Delivered to your inbox on the 4 th Thursday of every month, MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
October 24, 2019
Letter from Debbie
“They say that when one door closes, another opens. I believe that is true. And with all new endeavors, it is always exciting to open a door, see what is inside, and let the fresh air in.” 

This was the welcome message I wrote for MLA’s 2019 Annual Conference. It was all about opening doors and acknowledging, accepting and embracing everyone wherever they are in their life’s journey. I think the MLA staff, board and work group did an outstanding job infusing the values of equity, diversity and inclusion in the three days we spent together.

The 2019 MLA Annual Meeting took place Thursday, October 17 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi at the MLA 2019 Annual Conference. During the meeting, membership received the annual year-end report, recognized outgoing board members and adopted and signed the MLA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement. Download the MLA 2018-2019 Annual Report.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement
Adopted by MLA Members on October 17, 2019
The Michigan Library Association (MLA) and its Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers are committed to recognizing, enhancing and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in all forms. MLA is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive environment that fully supports and promotes our commitment to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire library community, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all. Read the full statement here.
MLA Receives Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs Operational Support Grant
MLA received wonderful news late last week with the passage of the state budget. The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) announced a series of operational, programmatic and special grant funds totaling close to $10 million for arts and cultural organizations throughout the state.

MLA’s operational support application was one of the top-ranked grants in the state earning 97.5 points out of 100 and a $22,500 award/year for the next three years. We also received news that we were awarded a professional development mini-grant for $1,250 to send Amber Sheerin to the ALA Conference in Chicago next June.

MLA staff worked extremely quickly to write the grant narrative and prepare supplemental materials by the submission deadline and our hard work paid off. These new resources will be a vital element in expanding our work and driving our advocacy and professional development agenda. Check out the full list of FY2020 grant recipients by program area.

Call for Nominations for 2020 Board Elections
Do you know someone who would be a great addition to the MLA Board of Directors? The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC) is seeking nominations/self-nominations for three member-at-large directors as well as the President-elect position, with terms beginning in July 2020 and ending in June 2023.

Service on the MLA Board is an outstanding way to contribute to the organization and to make a positive impact on our library community and provides members the opportunity to learn new skills, grow professionally and personally, build their network and represent the voice of the MLA membership. Learn more

The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2019. To submit a nomination, complete the nomination form online . For any questions please contact Debbie Mikula, Executive Director at
Update Your Member Profile
Keep your member information up-to-date in our member’s only portal. Update your library affiliation, work or home address and primary email to make sure you don’t miss out on any important MLA communications and let us know your job title, job function and interest areas so we can share relevant programs and services.
To access and update your individual member record, navigate to the Member Home page , log in, select "Go to Profile," then scroll down and select edit. Make sure to select “save” to update your changes.
Need your login credentials? To retrieve your username or reset your password simply click the links on the login page, or those provided below, and input your member record’s primary email address (this will be the email address where you receive MLA newsletters and communications). If you need assistance accessing or updating your member record, please contact us at .

Land Acknowledgement Statement Adopted
A land acknowledgement statement is increasingly more common at large public gatherings, especially those hosted by cultural institutions pursuing greater education, diversity, equity, and inclusion.   It represents one small step toward correcting the stories and practices that have erased Indigenous people’s history and culture.

For this reason, the membership approached MLA staff with a request to include a land acknowledgement statement during events as a purposeful recognition of the names of the tribal communities displaced from the region. Intentionally written with respect by a subcommittee made up of MLA members, board and staff, the acknowledgment was intended to bring to mind concepts of gratitude, privilege, and power while remaining factual and non-judgmental.   The MLA Board passed this policy and the language at the September 2019 meeting in time to be unveiled at MLA 2019 held in Novi, MI. Read the Land Acknowledgement statement used at MLA 2019 Annual Conference.
Share Your Conference Memories With Us!
If you have a great photo or a great story from your trip to MLA 2019 Annual Conference, please send to Rachel Ash at . Watch for November's Primary Source where we will feature a photo recap of MLA 2019 Annual Conference so you can relive the fun and get excited to join us next year in Kalamazoo!
2019 Annual Award Honorees
The 2019 Annual Award Winners were announced and honored at the MLA 2019 Annual Conference in Novi on Thursday, October 17, 2019.
Cathleen Russ
Director, Troy Public Library
2019 Librarian of the Year
 Sponsored by the Walter H. Kaiser Fund
Cathleen Russ is a leader who inspires and is a guiding force for Michigan librarians. With her vast knowledge of library administration, budgeting, customer service and collection development, she is consistently sought out for advice. She has mentored library professionals, taught the profession’s fundamentals and ethics and coached colleagues at statewide workshops. Cathleen elevates librarianship from occupation to vocation and truly deserves the Librarian of the Year recognition.

