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 19, 2020
Letter From MLA Staff
Let our lives be full of both thanks and giving. As the holiday approaches, the MLA staff took a few minutes to reflect on our work and why we are thankful for MLA, libraries and library staff. Our days are filled with supporting you and making sure all needs are met to the best of our ability. Each of you brings your own unique talents and wisdom to this profession and it is our honor to work with you every day. Read more
Support MLA With Year-end Giving
Through planned giving, a Giving Tuesday donation and even online shopping, you can make an important contribution to support our work and the values we hold dear; uniting Michigan libraries, advocating for ALL libraries and advancing the library profession by supporting library staff in their careers through education and professional development opportunities. With your support, we can empower the library leaders of today and tomorrow, and continue to enrich the lives of the people that we serve. As the year comes to a close, we ask that you consider donating to MLA to support the work we do to protect and serve our libraries. All contributions are tax-deductible
Join MLA's Legacy Society
Planned giving integrates charitable giving with your overall financial and estate planning, potentially reducing your estate taxes while supporting Michigan libraries. There are a number of ways you can give.

When you establish a bequest or other planned gift, you become part of the select group of community-minded individuals that make up MLA’s Legacy Society. Visit our website to view more information. If you have questions, please contact Executive Director, Deborah E. Mikula at [email protected]
Join the Giving Tuesday Movement
On December 1st, join us for 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.
Support MLA While you Shop
Attention Black Friday 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 service as Amazon. To make sure your shopping supports MLA, login at:
Michigan Library Awards
The 2020 honorees were unveiled on Thursday, October 29 during the Michigan Library Awards virtual award ceremony broadcast on Facebook Live. Author and musician Wesley Stace hosted the event, with a special guest appearance by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Missed the broadcast? You can watch the show on our website by clicking the image below.
The Michigan Library Awards, brought to you by the Michigan Library Association (MLA), the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) and the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA), are awarded annually and are considered the state’s highest honors within the library community. Visit us on the web to view the winners of the Rising Star, Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth, Heart of a Champion, Library Support Staff of the Year, State Legislator of the Year, Federal Legislator of the Year, Public Librarian of the Year, Academic Librarian of the Year, Citation of Excellence, Above and Beyond, and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

We would like to thank all of the following organizations for partnering with us and helping us honor amazing individuals in the Michigan library community by streaming the Michigan Library Awards on their Facebook pages:
  • Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME)
  • Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA)
  • Capital Area District Libraries
  • Detroit Public Library
  • Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET)
  • Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS)
  • Library of Michigan
  • The Library Network (TLN)
  • White Pine Library Cooperative
  • Suburban Library Cooperative
  • Northland Library Cooperative
  • Detroit Library Cooperative
  • Mid-Michigan Library League
  • Woodlands Library Cooperative
  • Lakeland Library Cooperative
  • Southwest Library Cooperative
MLA 2020 Youth Literary Awards Winners and Honor Books
The winners and honor books of the 2020 Youth Literary Awards were announced during Fall Institute for Youth Services Preconference on Tuesday, October 27. We are excited to share the winners and honor books of the 2020 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! Awards!

The awards selection group members worked throughout the year spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and ranking hundreds of books to determine the top titles published in 2019. Watch the announcement that includes acceptance speeches from our winners below!
2020 Mitten Winner
The VERY Impatient Caterpillar
written and illustrated by Ross Burach and published by Scholastic Press.
2020 YouPer Winner
Planet Earth Is Blue
by Nicole Panteleakos, published by Wendy Lamb Books.
2020 Thumbs Up! Winner
by Mindy McGinnis, published by Katherine Tegen Books.
Youth Literary Award Seals
MLA Youth Literary Award Seals are 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!
Membership Passed Bylaw Updates at 2020 Annual Meeting
The MLA Board reviewed and voted on a series of bylaw changes and sent them to the membership for final approval. Due to the global pandemic and a virtual annual meeting for 2020, eligible members voted online. The membership voted to accept the changes. Read the approved MLA Bylaws.
MLA Welcomes New Ex-Officio Board Member
It is our pleasure to welcome Cynthia Zervos, Immediate Past President of MAME, to the MLA Board as an ex-officio member. We look forward to continuing to strengthen the Michigan library ecosystem with this representation from our school library colleagues.

