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 25, 2022
Note From Ryan
Intellectual freedom and access to information are core to librarianship, and we all play important roles in maintaining both within our respective libraries. Targeted banning efforts over the past year or two across the country and now punctuated recently in Michigan libraries, illuminate the real-life consequences of coordinated efforts to limit freedom and patrons’ right to read. The events at Hillsdale, Patmos, and many others bring home the need for you, your organization, and your stakeholders to be prepared on how to respond to challenges, and how to positively and confidently project not an argument or defense—but a patron’s right to read—and the vital responsibility of libraries to uphold that.

I am grateful for MLA’s quick call to action to lead with education and support. Debbie Mikula and the MLA staff, and Dillon Geshel and the Intellectual Freedom Task Force have done incredible work the past several months by putting their hearts into efforts that help all of us. The MiRightToRead website is an outstanding tool created in preparation for anticipated material challenges that libraries will face. MLA was ready to quickly support Patmos Library and its Board and continues to step up and lead where needed to publicly stand against banning efforts. I am also thankful for the courage I see demonstrated every week by librarians across the state who work hard to address this issue and still keep up with their day-to-day jobs of providing great service. The emotional and mental stress is real and can take a toll, but please take comfort in knowing that MLA has your back. We are indeed stronger together.

On another note, the MLA 2022 Annual Conference is fast approaching! I hope to see you (in person!) in Port Huron on October 19-21 at the Blue Water Convention Center. Don’t delay, register today!
Ryan Wieber
Michigan Library Association
Annual Member Meeting Notice
Notice is hereby given to MLA members that the Annual Meeting will take place during MLA 2022 Annual Conference at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron on Thursday, October 20, 2022, from 4:00 5:00 PM. MLA 2022 Annual Conference registration is not required to attend the annual meeting and all members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
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 serve their communities.

All summer, we have been promoting the new technology and content available to Michigan libraries through the MI-83 Project ARPA Grants. The campaign for the MI-83 Project will conclude at the end of September, but this October and beyond we are continuing the celebration of how MI Library is NOW...better than ever.

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.

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 now provide more than ever before.

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 or more but it's simple to do. Identify a council member, mayor, superintendent, dean, or supervisor to sponsor the proclamation and have them present it at a commission meeting or important leadership function. 

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!
Nominations for MLA Board Open September 23
This September, MLA will open the call for nominations seeking candidates for the 2023 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 2023 and ending in June 2026. The call for nominations will be open from Friday, September 23, through Monday, November 7.

Watch for the open call for nominations in September and review the responsibilities before applying. 
Mentor Program Applications Due August 31
Applications are accepted through Wednesday, August 31 for the Autumn cohort, and the program will begin in October 2022. We invite you to be a part of this benefit to MLA membership. You never know where it might take you.
Are you looking for new ways to develop professionally while connecting with other Michigan library workers? As a mentor or mentee, you and your partner will be matched based on your interests and then set your own goals as a team. The Mentor Program is a flexible partnership based on the schedule and communication preferences of the mentor and mentee.

If you’re a library science student, a new librarian, or a mid-career library staff member looking to advance or transition to a new position, consider registering as a mentee! And if you’re an experienced library professional, sign up as a mentor to help strengthen the field and share your insight with new and emerging library workers.

For more information on the Mentor Program and to sign up today, visit
Professional Development Survey
Please consider taking a few moments out of your busy day to help us determine key needs for the continual professional development of Michigan library workers. Responses are needed by Friday, September 9:
We want to hear from you! MLA's mission is to lead the advancement of all Michigan libraries through advocacy, education, and engagement. With all the changes facing our world lately, staying informed and prepared is even more critical to professional success. We want to hear from you before MLA Ambassadors and staff begin planning the 2023 calendar of webinars and professional development opportunities. What programs do you want to see MLA host? How can we support you educationally? 