2019 Legislator of the Year
Senator Paul Wojno has served Macomb County in the Michigan Senate since 2018. In 2019, he championed new legislation that provides liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone, to an overdosing patron. Wojno also proudly served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1997 to 2002 and is being recognized as Legislator of the Year for his stalwart support of libraries throughout Michigan.

State Senator Paul Wojno
Donna Adams
Board President, Forsyth Township Public Library
2019 Heart of a Champion
Sponsored by the Walter H. Kaiser Fund
As Board President for the Forsyth Township Public Library, Donna Adams has worked tirelessly to promote her library. From advocating for and finding funding for a brand new library building to creating and publicizing library millage campaigns, Donna leads the way with grace and a humble spirit. Donna’s diligence, leadership and service to her library and community epitomize the Heart of a Champion.

2019 Heart of a Champion
Sponsored by the Walter H. Kaiser Fund
Danielle DiAmico is truly a rising star in libraries. She is passionate about giving back to the community through building programs, collections, and new activities to meet the diverse needs of patrons. Her accomplishments, inspiration to other staff, and desire to make libraries increasingly relevant in the community are remarkable. Danielle’s warmth, kindness and passion for the library profession make her truly deserving as the MLA 2019 Rising Star.

Danielle DiAmico
Sage Library, Bay County Library System
2019 Literary Award Winners and Honor Books
We are excited to announce the winners and honor books of the 2019 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 2018.
2019 Mitten Award
The winner of the 2019 Mitten Award is The Rabbit Listened , written and illustrated Cori Doerrfeld and published by Dial Books for Young Readers.
Honor book include Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth , written by Kate Gardner illustrated by Heidi Smith and published by Balzar + Bray; The Honeybee by Kristin Hall, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers; We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins and published by Disney-Hyperion; and I am a Cat written and illustrated by Galia Bernstein, published by Abrams Books for Young Readers.

The Mitten Award is designed to recognize and promote quality literature for youth in picture book format.  Read more about the Mitten Award.
The Rabbit Listened
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
Front Desk
By Kelly Yang
2019 YouPer Award
The winner of the 2019 YouPer (Young Person) award is Front Desk by Kelly Yang, published by Arthur A Levine Books.

Honor Books include Breakout by Kate Messner, published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books; Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, published by Nancy Paulsen Books; No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen, published by Tundra Books; and Sweep by Jonathan Auxier, published by Puffin Books.

The YouPer or Young Person Award recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in chapter book format. Read more about the YouPer Award .
2019 Thumbs Up! Award
The winner of the 2019 Thumbs Up! Award is Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, published by Henry Holt and Co.

Honor books include Sadie by Courtney Summers, published by St. Martin’s Press; and The Prince and the Dressmaker
by Jen Wang, published by First Second.