Cynthia Zervos is the School Librarian at Way Elementary School in Bloomfield Hills. Cynthia has worked in public libraries, school libraries, and academic libraries. As a school librarian, she focuses on building a strong culture of reading in her school community. Motivating families to engage in meaningful and fun literacy experiences is her passion. Cynthia is the Immediate Past President of the Michigan Association for Media in Education. Previously at ALA, she served as the Chair for the Interdivisional Committee on School and Public Library Collaboration, the Chair for the CS First Crosswalk Task Force, a member of the AASL American University Presses Book Selection Committee, and as a member of the AASL Legacy Committee. She is the mother of three amazing young men with whom she loves to travel and relax.
MLA Fundraiser Raises $1345
Each year during the MLA annual conference we host a fundraising event. We are happy to announce that during the MLA 2020 Virtual Annual Conference we raised a total of $1345 that will go to support MLA scholarships and grants!

Thank you to everyone who donated to support MLA!

A big thank you to McCarthy and Smith for donating $530 and a special thank you to Wesley Stace for providing copies of his self-titled book as an incentive and special gift to those who donated. During the MLA 2020 Virtual Annual Conference, the first 45 individuals that donated a minimum of $10 received a copy of the book of lyrical poems "Wesley Stace: Self-Titled" written by Wesley Stace and illustrated by Abbey Stace.
Wesley Stace
New Home for Michigan Author Award
The Michigan Author Award is now transitioning to the Center for the Book.
First awarded in a partnership with the Michigan Library Association and the Center for the Book, the Michigan Author Award is now transitioning fully to the Center for the Book.

The award was established in 1992 with the intention of recognizing significant Michigan authors with a lifetime achievement award. Over the years, the award has been given to a diverse collection of writers working in a variety of genres and styles.

The Michigan Center for the Book is the Michigan affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Its mission is to promote an awareness of books, reading, literacy, authors and Michigan's rich literary heritage. The Michigan Center of the Book was founded in 1986. Since then, the Center for the Book has been giving grants to libraries and sponsored popular programs such as Michigan Notable Books. The Center draws from the Library of Michigan and its affiliate institutions to encourage and produce local and statewide programs and resources that promote the culture of books.

The Michigan Author Award will help the Center for the Book fulfill its mission to foster the love of reading, books and book culture in Michigan. We are pleased to see the Michigan Author Award live on through the Center for the Book and continue to highlight talented authors from our great state and promote Michigan’s rich literary heritage. Learn more about the Michigan Center for the Book.
Stories Behind the Cards
East Lansing Public Library
Submitted by Kristin Shelley, Library Director
The picture of the world being held up by children’s hands on the East Lansing Public Library card is a mural/mosaic made of painted paper squares that the students at Red Cedar Elementary School created along with an artist in-residence at the school in 2014. The last classes of Red Cedar Elementary painted and assembled the mural. Red Cedar was closed, as a K-6 school in 2014. The mural was a gift to the Library and a thank you for the many years of collaborating on the One World, Many Stories program. 
I love the design because it represents children, diversity, caring for the planet, caring for humanity, a sense of unity and hope.
MLA Holiday Hours
MLA's office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 26, and Friday November 27.
Coronavirus Orders and Workplace Protocols: What MLA is Monitoring as of Nov. 18
During this rapidly changing situation, we are actively monitoring legislation and regulations related to COVID-19. Please watch MLA's website for important news and announcements as we keep you informed.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
On Sunday, November 15, Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new emergency order that tightens restrictions on indoor social gatherings and group activities for three weeks in an effort to curb transmission of COVID-19.

