MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
July 29, 2022
Note From Debbie
It is fun to reminisce about the first conferences I ever planned back in the mid-1980s for those operating historic theatres. Lasting a full week, over 150 attendees would hop on four tour buses and we would go from place to place to place, a different hotel every evening, visiting historic theatres in a particular region of the country (Texas, North Carolina, California, Detroit to Toronto), conducting educational sessions with renowned experts in theatre renovations and operations, and sharing wonderful meals and networking time with those that had something very unique in common. The planning and coordination of these events was fun and exhausting all at the same time. 

The MLA Annual Conference is fun and exhausting as well, but so worth the time and energy it takes to bring over 500 library professionals together every year. There is excitement in the air and a general sense of being “back to normal” as we continue the planning to be in-person at the MLA 2022 Annual Conference in Port Huron this October.  Our last in-person annual conference was in 2019 and while we have had resounding success on a virtual platform, there is nothing better than being with our colleagues again. Read more
Welcome to MLA's 2022-2023 Ambassadors
We are so proud of our ambassadors! Check out the new MLA workgroups and committees webpage for a who's who of MLA members that have stepped up to represent MLA and the Michigan library community.

Ambassadors: if you have not done so already, please remember to sign the Code of Conduct form online. You will need your individual login credentials to sign the form: Sign the Code of Conduct form. View the MLA Code of Conduct (pdf)
Join the MLA Mentor Program
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
MI Library Is Now, MI-83 Project Survey
For more promotional materials, including printable and digital graphics, visit: and use the password: Mi832022! 
Digital Content? Statewide Advertising? How great is it that your library received thousands of free audio and ebook content available in perpetuity through OverDrive for your community? And a statewide marketing campaign to let all residents know what is available at their local library? Pretty great, right? We agree! 

But we aren’t done yet…we need your assistance. Since these items were purchased with grant funds through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), certain requirements need to be completed as with any grant. So, can we count on you to help with the following three items?
Click the link to complete the STAFF SURVEY about the digital audiobook and ebook content your library received.

Please share the PATRON SURVEY via email, newsletter, your website, and your Facebook or Instagram platforms. Responses will be collected from August 1 through September 9, 2022.
For the last question on the surveys, we would love for you to share any stories or testimonials about the digital content items your library received through OverDrive.

There are thousands of new audio and ebook titles available like job-seeking skills, educational needs, and health and wellness topics. Perhaps you have helped guide a patron to this new content? Maybe you had a program where not only did you promote the physical books you had on the same topic, but you also highlighted what was available on OverDrive with the new content?

Have patrons commented about the television ads they have seen promoting MI Library is NOW? Have they seen the social media posts and wondered what YOUR library received through the grant? Please share your stories!
Thanks to Legislators
If someone gave you much-needed grant funds, you’d be sure to thank them, right? Well, federal legislators, through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), gave our state $4 million in ARPA funding. We need to make sure we let them know how much it means to libraries and our communities. Take a few minutes and say thank you. Not sure who to contact?  Click here.
On behalf of the Michigan Cooperative Directors Association, the Library of Michigan, and the Michigan Library Association, thank you for taking part in this statewide program! 
Funding for the MI-83 Digital Library Connection project is provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library of Michigan, an agency of the Michigan Department of Education. Project partners include the Michigan Library Cooperatives and the Michigan Library Association, Lakeland Library Cooperative, Mid-Michigan Library League, White Pine Library Cooperative, and Woodlands Library Cooperative.
MLA Youth Literary Awards Lists
Visit us on the web at to learn more about the MLA Mitten, YouPer (Young Person), and Thumbs Up! Awards, download award seals to use at your library or view lists of past winners and honor books. Click here to view the 2022 Youth Literary Awards announcement on Facebook to give it a share and a like!
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.
Check out MLA's Bill Tracker to view a full list of legislation that the Advocacy and Legislative Committee is watching.
MLA Advocacy and Legislative Priorities Survey 2022-2023
We want to hear from you! Please take 10 minutes to complete the MLA 2022-2023 Advocacy and Legislative Priorities Survey. Responses are needed by Friday, August 12, 2022, at 11:59 PM.
Advocating for the Michigan library community is one of MLA's highest priorities. It has never been more important for librarians, staff members, trustees, and others with a vested interest in libraries to convey and address the challenges that their libraries and the library profession are facing. We hope you will take time out of your busy day to help us pinpoint our field's highest priorities.

By completing the survey you will also be giving MLA valuable information to use when we speak to our legislators. The survey identifies priorities compiled from concerns that have been shared with us over the past few years. If there are other priorities that you believe MLA should address, please add them to the list. The survey results will be used by the MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee to prioritize the 2022-2023 agenda and will address what you want us to work on in the coming year.