Your input is invaluable! Please complete the survey by Friday, September 9. The survey is quick and simple – it will take no more than 10 minutes to fill out and submit.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your opinions with us! Your perspective can help shape MLA's work for the coming year and beyond.
MIRS Subscription Discounts
Keep up on legislative and political news at the Capitol with breaking news alerts, weekly podcasts, highlights of the daily legislative results and an in-depth analysis of current issues in the House, Senate and administration with daily updates in an easy-to-read online format.

For a sample visit the MIRS website and then be sure to contact us at to subscribe at a discounted MLA member-only rate.
Happy Birthday, MLA!
On September 1, MLA will celebrate 131 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 Thursday, 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

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
Check out MLA's Bill Tracker to view a full list of legislation that the Advocacy and Legislative Committee is watching.
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)
Check out our roundup of the August 2, 2022 election results for millage issues on ballots around the state. There were 48 millage questions on the ballots and 43 of these passed. We are proud of the library boards, staff, and supporters for their work on these campaigns and their dedication to supporting their libraries. Visit us on the web to view complete details including the library millage type, if the millage is new, a renewal or a renewal with an increase, the number of yes and no votes, the term, and the year it takes effect.
Banned Books Week 2022
Mark Your Calendars: The 2022 celebration of Banned Books Week will be September 18 – 24!

It's never been more important to show your support for the freedom to read. Check out promotional resources to help celebrate Banned Book Week 2022, and the Celebrate Banned Books Week Handbook a free publication that can be used to guide your celebration of the right to read during Banned Books Week or any time of year! It includes programming ideas, best practices for events, resources, and tips for handling censorship.
Patmos Library Millage
On August 2, residents in Jamestown Michigan rejected the 10-year renewal/increase operating millage proposal for the Patmos Library in Ottawa County. The millage failed because of a coordinated opposition campaign after the library did not remove LGBTQIA+ books from its collection. MLA issued a statement in support of the Patmos Library Board and staff and the library's decision to retain the collection of LGBTQIA+ books.

After the news broke about the vote to defund the library, news outlets from around the world were focused on Michigan and we were doing our best to keep up with the press calls. On Monday, August 8, MLA Executive Director Debbie Mikula as well as library supporters from around Michigan attended the Patmos Library Board meeting to speak in support of the library and to explain why libraries do not censor materials, and that libraries have a responsibility to provide diverse materials in order to protect their patrons' right to read, privacy and intellectual freedom. An adjusted millage will be back on the ballot in November. Read MLA's Statement in Support of Patmos Library.
How Can You Help Protect the Right to Read in Michigan?
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.
Below are a few things you can do to take action for the right to read and support all Michiganders' First Amendment rights.

Visit today to join the coalition. View resources to assist libraries with first amendment challenges at
Build the Coalition.
There is strength in numbers. If you have not done so already, please invite friends, family, and colleagues to join the MI Right to Read coalition and be fully prepared to defend First Amendment rights.

Write a Letter.
We encourage you to write a letter to your local media and let them know how much you value your library and librarians. Remember to keep your letter short, personal, positive, and proactive, and take a firm stance on protecting the right to read.

Be an Ally.
Right now is a difficult time to work in libraries. Let library workers know they have support in their community. It only takes a quick phone call, email, or thank you note to encourage and support library workers who are dealing with misinformation and personal attacks. Thank them for their work, ask if they need help, and share your contact information so they know they can call on you.

Fight Misinformation.
There are very real consequences of misinformation and political rhetoric about library collections. Stay informed about local issues and threats to ban books in your library. Do your part to keep your community informed by sharing information about intellectual freedom and the right to read.

What is intellectual freedom? What's the difference between a material ban and a challenge? What does this have to do with the First Amendment? Read the MI Right to Read Intellectual Freedom Fact Sheet for answers to FAQs and get informed so you're ready to protect every Michigander's right to read!

Post on Social.
Our Intellectual Freedom Toolkit Message Center has pre-written posts to help spread the word on social media. Craft your own message in support of the right to read or use any of our examples. Plus, be sure to follow MI Right to Read on Twitter and Facebook and share our posts.