Of critical note to Libraries: Libraries and Museums will be able to remain open with 30% capacity. The epidemic order also references the MiOSHA rules of October 14 which also restricts in-person work unless doing that work remotely is impossible. The epidemic order went into effect on Wednesday, November 18 for 3 weeks until December 8. Read more

State of Michigan
The State of Michigan has created a dashboard, which is available online that provides data regarding the situation in your local region and state. Read more

Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
Effective October 14, 2020, the legislature has declared that “all employees shall be provided safe and healthful work environments free of recognized hazards.” Employers must provide employees with “a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to the employee. Read more

Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so. Read more

Center for Disease Control Guidance (CDC)
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country and the world, we all must remain vigilant. The changes we have had to make to routines and daily life are extremely hard, but these changes are even more important now and in the future. Read more
New State Laws Provide COVID-19 Liability Protection For Employers
On October 22, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed three bills into law that create relief from liability for alleged COVID-19 exposure. They are now listed as:

Act No. 236, Public Acts of 2020 – enrolled House Bill 6030: establishes standards for immunity from liability for certain tort claims alleging COVID-19 exposure. Under the act, a person is immune from liability for a COVID-19 claim if the person operates in compliance with all federal, state, and local statutes, rules, regulations, executive orders, and agency orders related to COVID-19 that had not been denied legal effect at the time of the conduct or risk that allegedly caused harm. The act applies retroactively to a claim or cause of action that accrues after March 1, 2020.

Act No. 238, Public Acts of 2020 – enrolled House Bill 6032: creates a new act to prohibit an employee from reporting to work under certain circumstances related to COVID-19, to prohibit certain employer actions against certain employees, and to provide remedies. The act is effective retroactive to March 1, 2020.
MLA Prepares to Testify on SB611 - Amendments to the Michigan Privacy Act
MLA continues to be hopeful that by December 31, 2020, SB611 – amendments to the Michigan Privacy Act – will be signed into law. The global pandemic has caused delays in the committee process, so we have a few more steps to go before that can happen.

Back in March 2020, MLA was one of the last to testify at the Senate Judiciary and Safety Committee meetings as we introduced SB611. We waited all summer before we were able to get back onto the agenda of the Senate to pass it – and they passed it unanimously on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. It was immediately sent on to the House. On November 12, we were again prepared to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee but this committee meeting was cancelled due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among members. We are now back on the committee agenda to deliver testimony on December 1. And, we are totally prepared. Read our transcript here and if anyone would like to provide support to the House Judiciary Committee, please send the following email to Committee Clerk Melissa Sweet at [email protected].
My name is __________________ and I work for ____________________. I am not able to be at the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, December 1 but I wanted to formally register my support for SB 611. Can you please add a card of support on my behalf?
Thank you,
REALM Test 6 Results Now Available
The REALM project has published the results of the sixth round of Battelle’s laboratory testing for infectious COVID-19 virus on five materials commonly found in furnishings and exhibits of archives, libraries, and museums. View Test 6 results.
Letter to Legislators Outreach
Check out November's 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 monthly letters include information on programs and services that libraries provide, education on library funding, the return on investment for our communities, stats and fun facts about library usage and more.
Surviving and Thriving as a Library Director 2021
February - April 2021
Course Instructor
Maxine Bleiweis
Previous Participants Testimonials
“Maxine really did a great job a boosting my confidence in my new role as director. I also appreciated her approach to library service as I am all about the patron experience and she confirmed that I am making some positive changes here at my library.”

“Maxine was very knowledgeable, has great examples and experience, but never came off as a "know it all." She was wonderful.”

 “I felt it was extremely valuable and loved everything about it.”
Surviving and Thriving as a Library Director begins in February 2021 and will address the many issues confronting new library directors. The program will include both group classes and an individual consulting session. The combination of small group support and one-on-one expert guidance offers personalized situational learning and you’ll discover a close cohort of new directors who can support you throughout your career.

While management books and courses can be helpful, this approach bridges the vast gulf between theory and practice to help you thrive as a community leader and public library director. Suggested readings, podcasts, and discussion of practical scenarios will help you develop your leadership skills. Topics covered will include:
  • coaching and supporting staff
  • personnel issues
  • managing boards and city managers
  • spotting trends
  • leveraging your community for support
  • taking care of yourself
  • community leadership and management style
  • understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a leader
  • specific situations that each attendee is facing

The Surviving and Thriving as a Library Director course is completely virtual and will use the Zoom platform. Registration is $875 for members and $975 for non-members. The course is limited to ten individuals. Registration closes January 15.
Scholarships Are Available!
MLA's Education Fund Scholarships are available to MLA members to support all or part of Surviving and Thriving as a Library Director 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 are due Friday, January 8, 2021.
Fall Institute and MLA 2020 Virtual Annual Conference Sessions Available Online
Visit us on the web to view recorded education sessions from MLA 2020 Virtual Annual Conference and Fall Institute for Youth Services Preconference. On-Demand sessions that were available during the conference are also available for attendees to view online. Didn't attend? You can purchase access to either conference or both! Register for access to archived recordings.
Thank you to everyone who joined us at Fall Institute for Youth Services: People First and MLA 2020 Virtual Annual Conference: Charting a New Course, Together.

