can be done online through March 15.

The winner, honor books and teen choice will be announced at Spring Institute 2020 during Thursday's Literary Awards Lunch!

Please share this link with your teen patrons and encourage them to vote!
Literary Award Seals Available for Download!
New MLA Youth Literary Award Seals are now available for download. Check us out on the web or click the images below to download winner, honor book and Top Ten Title award seals to use at your library!
Organizational Membership Renewal
Organizational membership renewal information for the 2020-2021 member year will be sent early next month!
Easy Renewal Process for Your Entire Staff
Did you know? MLA makes it super easy for Organizational members to sign up all of their employees as Affiliated Individual members. Instead of having to issue multiple checks for individual dues throughout the year, wouldn’t you love the option of cutting one check that covers the cost of annual dues for all staff ($85 per employee) AND…they will all renew at the same time each year!
We can provide you with one invoice that will cover the cost of the employees you choose to pay for. We will even pro-rate their dues as necessary to eliminate the need for sending multiple checks.
If you are interested in taking advantage of this offer, please contact MLA Administrative Assistant, Lisa Buttigieg who will be happy to help answer any questions you may have. She can be reached by phone: (517) 394-2774 ext. 227 or by email at:
Join as a Strategic Partner!
Organizations looking for an opportunity to show support for the library community, stay informed on the latest news and trends in the library profession, connect with library staff and build collaborative relationships within the library profession, are invited to join our network of more than 1700 libraries, library professional and supporters from all across Michigan. Strategic Partner membership with MLA provides exclusive benefits, including:

  • Discount for one lead staff on event registration
  • Access to our searchable member directory
  • Listing with your organization’s name and contact information in our partner directory
  • 10% discounts on exhibiting at our annual conference and our Spring Institute for Youth Services conference
  • 10% discount on advertising in our conference program book

Join now and your membership will be extended through June 2021!

If you have any questions about membership with MLA, please contact Rachel Ash, Membership and Communications Director at
Contact Your Federal Legislators and Urge Them to Support Funding for Libraries
President Trump's FY 2021 budget ends federal funding for libraries and museums. Visit to contact your federal legislators and urge them to publicly support library funding in FY 2021.
President Trump's proposed FY 2021 budget ends federal funding for libraries and museums. For the fourth year in a row the proposed budget eliminates funding critical to libraries. The budget proposal requests funding to cover Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administrative expenses for an orderly shutdown of the agency beginning October 1, 2020. The budget proposal also cuts $27 million from the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program, which helps school libraries serve students in the most vulnerable communities across America.

As the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries, IMLS provides more than $189.3 million for libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act. In Michigan, more than $8.5 million has been awarded through competitive grant programs that help museums and libraries offer learning experiences, support community and civic engagement, care for collections, and provide digital access to content since 2011. Through the Grants to States Program, the largest grant program run by IMLS, Michigan was allotted more than $4.5 million in FY 20.

This IMLS funding is critical to supporting programs aimed at improving literacy, including Michigan Reads! and Every Child Ready to Read; continuing education for library staff; Michigan's eLibrary (MeL) the State of Michigan’s digital library including MeLCat, a shared state-wide catalog representing more than 440 participating libraries; as well as grant programs for libraries that increase access and create and strengthen partnerships with community groups.
The President’s FY 2021 budget request is the first step in a long appropriations process. We ask all library supporters to please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives today and urge them to preserve the only federal funding programs for libraries and museums!
Visit our website to send an email to your congressional representatives:
MLA's Official Position on SB 611 - Michigan Library Privacy Act
On Friday, January 31, 2020, the MLA Board of Directors unanimously voted to support and approve a substitution bill for Senate Bill 611 (SB 611) .

Last October, Senator MacGregor introduced SB 611 to amend the Michigan Library Privacy Act, 1982 PA 455. The intention of his bill was to enable libraries to work with law enforcement when the library is a victim of a crime. After hearing both concerns and support from the Michigan library community on Senator MacGregor's proposed amendments to the Privacy Act, MLA drafted a substitute bill that clarifies and updates SB 611.

The proposed substitution bill removes obstacles and legal barriers libraries sometimes face when a crime has been committed in the library while providing for continued protection to patron privacy.

At a meeting on February 5, Senator MacGregor agreed to move forward with the MLA-proposed changes to SB 611.

Register for MLA Advocacy Day
Registration for MLA Advocacy Day is open! J oin MLA and hundreds of library advocates from around Michigan on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at the Cooley Law School in Lansing, located just one block from the Capitol.
On April 22, 2020 library advocates from all over Michigan will meet in Lansing to meet with legislators to thank them for the work they have done in support of libraries and ensure they are continuing champions of the importance of libraries in Michigan communities.

By participating in MLA’s Advocacy Day, you will help establish a stronger voice for the library community in Lansing, develop important relationships with your local legislative leaders, and garner a greater understanding of the processes related to policy-making from individuals involved in the work on a day-to-day basis. Advocacy Day will also give you the chance to network with other MLA members and create opportunities for future collaborations. 
Advocacy Day is FREE to attend but registration is required and don't forget to order your t-shirt! Visit us on the web to view complete details and register today!