MI Right to Read provides educational resources and support for librarians and library boards across the state to stop misinformation campaigns and protect the right to read for all Michiganders. Donations of any amount are welcome to the MLA Advocacy Resource Fund to help support this work.

You can also donate to the Fund Patmos Library 2023 GoFundMe campaign that was established by a Jamestown resident. Learn more.
Download social media graphics and check out suggested social media copy in our intellectual freedom toolkit message center. Tag us @MIRightToRead!
Letter to Legislators and Candidate Outreach
Check out the August edition of our monthly outreach to Michigan Legislators where we continue to educate them on the value of our libraries and the critical role of library staff. Our outreach and advocacy efforts begin even before candidates take office. This November, many seats are up for election so this month we reached out to current legislators and the primary winners that will be on the ballot. We shared stats about library usage and introduced ourselves so they know they can contact us! We received a great response with many candidates affirming their support for libraries. We look forward to continuing to build collaborative relationships with our Michigan Legislators so they know how valuable libraries are to their communities and are educated about the library profession and libraries' role in upholding intellectual freedom, privacy, and access for all. Thank you to the Library of Michigan for providing the data. The Michigan library statistics we shared are compiled by the Library of Michigan from the Annual Report/State Aid Application submitted by public libraries, cooperatives and braille and talking book libraries.
MLA 2022 Annual Conference: Bridging the Divide
MLA 2022 Annual Conference attendee registration is open! Register today and join us October 19-21, in person in Port Huron, for MLA 2022 Annual Conference: Bridging the Divide.
You're invited to MLA 2022 Annual Conference: Bridging the Divide! Join us on October 19-21 in Port Huron at our first in-person annual conference since 2019.

Registration is a great deal for individual members! Full conference early bird registration is only $275 for individual members and includes the opening reception, a ticket to the Michigan Library Awards dinner and ceremony, plus meals, snacks, and lots of coffee.

Register now and beat the rush for the best rates! Early bird rates expire Friday, September 9.

Conference Venue
Blue Water Convention Center 
800 Harker Street
Port Huron, MI, 48060 
(810) 201-5513 

DoubleTree by Hilton Port Huron 
800 Harker Street
Port Huron, MI, 48060 
(810) 984-8000 
MLA Room Rate: $129.00 per night, plus tax for a standard room with one or two beds, if reserved before September 16, 2022.
Keynote Speakers
MLA Scholarship Fund Applications Due September 9
We are excited to gather with the Michigan library community this October in person at the MLA 2022 Annual Conference and we don't want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to attend because of financial reasons! Scholarship applications are due Friday, September 9. The application forms are very short and simple.

Don't miss out on attending MLA 2022 Annual Conference. If you need financial support to attend, click the button below to learn more and apply online.
Library Continuing Education Program
Continuing education stipends are also available through the Library of Michigan Library Continuing Education Program. Michigan public, academic and school library staff are eligible to apply for funds to attend MLA 2022 Annual Conference.

View complete program details, eligibility and criteria, and apply:
Call for Silent Auction Donations 
MLA will be hosting a silent auction at our MLA 2022 Annual Conference: Bridging the Divide. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the MLA Scholarship Fund and MLA’s Equity Grant Fund. We are asking for donations of any kind to this auction: library bling, vendor giveaways, new books, posters, a weekend stay in a fabulous location, basically anything which could either stand alone as an auction item or could be placed in a basket along with other items.

If you have anything you would like to contribute please complete the form or contact Cindi Place at or call Bellaire Library at (231) 533-8814 for more information. 
Call for Exhibitors and Sponsors
Do you offer products and services for libraries? Don't miss the opportunity to connect with hundreds of library staff and support our upcoming MLA 2022 Annual Conference. There are only a few booths left!

Contact Amber Sheerin, MLA Program and Event Director at (517) 881-3194 or to learn more about sponsoring or exhibiting at MLA 2022 Annual Conference.