Relive the excitement and catch up on education sessions you missed during the conference! Recordings of every education session are available to view on-demand on the MLA website. Conference attendees will retain access to all available education sessions and keynote recordings.

All you need to do is browse the archives, then login to your MLA account to view the recorded session. Session handouts and chat transcripts are also linked on the webpages when available.

Couldn't make it to MLA 2020 Virtual Annual Conference or Fall Institute? You're in luck! You can purchase access to archives of either conference (or both!) to view recordings of all education sessions as well as handouts and chat transcripts when available. Recordings are also available of most of our awesome keynotes. Register for access to view the recordings.
Thank You to Our Sponsors
Annual Conference is supported in part by the Library of Michigan with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Service
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2021 - Call for Proposals Now Open
MLA Spring Institute for Youth Services 2021
*Sparking Connection and Possibilities*
March 11 – 12, 2021
Call for Breakout Session Program Proposals
Submissions welcome through December 31, 2020
Current circumstances have made our world both shrink and grow. Virtual services mean we can reach a wider audience in new ways. Join us for a conference sure to spark your creativity and energy in making youth library programs and outreach possible for all at Spring Institute 2021. All topics are welcome to be proposed. Examples could be, but not limited to: virtual programming, early literacy, diversity, grants/fundraising, music, personal development, avoiding burnout, creative solutions, collections, and management.

The conference will work to achieve the following goals and outcomes through its programs:
  • Provide quality professional development for those serving youth (ages 0 – 18) in libraries.
  • Enable an opportunity for those serving youth in libraries to exchange relevant, actionable knowledge through networking.
  • Revitalize and inspire those serving youth in libraries.
Registration is Open for ALA Midwinter Virtual
The ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits will take place online, January 22-26, 2021. Registration is NOW OPEN and will close on January 15, 2021, Noon Central.

Archived MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Building a Michigan Library Ecosystem
Steven K. Bowers
The Library Network
A library ecosystem is the interconnected network of all types of libraries, library workers, volunteers, and associations that provide and facilitate library services for community members; families; K-20 learners; college and university communities; local, state and federal legislatures and government offices; businesses; nonprofits; and other organizations with specific information needs.

ALA's Statewide Ecosystem Task Force has spent the last year working together to create a toolkit for state associations and their partners to help states strengthen relationships among all types of libraries and their leadership and professional organizations for the purpose of strengthening advocacy to a variety of audiences.

Steven Bowers, Director at The Library Network talks about strengthening the library ecosystem here in Michigan.
MLA Connect provides virtual education and engagement opportunities you can access from anywhere to keep you connected to the library community in Michigan! Missed an MLA Connect event? Check out archived webinars and coffee hours on the MLA website. Please note recordings are provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.
Save the Date for 2021 Spring Workshops
All 2021 spring workshops and events will be virtual. Registration will open in January 2021.
Community Collaborations: Healthy Community Initiatives

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Library Human Resources: Drafting Policies That Work

Wednesday, April 21, 2021
The Business of Libraries: Small Business Development

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Cultural Intelligence: Unconscious Bias Affects Everyone

Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Technology: Safety and Security Made Simple

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Executive Summit: Economic Forecasting with Census Data

Wednesday, May 26, 2021
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
Cathy Russ, current director of the Troy Public Library, will be the next director of the West Bloomfield Township Public effective December 14, 2020. Congratulations Cathy!
Congratulations to Betty Adams as she is welcomed as new director at the Leanna Hicks Public Library in Inkster.
Congratulations to Steven Bowers as he joins The Library Network as their new director.
Congratulations to Meghan Brody on her new position as the Circulation and Experience Manager at Rochester Hills Public Library.
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.

City of Menominee Menominee, MI
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Uniting the Michigan Library Community
MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.