MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
November 17, 2022
Note From Scott
In early November, MLA’s President Ryan Wieber resigned and the MLA Board of Directors appointed President-Elect Scott Duimstra to step into the role of President.
I’d like to welcome you with my first official President’s Update after being President of MLA for one week. Life happens fast! First, I’d like to thank Ryan Wieber for all his work not only for MLA but also for the libraries he’s worked for in Michigan. Ryan was always the colleague I turned to when I had questions or wanted to run an idea past a knowledgeable director. He will be missed, but Lincoln City Libraries are getting one of the best directors I’ve known.

As I move into my new role with the Michigan Library Association, I look at libraries in our state and try to envision what we’ll encounter in the coming year. We have many things to be grateful for in our profession. Read more
The MLA Board Shuffle
In November, MLA’s President Ryan Wieber announced he was moving out of state for a new opportunity and resigned from the MLA Board. The MLA Board of Directors has appointed President-Elect Scott Duimstra to step into the role of President a little early. 

Scott has been engaged in public libraries for more than 18 years which has given him a broad vision of how public libraries function in Michigan. He began his career in Los Angeles Public Library as an adult services librarian and between 2005 to the present, he has moved up the ranks at the Capital Area District Libraries from Public Services Librarian to Training Specialist to Associate Director of Public Service to Senior Associate Director to Executive Director. Scott is well-rounded and possesses a big-picture focus and global outlook. He is a change agent, he has the ability to present, persuade and influence as evidenced by his time as the Secretary/Treasurer and short-stint as President-Elect, and he is just an overall really nice guy.

Not only did the MLA Board need to replace Ryan’s position as President, but they also needed to appoint someone to his term of office which will not expire until June 2024. His departure also left a vacancy on the MLA Executive Committee. We are proud to announce that we have found perfect replacements for both of these leadership positions and the MLA Board has unanimously voted to approve the appointments.

Jenny Marr, Director at Ferndale Area District Library, was appointed as a Member-at-Large Director with a term expiring June 2024. Christine Peele, Public Service Librarian at Detroit Public Library was appointed to serve on the MLA Executive Committee. 
Jenny Marr
Ferndale Area District Library
Christine Peele
Member-at-Large, Executive Committee
Detroit Public Library
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
Join the Giving Tuesday Movement 
On Tuesday, November 29, donate on the global day of giving! This #GivingTuesday consider donating to one of MLA's special funds dedicated to education, advocacy, and intellectual freedom. All contributions are tax-deductible. Use this link to donate, no login required.
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
MI Library is NOW...
Michigan’s libraries continue to evolve and expand their services and now offer more programs, events, services, resources, and collections than ever to serve and support their communities. MI Library is NOW an art gallery, a concert venue, a community living room and so much more.

While Michigan Library Appreciation Month is over, at MLA we appreciate and celebrate Michigan libraries, librarians, and library workers all year round. You can help us continue to amplify our message and promote all Michigan libraries! Just share some of the cool things your library is up to on social media: MI Library is NOW… [fill in the blank]. Find your library at

In case you missed it: Check out our cool MI Library is NOW video (linked above or click here to watch on Facebook) made possible by our Statewide Library Marketing Workgroup!
NEW Organizational Member Benefit: HealthiestYou
Library Directors: HealthiestYou is a new affordable option for providing your library staff with access to free healthcare! Check out this flyer that explains the program from a member's perspective or click here for a one-minute video about how the program works.
Every library is different but there are common needs – like attracting and retaining a great workforce. Offering high-quality benefits packages is one way your library can attract talent and MLA can help. MLA Organizational Members now have exclusive access to enrolling in HealthiestYou.

The current rate for MLA Organizational Members that enroll in HealthiestYou is $12.75 per employee per month, paid by the employer, and is guaranteed until 12/1/2023. It renews annually after that. The plan can be offered to full and/or part-time employees and includes access for their dependents. Plan set-up is simple and done all online.

If your library is interested in participating, please contact Rachel Ash, MLA Membership and Communications Director at [email protected] to verify your eligibility and connect you with Corey Cushing at Teladoc, HealthiestYou. Corey can answer any questions you have about the program and start the enrollment process.

Interested in learning more? Join MLA and Corey Cushing from Teladoc Health on Zoom on Thursday, December 1 at 10:00 AM to learn more, see a demo of the HealthiestYou app, get your questions answered, and get ready to enroll. Register here.
Nominations for MLA Awards Accepted Year-Round
Do you know an awesome library professional or library supporter who deserves recognition for their work in Michigan libraries? You can submit a nomination for any of MLA's awards year-round. If you have someone in mind that you know deserves recognition and celebration, we encourage and welcome your submission now for any of MLA's Awards!