Please complete the survey by Friday, August 12, 2022, at 11:59 PM. 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 will help shape MLA's priorities for the coming year and beyond.
$500,000 added to FY23 State Aid to Libraries
The work of our library community to advocate for increased investment in libraries has again been rewarded! For the third straight year, MLA is proud to announce an additional $500,000 has been included in the State of Michigan budget for State Aid to Libraries. In addition, $800,000 was allocated for the library pilot program that addresses a partnership between public and school libraries. Resources were also included for the Poet Laureate ($100,000), and $1.2 million was awarded through an enhancement grant to the Inkster Library. (One hundred unique projects were identified to receive $205 million in the newly released budget.)

The state budget also includes $25 million for out of school time (OST) grants, split between intermediate school districts (ISD) and community-based organizations (CBO) with at least 60% going to CBO which includes nonprofits, libraries and local municipalities.

No deal was reached between the Governor and the legislature for any major tax cuts or rebates, despite a near $7 billion state surplus. Federal stimulus packages and unexpectedly high tax collections have created the surplus and there will be further talks taking place this fall. Continued advocacy will be needed with the state legislature to ensure federal COVID relief dollars that remain unspent can be deployed for the benefit of public libraries and Michigan youth and families.

Linked here is a copy of the General Omnibus Budget for your perusal, as well as the Education Omnibus Budget which is where the OST grants are listed.

Thank you to Governor Whitmer and to the Michigan Senators and Representatives who continue to recognize the value and importance that libraries bring to every community and campus throughout Michigan.
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.
Participate in the MDHHS Library OTC COVID-19 Test Distribution Program
MDHHS has partnered with several libraries across the state of Michigan to provide free at-home COVID-19 test kits to Michiganders. Participating libraries receive tests monthly, or as needed, to distribute to their local community. Libraries interested in participating in this program can still participate by filling out an interest survey here:
IMLS Releases 2020 Data on American Public Libraries
On July 21, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released the latest data from its 2020 Public Libraries Survey. The Public Libraries Survey examines key indicators of public library use, financial health, staffing, and resources. Explore the FY 2020 data and documentation.

Each year since 1988, the survey has provided a national census of America’s public libraries. The data are collected from approximately 9,000 public library systems comprised of over 17,000 individual main libraries, library branches, and bookmobiles in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.
MI Vote Counts
MI Vote Counts is a weekly non-partisan virtual series hosted by the Michigan Department of State and Michigan Bureau of Elections. Join the series to help equip Michigan voters with fact-based election information and tips on how every voter can become an active bystander in support of Michigan’s democracy and elections.

Weekly non-partisan sessions will be held through November and feature department staff and experts discussing a range of election topics including helpful voter how-tos, a deep dive into how Michigan elections are run, and tips for how voters and partners can help prepare their communities for election season. Complete this form to attend a MI Vote Counts session, receive email updates, or ask a question:

Click the event titles below to view the recordings of previous sessions.

Information on what checks and balances occur after polls close to ensure votes are counted correctly, who can observe after polls close, why shouldn't you expect official results on election night and an overview of the certification, canvassing and audit processes.

Information on voting at your polling place on Election Day, including how to locate your polling place and the process for casting a ballot in-person. Learn about who may be inside your polling place, and review Michigan election law & electioneering. This session also discusses voter accessibility and your voting rights at a polling place.

Information about how absentee ballots are processed, important dates and deadlines, how to request and return an absentee ballot, changing your vote, and accessibility.

Information every registered voter in Michigan should know about voter registration, including dates and deadlines, how you can register or update your address, what happens with your voter registration info and more!
MI Right to Read - Intellectual Freedom Fact Sheet
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. View resources to assist libraries with first amendment challenges at
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? We sent this communication to our coalition for answers to FAQs so they can get informed and ready to protect every Michigander's right to read!

We encourage you to invite friends, family, and colleagues to join the MI Right to Read coalition and be fully prepared to defend First Amendment rights and don't forget to follow MI Right to Read on Twitter and Facebook to share our posts and spread the word.
Download social media graphics and check out suggested social media copy in our intellectual freedom toolkit message center. Tag us @MIRightToRead!
MI Right to Read Gear
Consider purchasing MI Right to Read shirts for your team! Show support and build your own brand by wearing the same color. Profits support the MI Right to Read coalition.
Letter to Legislators
Check out the July 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.
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, Michigan 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.

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.
Closing Keynote with Kent Oliver: Intellectual Freedom in a Time of Partisanship
We are proud to announce and welcome Kent Oliver, recently retired Director of the Nashville Public Library in Nashville, Tennessee as our Closing Keynote Speaker.

Kent will share some of his experiences defending intellectual freedom, what Michigan libraries can do to be proactive in the fight against censorship, and how to manage in a time of hyper-partisan conflict and burnout.
Kent Oliver
Opening Keynote with The Civility Project
Bridging the Divide: Civility in a Time of Unrest
Celebrated journalists Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson have been longtime friends, despite their different perspectives on pretty much everything. The one thing they agree on is the importance of their friendship—which includes a healthy dose of disagreement and mutual respect.