Michigan Library Awards 2022
The Michigan Library Awards is the can't-miss event for recognizing Michigan's amazing library professionals and libraries. It’s the Michigan library community's own version of the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Grammys, and the Tonys, and you're invited!

Join the Michigan library community on Wednesday, October 19 in Port Huron for an evening of celebration, including dinner and an awards show featuring entertainment and special guests. Save the date and plan to don your best business dressy attire (ball gowns and tuxedos are NOT required), strut the red carpet for a photo op, and join us for dinner and a show as we celebrate the accomplishments, dedication and service of outstanding libraries, library staff, trustees and supporters.

The Michigan Library Awards dinner and awards ceremony is included with annual conference registration or tickets can be purchased for $50 each for those not attending the conference.
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).
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. Watch recorded sessions and view chat logs from the live sessions as well as slides and handouts when available, save your progress as you complete a course, save your favorite sessions, and you can even type and save notes right within your profile.
Now Available to View On-Demand:
Navigating Material Challenges for Library Trustees
As libraries in Michigan and around the country grapple with an unprecedented number of book bans and challenges, this event will help orient library trustees to their roles and responsibilities when it comes to material challenges. Attendees will learn about the importance of established library policy, good governance, and more when faced with politically motivated challenges to intellectual freedom.

Presenters include Shirley Bruursema, Trustee of the Kent District Library and the Lakeland Library Cooperative; Carol Dawe, Director of the Lakeland Library Cooperative; Dillon Geshel, Director of the Superiorland Library Cooperative; Eric Palmer, Director of the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative; and Kate Pohjola Andrade, Director of the Woodlands Library Cooperative.
September Advocacy Hour: Legislative 2022-2023 Action Plan
Thursday, September 15, 2022
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Learn more about MLA's advocacy priorities for the coming year. Join MLA's Advocacy and Legislative Committee led by Chair Dale Parus, on Zoom, Thursday, September 15 at 10:00 AM as we share the results of the 2022-2023 Advocacy Survey and present the 2022-2023 Legislative Action Plan.

Advocacy Hour conversations are always free to attend but registration is required.
Dale Parus
Chair, Advocacy and Legislative Committee
November Advocacy Hour: The Michigan High Speed Internet Office 
Thursday, November 17, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In 2022, Eric Frederick was chosen to lead the Michigan High-Speed Internet (MIHI) office as its first Chief Connectivity Officer. Governor Whitmer created the office in 2021 to help lead the development of the necessary infrastructure and investments to bring quality and affordable broadband access to all Michiganders. This digital divide includes hundreds of thousands of households that have not been reached by high-speed internet infrastructure, as well as an estimated 865,000 households that are disconnected due to the cost of subscribing to service or purchasing an appropriate device, a lack of digital skills, or other related barriers. Gaps in high-speed internet availability, affordability, adoption and use also disproportionately impact communities of color, those in rural areas and low-income households.

At this Advocacy Hour, Mr. Frederick will discuss the work the office is doing, updates to the Michigan Broadband Roadmap, the incoming investments including the ROBIN grant program to provide access to underserved communities, and how libraries can help fulfill these goals. 

Advocacy Hour conversations are always free to attend but registration is required.
Eric Frederick comes from Connected Nation Michigan, where over the last 10 years, he served as Vice President of Broadband Planning and Executive Director, assisting the State with numerous broadband-related projects. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in planning from Northern Michigan University and his Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University. 
Save the Date for Michigan Library Advocacy Day 2023!
Save the date for Michigan Library Advocacy Day! We will be gathering together at the Capitol in Lansing to advocate for all Michigan Libraries on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Watch for event details and registration information in early 2023We hope you can join us!
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023
Save the date for Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 and join us March 30-31, 2023 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ann Arbor, MI.