Submit a nomination (self-nominations are also strongly encouraged) for the 2023 MLA Awards, or read through the criteria so it's top of mind the next time you or someone in your library goes above and beyond. Check out the complete criteria by downloading the guidelines linked below.

Learn more about the Michigan Library Awards and how to submit a nomination, plus check out the recording of the 2020, 2021 or 2022 shows on our website at
Thank you to the 2022 MLA Awards Workgroup!
We want to give a special shout-out to the 2022 MLA Awards Selection Workgorup for all of their work this year. The group is responsible for reviewing our award guidelines and procedures, evaluating nominations, and selecting our winners. Thank you for helping us celebrate, honor, and encourage excellence in Michigan libraries!
Lauren Arnsman
Troy Public Library
Jennifer Dean
University of Michigan Flint Thompson Library
Marissa Lasoff-Santos
William P. Faust Public Library of Westland
Chris Potts 
Capital Area District Libraries
Cathleen Russ
West Bloomfield Township Library
Kristen Valyi-Hax
Harper Woods Public Library
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
Social Media Strategist Internship
Do you know a student with an interest in marketing and communications and pursuing a career in the library world? The MLA Social Media Strategist Internship is structured to be for professional experience, not college credit, but it is a semester-long internship at 12 weeks. The intern is expected to work 10 hours a week and will receive a stipend of $500 a month ($1500 total). It’s a fully remote internship with a weekly Zoom check-in. Interested in interning with MLA or have someone in mind? Click here to learn more about this opportunity.
Holiday Hours
MLA's office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 25, and Friday, November 26.
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 Democratic Trifecta
For the first time in 40 years, the Democratic party won both legislative chambers and remained firmly seated for another four years in the executive branch with margins of more than 100,000 votes in the gubernatorial, Attorney General, and Secretary of State races.

Michigan House of Representatives
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. Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) has been voted in as Speaker of the House. The House has not been under Democratic control since the 2009-2010 legislative session.

Michigan Senate
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%. Senator Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) has been voted in as the Senate Majority Leader. The Senate has not been under Democratic control since 1983.

We congratulate all those who stepped up, added their name to the ballot, and worked throughout the fall to share their views and values with Michigan citizens. The second Wednesday in January 2023 will be a historic day when the incoming members of the 102nd legislature begin their work. Congratulations to all that will be working on our behalf.
Michigan Library Millages November 2022 Election Results
View the round-up of Michigan public library millage results from the November General Election. We would like to commend the hard work and dedication of the staff and boards of all of these libraries regardless of the election outcomes.

The Library of Michigan provides a list of Public Library Millage Election Results from 2010 to the present. View the results (pdf)
MLA Statement on Failed Patmos Library Millage
As the November election results were announced, the Michigan Library Association (MLA) was disheartened and saddened to learn that continued funding for the Patmos Library in Jamestown was defeated again. A local tragedy with national implications, the Patmos Library is the only library in the country that has essentially been defunded by the vote of its citizens due to its refusal to comply with censorship. The push to defund the Patmos Library was rooted in objections to one (1) challenged book that was put behind the desk in December 2021 and four (4) challenged books that were returned to their shelves in October. Some members of the community continue to demand that all books containing LGBTQ+ themes be removed, a selection that represents about 90 books, or less than .01% of the library’s collection. Read MLA's complete statement on the 2nd failed attempt to pass a 10-year millage in Jamestown MI.
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
MDHHS Library OTC COVID-19 Program Update
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. This map shows participating libraries across the state.

Currently, 213 libraries are participating in the program and as of November, they have distributed approximately 177,368 COVID-19 tests to their local communities. MDHHS has shared that they continue to receive positive feedback from these libraries and are very grateful for their partnership.

Northern Michigan and UP library partners are needed! MDHHS is seeking library partners in areas that currently do not have any participating libraries or free testing locations, mainly northern Michigan/the UP. Libraries from anywhere in Michigan can also 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.
Think Space: Holding True to Our Values and Staying Strong
December 8-9, 2022
Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids
February 2023
Virtual Checkin
May 11-12, 2023
Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne City
October 19, 2023
Radisson Plaza Hotel, Kalamazoo
Think Space is an all-inclusive educational and networking experience including four full days of learning, two overnight hotel stays, meals, fun special events, and the opportunity to build deeper, lasting relationships with other directors and deans of libraries throughout Michigan. Join your colleagues for time to THINK deeply in a safe SPACE.