The Thumbs Up! Award recognizes and promotes an outstanding contribution to teen literature that has both literary quality and teen appeal for those 13 to 18 years of age. A teen vote is included in help determine the winner. Read more about the Thumbs Up! Award.
Children of Blood and Bone
By Tomi Adeyemi
Style in the Stacks Raises Money for Education Fund
Pictured left to right: 1st place winner Harmony Crocker, Brandon Township Public Library, modeling the “Flapper Dress”; 3rd place winner Mollie Freier, Lydia M. Olson Library, Northern Michigan University in "A Northern Queen in Gold and Green"; 2nd place winner Amber Alexander, Presque Isle District Library, modeling "Classical Style"; Brittany Wesner, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, modeling "The Bookworm" and Marcia Preston, Bloomfield Township Library wearing "Tropical Style".
The library material fashion show competition, Style in the Stacks, challenged our members to compete in a creative fashion challenge: create an entire outfit from recycled library materials. Our designers and models did not disappoint! The "Flapper Dress" modeled by Harmony Crocker and designed by Rebecca Higgerson, Shauna Quick, Kathleen Rocheleau, Denise Giangrande and Mary Dewley from Brandon Township Public Library took first place for bragging rights, with "Classical Style" modeled and designed by Amber Alexander, Presque Isle District Library, coming in second and in third place the "Northern Queen in Gold and Green" modeled by Mollie Freier and designed by Jessica Brown-Kovala, Karen Rinne, Krista Clumpner from Northern Michigan University.

We are happy to announce that Style in the Stacks raised $820.00 for the MLA Education Fund. Thank you to the courageous and creative models and designers for participating and to everyone who purchased a voting ballot.
PBS Books Interview With MLA 2019 Annual Conference Closing Keynote Dr. Derrick Gay
Thank you to PBS Books for sponsoring the MLA 2019 Annual Conference closing keynote with Dr. Derrick Gay and attending the conference to interview Dr. Gay. Check out the interview at
PBS Books Presents Dr. Derrick Gay

A renowned educational consultant, Dr. Derrick Gay is a strong advocate for the importance of students learning cultural competency and empathy if they are to successfully navigate an increasingly diverse, globalized and multicultural society.

Read more
Artist-in-Residence Suban Nur Cooley Delivers Powerful Poem at Close of "Open Doors"
Suban Nur Cooley is a writer, poet and editor living in the Midwest where she is a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on women of the Somali diaspora and how their identity performance is affected by memory, migration/displacement and assimilation.

Thank you to PBS Books for recording, editing and providing us with the footage!
ADVOCACY - #StrongerTogether
Governor Gretchen Whitmer welcomed MLA 2019 Annual Conference attendees and affirmed her support for libraries. Libraries are essential to our communities and empower people from all walks of life. Thank you to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for showing support for our libraries!
Library Appreciation Month
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily inspiration as we continue to celebrate Michigan Library Appreciation Month. Help spread the word in your community, schools and businesses and encourage all citizens of Michigan to visit and use the library to explore the wide variety of cultural and educational riches that our libraries hold!
Library Appreciation Month Resolutions Adopted in Both the Senate and House
Senate Resolution 79 is a resolution to recognize October 2019 as Michigan Library Appreciation Month. Thank you to State Senator Jim Stamas and the Michigan Senate for showing support for Michigan libraries.
House Resolution 170 declares October 2019 as Library Appreciation Month in the state of Michigan. We are grateful to State Representative Mark Huizenga and the Michigan House for showing support for our libraries.
State Aid and the Library of Michigan Budget
The Governor and the state legislature kept us in suspense about the state budget right down to the deadline – with the budget adopted on October 1, 2019. We all breathed a sigh of relief that state aid for libraries and the Library of Michigan budget were generally status quo from the year prior. In a tumultuous environment and budget cycle like FY20, we are thankful that state aid was not touched.

Members…rest assured that MLA was watching carefully and ready to respond in an instant if anything would have affected the state aid that libraries rely on. Long-held relationships and daily dialog with leaders in the House and Senate went a long way in protecting these funds. 

We are thankful for the constant input from MLA’s lobby firm GCSI as the budget became a reality. Here is how the FY20 budget shook out for libraries:
State Aid to Libraries
2019: $12,067,700
2020: $12,067,700
no change in funding
Library of Michigan Operations
2019: $4,900,200
2020: $4,958,800
$58,600 increase 
(2% raise for all Library of Michigan staff)
Library Services and Technology Program
ALA Denounces Amazon, Macmillan in Response to Congressional Inquiry on Competition in Digital Markets
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Current practices by content publishers and distributors in digital markets limit libraries’ ability to deliver core services, according to a new report publicly released today by the American Library Association (ALA). Submitted in response to an inquiry from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, ALA’s report underscores practices by companies like Amazon and Macmillan Publishers that threaten Americans’ right to read what and how they choose and imperil other fundamental First Amendment freedoms. The report urges lawmakers to curb anti-competitive practices of digital market actors. Download the Digital Markets Report

Advocacy Day
Join MLA and hundreds of library advocates from around Michigan on April 22, 2020 in Lansing and make your voices heard!