The deadline to register for legislator appointments and t-shirts is Friday, March 20, 2020. The deadline to register for the morning rally event: Friday, April 10, 2020
Spring Institute for Youth Services
Registration for MLA's Spring Institute for Youth Services is open! Check out details at and register today!
Michigan Library Association's
Spring Institute for Youth Services
People First

March 19-20, 2020
Sheraton Hotel, Ann Arbor
Advanced Registration Rates expire February 28, 2020.
We have an exciting lineup of acclaimed speakers, fun events and educational programming planned for Spring Institute for Youth Services and we want to see you there!

Join us March 19-20, 2020 in Ann Arbor as we focus on creating equitable, diverse and inclusive collections, programs, services and spaces that put People First and empower library staff, patrons and the communities we serve.
Spring Institute Gives Back
Continuing our tradition of supporting local youth-based organizations, MLA has chosen to partner with Ozone House. Ozone House is a community-based, nonprofit agency that helps young people lead safe, healthy, and productive lives through intensive intervention and prevention services. At Ozone House, youth find safety and nonjudgmental support from adults and peers. Whether youth need shelter, housing, individual or family counseling, 1:1 support and life skills, a job, to enroll in school, or a hot meal, the doors at Ozone House are always open.

Are you attending the 2020 Spring Institute for Youth Services in Ann Arbor this March? Please consider a donation for this great organization. Check out a list of needed items here on the MLA website or visit their Amazon wish list. Items will be collected at the registration desk and delivered to Ozone House following the conference. Learn more about Ozone House.
Vendor and Sponsor Opportunities at MLA 2020 Annual Conference
Download the vendor prospectus or visit us on the web to view details and sign up as a conference sponsor, exhibitor or program book advertiser using the online form. Support our libraries by sharing the invitation to partner with us with your vendors! More than 600 library staff and supporters attend Annual Conference every year. Don't miss this great opportunity to network with library professionals from all across Michigan.
Spring Workshops Registration Now Open
From enhancing organizational culture to career advancement, Spring workshops offer educational opportunities to help you succeed. Choose one workshop or attend all five! Visit the MLA website to learn more and register today!
Library Human Resources: Coaching and Evaluating Staff
Friday, April 3, 2020
Mott Community College Regional Technology Center
1401 E Court St
Flint, MI 48503

Are you prepared to manage?

Join your colleagues Friday, April 3 at Mott Community College in Flint for a daylong workshop about setting expectations and working with employees to bring out the best of their abilities. Plus, learn how to develop and administer a clear evaluation process.

This workshop is for anyone with supervisory responsibilities including peer-coaches, department heads, mid-level management, supervisors, deans or directors, as well as any library staff looking to advance into leadership roles soon!
Community Collaborations: The Library as a Social Service Nexus

Monday, April 20, 2020
Jackson District Library
Carnegie Branch
244 W Michigan Ave
Jackson, MI 49201
How to Advance Your Career: Tips, Tricks and Skills to Get Ahead

Friday, May 1, 2020
Traverse Area District Library
Main Branch
610 Woodmere Ave
Traverse City, MI 49686
Deconstructing Institutional Racism

Friday, May 15, 2020
Grace A. Dow Memorial Library
1710 W St Andrews Rd
Midland, MI 48640
Executive Summit: Healthy Organizational Culture Through Transformational Leadership

Friday, May 29, 2020
Southfield Public Library
26300 Evergreen Rd
Southfield, MI 48076
Scholarships Available for Spring Workshops
MLA's Education Fund Scholarships are available to MLA members to support all or part of event registration. Applicants must be an individual member of MLA to qualify. Organizational members may apply for a scholarship on behalf of any staff member, provided that person is an individual member of MLA. Visit our website for more information and submit your application online. MLA Scholarship Fund applications for Spring Workshops are due Friday, March 6, 2020.
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
Lissa Krull is the new MCLS Library Strategist. Lissa most recently worked as the Director of the Nappanee Public Library in Nappanee, Indiana. Her 1st day with MCLS will be March 2.
Kudos and Awards
Congratulations to Larry Neal for being elected to serve as a member of the American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board.
Congratulations to Lance Werner for starting a new position as Board Member at EveryLibrary Institute, NFP.
The board room at Kent District Library has been named after Shirley Bruusema, who has been a long-standing member of the MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee.
Kevin King from Kalamazoo Public Library is a candidate for a Director-at-Large position on the Public Library Association (PLA) Board. Please vote to add a Michigan voice to PLA Leadership!
In Memoriam
Ann Chapman retired as Haslett's Head Librarian on January 31, 2020.
Pickford Community Library lost one of the shining stars of the Superior District Library, Manager, Ann Marie Smith. Ann Marie was a bigger-than-life personality in the Michigan library world, and she will be missed by both the library family and the Pickford community.    
View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
Have a job to post? Members receive deep discounts on job postings through the MLA Career Center job board. Learn more here.

Library of Michigan Lansing, MI

ProQuest Ann Arbor, MI
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.