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 22, 2020
Letter from Debbie
Even in a global pandemic, working remotely, MLA’s staff and board continue our 129-year legacy of helping libraries and library professionals succeed all across Michigan. Our upcoming virtual annual conference, “Charting a New Course, Together,” will continue our mission to lead the advancement of all libraries through advocacy, education and engagement. This event is always a culmination of the work we do together – our staff, our board, our work groups, and our membership.

With over 700 individuals registered it will be fun to “see” such a large cross-sector of our membership with such varied perspectives of the library profession at this event. Having different perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing—and increasingly diverse—world. And, I believe that real change occurs when we work together. When our public, academic, school and special libraries work together, we experience a greater impact on the lives of those we serve and in the communities where we reside, and we move the needle on issues that affect us all. Read more
Thank You Friends of Libraries!
Friends of Libraries groups have their very own national week of celebration! United for Libraries coordinates the 15th annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 18-24, 2020.

From fundraising to advocating for library services, friends groups support Michigan libraries in so many ways. Thank you to friends groups of Michigan libraries!

Learn more about National Friends of Libraries Week at Learn more about Friends of Michigan Libraries (FOML) at
Call for Nominations for 2021 Board Elections
The call for nominations for candidates for the 2021 Board of Directors Election is open through Monday, November 2. Do you know someone who would be a great addition to the MLA Board of Directors? Submit a nomination! We also encourage you to self-nominate if you are interested in serving on the MLA Board!
MLA has seats to fill and the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC), chaired by Past President Kristin Shelley, is looking for interested candidates to fill three at-large seats plus a President-Elect position on the MLA Board of Directors, with terms beginning in July 2021 and ending in June 2024.

Each year in September, the call for nominations for the MLA Board opens. This year we invite each and every one of our members to apply – individuals representing any type of library, any staff position within the library (not just directors), any size and budget, and in any geographic region of Michigan.

Our goal this year is to cultivate new board members who can expand the board’s collective cultural awareness. We are looking for candidates with a variety of professional expertise, cultural backgrounds, spectrum of life experiences, and geographic reach, who can help MLA respond to future needs within the library field. 

As we expand our search beyond the customary networks (yes – that includes those of you who have never considered this experience), we want to make sure that you know how dedicated we are in engaging new board members to share their perspectives and opinions – opening the door to different ideas and conversations. Our recruitment process will be thoughtful, strategic, and respectful as we begin to look for ways to become a more diverse organization.

Self-nominations are definitely accepted. Throw your hat in the ring, we’d love to hear from each and every one of you.

The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2020. To submit a nomination, complete the nomination form online. For any questions please contact Debbie Mikula, Executive Director at

MLA Awarded $40,000 Services to the Field Grant From MCACA
We are very proud to announce that MLA has been awarded $40,000 for a Services to the Field Grant through the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA).

On October 15, MCACA announced FY21 operational, programmatic and special grant awardees. Funds totaling $9 million were awarded to 470 applications, with 58 counties in Michigan represented. View grant recipients by program or county:

Since 1966, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs has recognized the value and importance of a vibrant arts and cultural sector. From historic monuments and museums to traditional practices and contemporary arts, the Council is dedicated to ensuring that every citizen and community in Michigan enjoys the civic, economic and educational benefits of arts and culture. And libraries are not being overlooked! Congratulations to all of the grant recipients!
Only a Few More Days to Celebrate!
October is Michigan Library Appreciation Month
The resolution is adopted! Thank you to our library champions in the Senate. (We especially love how quick we hear "Aye!" in response to "all those in favor..")
This October we are celebrating Michigan libraries and library staff and highlighting all the many ways libraries facilitate exploration and discovery!

This month, we highlight the amazing work our libraries continue to do to support our communities, and promote all of the amazing virtual, digital and distance programs, services and collections available and waiting for Michigan library patrons to discover.

Thank you to all who are helping us celebrate Michigan Library Appreciation Month! You can still get involved!

Download social media graphics, sample posts, a sample press release, and easy ways to participate, and plan to join the celebration to highlight Michigan libraries, librarians, and library workers all October long!
MLA Annual Membership Meeting
The MLA Annual Meeting is a time to hear about MLA’s progress during 2019-2020 and to vote on any matters that are necessary for membership review. This year, the annual meeting will be virtual and will take place during the MLA 2020 Virtual Conference on Thursday, October 29, 2020, from 2:45 to 3:45pm via Zoom. If you are attending the annual conference, it will stream from the HopIn platform – if you are not, you will need to log in to Zoom. A pdf copy of the agenda is linked here

Join the Zoom Meeting on October 29 at 2:45pm:

Meeting ID: 871 4261 7211
Passcode: 791962
Membership to Vote Online on Bylaw Updates Before 2020 Annual Meeting
The MLA Board has reviewed and voted on a series of bylaw changes and is sending them to the membership for final approval. Due to the global pandemic and a virtual annual meeting for 2020, eligible members will vote online. The online poll will be available Monday, October 5 through Thursday, October 29 at 2:00 pm.

We will announce the results of the vote during the MLA Annual Meeting, taking place Thursday, October 29 at 2:45 pm. All members eligible to vote based on the current bylaws (organizational members, unaffiliated library directors, and affiliated/unaffiliated individual members) have also received voting instructions via email.

Eligible members, please cast your vote by logging into the MLA website and taking the online poll by Thursday, October 29 at 2:00pm.

All members are encouraged to read the draft of the proposed MLA Bylaws.docx.
Stories Behind the Cards
Over the past month or so, many of you have sent your library cards to MLA and a few have emailed their stories about how their library card came about. Although we do have bigger plans to use them at a later date... we are happy to highlight your stories and cards in our Primary Source newsletter and on our website.