Each year, Think Space will focus on one specific issue of importance to Michigan library leaders. Our second iteration of this program will focus on “Holding True to our Values and Staying Strong.” 

We will cover topics such as:

  • First Amendment issues and the values libraries hold
  • Telling your library’s story and demonstrating your value
  • Developing plans to respond to the culture wars
  • Self-care and mental well-being of staff members
  • Instilling confidence as you continue this hard work
Registration includes all educational sessions, breakfasts, lunches, receptions, special events, parking, and overnight accommodations in Grand Rapids and Boyne City. Registration closes on Thursday, December 1. Attendance is limited so reserve your seat today!
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 Call for Proposals
Save the date for Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 and plan to join us March 30-31, 2023 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ann Arbor, MI. Registration opens on Monday, December 5!
The Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 Workgroup is seeking education session and digital poster proposals, as well as individuals interested in participating as panelists. The 2023 theme is Sustaining Our Future. 

MLA’s Spring Institute for Youth Services highlights the brilliance of Michigan’s library professionals every year. From early literacy to teen programs, the work you do matters, and we want to help you showcase it! Read on for more information about participating at Spring Institute 2023 or visit for complete details and to submit your proposal using the online form.
Education Session Proposals
Education Sessions are 60-minutes in length and may include 1-4 speakers or panelists. Proposals that address the theme will be given preference, but a variety of topics can be addressed including programming, displays, self-care, stress management, sustainability, grants and finance, early literacy, intellectual freedom, censorship and book challenges, equity and accessibility, and more.

Submissions are welcome through Friday, December 2, 2022. Download the MLA SI23 Call for Program Guidelines (pdf).
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.
December Advocacy Hour: Working with Your New State Legislature
Thursday, December 15
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Join MLA and Lobbyist Bob DeVries, GCSI for 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. Bob will discuss the importance of relationship building, and how to get to know your legislators, plus get a refresher on how a bill becomes a law, and hear updates about what’s been happening during this year’s lame-duck session.

Advocacy Hour conversations are always free to attend but registration is required.
Now Available On-Demand:
Recordings of MLA 2022 Annual Conference Keynotes are now 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.
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 Pam Williams who begins her newest journey as Library Director of Elk Rapids District Library. Wishing you great success Pam!
Frankenmuth Wickson District Library has named Michelle Duclos as Interim Library Director. Congratulations Michelle!
Congratulations to Jennifer Balcom who has been appointed as Director of the Mid-Michigan Library League. Wishing you great success Jennifer! 
Wishing all the best to Susan Taylor in her new position as the Branch Manager of the Detroit Public Library – Elmwood Branch. Congratulations Susan!
The Library Network announced the appointment of Alex Norman to the position of Network Administrator. Congratulations Alex!
The Library Network also announced the promotion of Justin Walker to the position of Senior IT Systems Administrator. All the best to you Justin!
Congratulations to Sheryl Mase who has retired from the Mid-Michigan Library League. Thank you for your service to the communities you served. Wishing you all the best in your newest venture.  
Advertise on MLA’s Job Board
Members receive deep discounts on job postings through the MLA Career Center job board. Learn more here.
Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) – Ann Arbor, MI

Mason County District Library Scottville, MI

Midwestern Collaborative for Library Services – Lansing, MI

Saint Joseph / Maud Preston Palenske Memorial Library Saint Joseph, MI

View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
Movers & Shakers 2023 Nominations

The editors of Library Journal need your help in identifying emerging talents in the library world-both great leaders and behind-the-scenes contributors who are providing inspiration and model programs for others. Our 21st annual round of Movers...

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National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

Bringing communities together around the shared activity of reading and discussing a book. Now Accepting Applications! Applications are now being accepted for the 2023-2024 granting cycle, for activities occurring between...

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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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2022 National Friends of Libraries Week Award Application
The 17th annual National Friends of Libraries Week was held Oct 16-22, 2022. Two Friends groups will be awarded $250 each in honor of their celebrations this past October. The deadline for applications is Dec 2, 2022; all applications must be submitted electronically. Apply now
PRH Grant Application

Through the generosity of Penguin Random House, ARSL is pleased to announce this grant opportunity for small, rural libraries nationwide! This grant is available to libraries that meet both the IMLS definition for small libraries (a service...

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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!
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Uniting the Michigan Library Community
MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.