 Attendees will attend a half-day of   advocacy training in the morning   to learn the latest research and legislative priorities from the experts. The afternoon will be dedicated to “meet and greets”, when advocates take their passion, knowledge, and stories to the state Capitol for meetings with their congressional leaders to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased funding for libraries throughout Michigan. 
New to Advocacy?  Don’t Worry! MLA will be there with you every step of the way, the morning training session will give you everything you need to know to speak confidently about your views about the importance and value that libraries bring to our communities. Afterwards attendees will meet with legislators in teams depending on appointment schedules. Our lobby firm, GCSI will take care of arranging meetings for all registrants with those in leadership roles in the House and Senate and those serving on Committees dealing with current legislative priorities.

M ark your calendars – APRIL 22, 2020 - arrange a carpool with your library colleagues, talk with your co-op about sharing a bus with other libraries in your region. MLA will be putting together the details and will hope for a large turn-out of library supporters to share our message.
Call for Proposals: Spring Institute for Youth Services
You’re invited to submit a proposal for a breakout session or poster presentation at MLA's Spring Institute for Youth Services, March 19-20 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ann Arbor.

The conference theme is People First, and we will aim to educate and honor library staff and patrons through people-first practices in hiring, advocacy, displays, programs and collections. All topics are welcome to be proposed. Examples could be, but not limited to: early literacy, diversity, coding/STEM, grants/fundraising, music, personal development, collaboration, self-care, programming, collections and management.

Breakout Session Proposals are due Friday, November 8, 2019. Cool Things My Library Does Proposals are due January 10, 2020. View detailed information including the program guidelines and timeline and submit your proposal via the online form.
Partner With us at Spring Institute
Sponsorship, exhibit and advertising opportunities at Spring Institute for Youth Services will be available on the MLA website on Monday, October 28. Support our libraries by sharing the invitation to partner with us with your vendors! More than 200 youth services library staff attend Spring Institute every year. Don't miss this great opportunity to network with library professionals from all across Michigan.
Leadership Academy
March 3-4, 2020 - Auburn Hills
May 11, 2020 - Grand Rapids
August 7, 2020 - Lansing
October 27-28, 2020 - Kalamazoo

Join the ranks of the hundreds of successful graduates of the Michigan Library Association Leadership Academy that have gone on to lead their libraries into the future. Dating back to its inception in the 1970’s, Leadership Academy is one of MLA’s longest standing and most respected professional development programs with alumni in all corners of the state. Don’t miss your opportunity to join the 2020 cohort. Registration won’t open again until 2021!
Save the Date for MLA 2020 Annual Conference
October 28-30, 2020 | Kalamazoo, Michigan
Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center
100 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

MLA Annual Conference is the premier annual education and networking event for library staff in Michigan. The 2020 Annual Conference will feature renowned keynotes, jury-selected programming for all library professionals, an exhibition and an ideal environment to network with colleagues.
Thank you to all of our sponsors, keynote speakers, education session speakers and poster presenters, exhibitors, volunteers, conference work group and all of the library staff and supporters who joined us for MLA 2019 Annual Conference, Open Doors. We hope you feel encouraged and inspired to continue to serve our communities with kindness, open minds and open doors!
Thank you to MLA 2019 Annual Conference Sponsors
Save the Date
March 19-20, 2020 - Ann Arbor

April 3, 2020 - Flint

April 20, 2020 - Jackson

April 22, 2020 - Lansing

May 1, 2020 - Traverse City

May 15, 2020

May 29, 2020 - Southfield

October 28-30, 2020 - Kalamazoo
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.

Lincoln Township Public Library Stevensville, MI

Bloomfield Township Public Library Bloomfield Twp, MI

Northwood University Midland, MI

Charlevoix Library Charlevoix, MI