Americans used to engage in civil conversation with people of opposing viewpoints – enjoying the banter and debate. Today, many Americans believe they can’t be friends with people whose politics are different. The Civility Project seeks to bring people of opposing viewpoints together for healthy disagreement, personal interactions and constructive conversations.
Nolan Finley
Stephen Henderson
Thursday All-Conference Session with Angela Hursh: How Will They Know? Make Sure Your Library’s Efforts to Bridge the Divide Get Noticed!
The work that your library does to make information, services, and technology accessible to everyone is extraordinary. But all that work is for naught if your community doesn’t know they can take advantage of it! This talk is packed with practical tips to successfully promote your library’s collection, services, and programs, even when you face staff and budget shortfalls. You’ll learn how to maximize digital platforms and reach community members who don’t have (or don’t want) internet access. And you’ll leave with a plan to work smarter by putting your time and available resources to the best use.
Angela Hursh
Call for Panelists
The MLA 2022 Annual Conference Workgroup is currently in search of speakers to join panel conversations on intellectual freedom and equity, diversity, accessibility, and belonging at MLA 2022 Annual Conference: Bridging the Divide.

Panels will be moderated and will offer ideas, philosophies, and/or practical solutions on a given topic. Panelists will be expected to meet at least once prior to the conference to facilitate a cohesive panel discussion.
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 give-a-ways, 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. Register here.

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 Connect offers virtual education and engagement opportunities you can access from anywhere to keep you connected to the library community in Michigan, and the MLA Connect On Demand platform lets you access education at any time!
Did you know 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. You can 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.

Visit MLA Connect On Demand to take advantage of this member benefit today!
Now Available to View On-Demand:
June Advocacy Hour: Creating a Crisis Communication Plan
Our June Advocacy Hour was all about creating a crisis communication plan so your library is prepared to respond to a book-banning or censorship crisis.
MLA Connect: Responding to a Public Challenge
Learn some effective tips for proactively preparing for challenges to materials, displays, or programming, how to access resources and colleagues for support, strategies that can be used to frame the narrative and conversation, and how to build strategic alliances for support.
"Level Up" Your Marketing and Communications
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
10:00 – 11:00 AM

Tired of using the same old strategies for promoting your library’s services and programs, and getting the same, or diminishing, results?

Join us for an interactive session and learn how you can “level up” your library’s marketing and communications efforts.

Participants will learn how to identify key audiences, conduct an audit of communications channels, develop an editorial calendar for their library, and seek out partners to amplify marketing and communication efforts.

MLA Connect explorations are only $25 for MLA members!
Navigating Material Challenges for Library Trustees
Thursday, August 11, 2022
6:00 - 7:30 PM

The Michigan Cooperative Director's Association is working alongside MLA to host a virtual trustee training event on Thursday, August 11 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. 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.
August Advocacy Hour: Roleplaying in Times of Challenges
Thursday, August 18, 2022
10:00 - 11:00 AM

More information about this event is coming soon! Advocacy Hour conversations are always free to attend.
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 16, 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
Portage Lake District Library welcomed Katrina Linde-Moriarty as the new library director. Wishing you all the best in your new role Katrina! 
The Richland Community Library welcomed Jack Buck as the new library director. Congratulations Jack! Wishing you much success at RCL.  
Addison Township Public Library welcomed Rosie Walker as the new library director. Wishing you great success in your new role Rosie!
Capital Area District Libraries announced that Miriam Mattison has been appointed the new Finance Director. Welcome, Miriam and all the best in your new role!
Kent District Library is pleased to welcome Kiosha Jeltema as the Regional Manager 1 at the Kentwood and Gaines Twp. Branches. Congratulations Kiosha, wishing you all the best!
Damon Dye has been selected to lead The Library Network (TLN) Technology Services and will begin his new role on August 15. Congratulations and welcome Damon!
Best Wishes to Betsy Hall, dedicated Librarian at the Capital Area District Libraries Okemos branch on her retirement. Congratulations and wishing you all the best!
Congratulations are in order for Karen McConnell, who will be retiring from Richland Community Library. She has stayed on to welcome and assist the new director Jack Buck, as he transitions into his role. That’s what librarians do! 
Kiersten Hedke, a clerk at the Downtown Lansing branch of Capital Area District Libraries who has worked at the library since she was a teenager, has retired and is off to begin a new chapter. Wishing you all the best in your retirement Kiersten!
Advertise on MLA’s Job Board
Members receive deep discounts on job postings through the MLA Career Center job board. Learn more here.
Public Libraries of Saginaw – Saginaw, MI

Public Libraries of Saginaw – Saginaw, MI

Troy Public Library – Troy, MI

Mid-Michigan Library League – MI

Dexter District Library – Dexter, MI

View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
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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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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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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MACC Regional Regranting Information

Applicants to the MACC Regional Regranting Program must apply to the Regional Regranting agency for the county in which the applicant organization is registered

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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.
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.
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Order an MLA Hoodie or Pin
Show your MLA pride by ordering a hoodie or pin! Hoodies are $40 and Pins are $8. Both ship free! Click the button below to fill out the order form online.
Uniting the Michigan Library Community
MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.