Upcoming dates to watch for:
  • Call for Proposals Opens: Friday, September 30, 2022
  • Call for Proposals Closes: Monday, October 31, 2022
  • Attendee Registration Opens: Monday, November 14, 2022
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
The Lincoln Township Public Library has appointed Joelle Wake as the new Library Director. Wishing you much success in your new role Joelle!
The Bridgman Public Library welcomed Sarah Skinner as their new Library Director. Congratulations and all the best to you Sarah!
The Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) welcomed Mary Ruthko as their new Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Welcome to you Mary. Wishing you all the best in your new position! 
Special Collections Manager at the Library of Michigan, Tim Gleisner has accepted a new position at the Texas State Library. He will take on the role of Assistant State Librarian as part of the Texas State Library and Archives. Congratulations and best of Luck Tim!
Congratulations to Kathy McKinney who has been appointed new Assistant Director at Mount Clemens Public Library. Wishing you success in your new role Kathy!
Capital Area District Libraries Haslett and Okemos branches announced that Thomas Moore will serve as the Regional Head Librarian! Congratulations to you Thomas!
Congratulations to Elizabeth Hartig on your new position as Faculty Reference Librarian/Public Services at Monroe County Community College. Wishing you all the best!
Congratulations to Loretta Hunter who will be joining the Library Faculty at Oakland Community College. All the best in your new role Loretta!
Kudos and Congratulations
Congrats to Lance Werner of Kent District Library for being named to the prestigious list of the "GRAND RAPIDS 200" -- the 200 most powerful and influential people in West Michigan for 2022! 
Ann Kaskinen, the K-12 MeL Engagement Specialist for the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS), is the 2022 recipient of the MAISA Education Fellowship Award. Congratulations Ann!
In Memoriam  
We are sorry to hear of the passing of Alice Margaret Schafer, 79, of Ithaca, MI, a board member of the Thompson Home Library, who passed peacefully on July 30, 2022.
Advertise on MLA’s Job Board
Members receive deep discounts on job postings through the MLA Career Center job board. Learn more here.
University of Michigan Library – Ann Arbor, MI

Alanson Area Public Library – Alanson, MI

View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
MI Library is Now!

MI Library is NOW Better than ever. Now a workspace, now a tech hub, now a health information center. You can develop new skills, take a job interview, learn more about health and wellness, and more - all from your local library. What's ...

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Partners in Democracy

We're looking for civic-minded organizations from across Michigan to help advance voter rights initiatives, increase voter participation and ensure our polls are fully staffed on Election Day. As a Democracy Partner, you'll be joining an historic ...

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National Leadership Grants for Libraries

Deadline: September 21, 2022 Application: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 2023 (PDF, 656KB) is now available. Program Overview: The National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program (NLG-L) supports projects that address critical...

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Events - Michigan After School Partnership

View the latest events coming up for Michigan Afterschool Partnership!

Read more
I Love My Librarian Award

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's work focuses on the issues that Carnegie...

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Library Card Sign-up Month
Check out Library Card Sign-up Month graphics along with media tools such as a press release template, proclamation, and sample social media posts. Follow I Love Libraries on Facebook and Twitter and the hashtag #LibraryCardSignUpMonth to join the celebration on social media.
MLA Intellectual Freedom Toolkit
Start preparing for challenges to intellectual freedom with this quick guide. The research, resources and discussion included here are only for purposes of information and research and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Libraries should contact their attorneys for advice with respect to a particular issue or problem.
2022-2023 Out-of-School Time (OST) Grants
The Michigan Department of Education is pleased to announce the availability of $24.5 million in funds for a grant to provide in-person before-school, after-school, before-and-after-school, or during the summer programming to children in any grades K to 12. This grant opportunity will be awarded through a competitive application process under Michigan Public Act (P.A.) 144 of 2022, Section 32n. OST programs must provide educational programming in core subject areas, including, but not limited to, mathematics, reading, and science.

It is strongly suggested that potential applicants participate in the application information webinar on August 31, 2022, from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM to determine if your organization qualifies for the grant program and to better understand all aspects of the process. You may register for the webinar at the following link:
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.
Contact Us
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.