If you have not mailed your library card yet, or emailed the art file or story, please share them with us so we can share them with all of our Michigan libraries.

You can send an image of the front of your library card as a jpg, png, or pdf file to You can also email your story in the body of an email or word doc to that same email address. Mail actual cards to:
Michigan Library Association
3410 Belle Chase Way, Suite 100
Lansing, MI 48911

Thank you to everyone who has submitted a story or card! Watch the Primary Source to check out more Stories Behind the Cards!
Troy Public Library Card
The American Sign Language symbol for learning is taking your hand, making a grabbing motion, and bringing your hand to your forehead. It is almost as if you are grabbing information from a book in front of you and placing it into your head. The orange symbol is a representation of that knowledge transfer, which goes along with the Troy Public Library's brand slogan “never stop learning.”
MLA Education Fund Fundraiser
Wesley Stace
Each year during the MLA annual conference we have a fundraising event to raise money for the MLA Education Fund. The Education Fund provides scholarships for library staff to attend workshops and conferences at discounted rates.

This year, during MLA 2020 Virtual, the first 45 individuals that donate a minimum of $10 to the Education Fund will receive a copy of the book of lyrical poems "Wesley Stace: Self-Titled" written by Wesley Stace and illustrated by Abbey Stace.
MLA Holiday Hours
MLA's office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 26, and Friday November 27. We will also be closed during the winter holiday season from Thursday, December 24 through Friday, January 1. We will reopen in the new year on Monday, January 4.

COVID-19 Updates for Libraries: New Legislation, Emergency Orders and Rules We Are Following
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.
MIOSHA Issues COVID-19 Emergency Rules
On October 14, as part of the continuing effort to mitigate the effects of the court ruling that in essence dismantled all of Governor Whitmer's Executive Orders, the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration (MIOSHA) issued an emergency rule set on COVID-19. In addition to many rules applying to all businesses covered by the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Act, the emergency rules also implement rules for certain categories of businesses, including: Retail, Libraries, and Museums in Rule 9, Section 3.

(3) Retail, libraries, and museums. Retail stores that are open for in-store sales, as well as libraries and museums, must:
  • (a) Create communications material for customers (e.g., signs or pamphlets) to inform them of changes to store practices and to explain the precautions the store is taking to prevent infection.
  • (b) Require patrons to wear a face-covering (unless the patron is unable medically to tolerate a face covering).
  • (c) Post signs at store entrances instructing customers to wear a face-covering when inside the store.
  • (d) Post signs at store entrances informing customers not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.
  • (e) Design spaces and store activities in a manner that encourages employees and customers to maintain 6 feet of distance from one another.
  • (f) Install physical barriers at checkout or other service points that require close interaction, including plexiglass barriers, tape markers, or tables.
  • (g) Establish an enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocol for high-touch areas like restrooms, credit-card machines, keypads, counters, shopping carts, and other surfaces.

MDHHS Director Issues Emergency Orders Continuing COVID-19 Safety Measures
For those that want to be kept apprised of any new emergency orders being issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), you can subscribe to their press releases here:
On October 9, Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated the emergency order issued on October 5, for "Gathering Prohibition and Face Coverings." This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through October 30, 2020.

The Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 restricts gathering sizes and requires face coverings in public spaces. Under MCL 333.2253, if the MDHHS director determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, the director by emergency order may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to ensure the continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws.

This emergency order addresses occupancy levels and mask-wearing. Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253 – Gathering Prohibition and Mask Order
Governor Whitmer Signs Amendments to Open Meetings Act
On October 16, Governor Whitmer signed SB 1108, now Public Act 228 of 2020 allowing local governments (including libraries) to continue to meet electronically, under specific circumstances and for a limited period, protecting the safety of the public and public officials while ensuring public participation and transparency for meetings.

Public Act 228 updates Section 3 of the Michigan Open Meetings Act, will deem electronic meetings that took place since March 18, 2020, valid if the public body complied with requirements contained in the bill, and allow virtual meetings to continue until December 31, 2020, for any circumstance.

From January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021 only, any member of a public body could meet electronically due to three reasons:
  • Military duty (current law)
  • Medical condition defined as an illness, injury, disability, or other health-related condition substantiated in writing by a medical provider (without disclosure of private medical information or diagnosis)
  • Statewide or local state of emergency declared that would risk the personal health/safety of the public or members of the public body

Here is a link to Public Act 228:
$1 Million Increase in State Aid to Libraries for FY21
On September 30, Governor Whitmer signed Enrolled House Bill 5396, making omnibus appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021.

The FY21 State Budget includes an increase in State Aid to Libraries of $1 million GF/GP for a total of $13,067,700. Other line items for the Library of Michigan – 33 FTE - $4.9M, Michigan eLibrary - $1.7M (the MeL GF was cut by about $32,000), and Library Services and Technology Programs - $5.6M, have remained somewhat similar to past year’s budgets with general increases to staff salaries.

Take time today to thank your Senator, your House Member, and the Governor. You can find your legislators and send an email using the button below. We’ve created a quick thank you template if you need it, but feel free to personalize and share your heartfelt appreciation.
Update: 2020 Census
The 2020 Census will determine how more than a billion dollars in library funding will be allocated to our states and communities over the next decade. Everything from schools and Head Start to healthcare and emergency relief depends on a complete and inclusive Census count.

Recent court orders have caused some confusion over when data collection was to officially end. The deadline for the decennial count was first extended in August through September 30, then in early October, a federal trial court ruling required data collection operations to continue through October 31. However, on October 13, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked these orders, again changing the official end date of field data collection to October 15.

From the U.S. Census Bureau:

OCT. 13, 2020 — As of today, well over 99.9% of housing units have been accounted for in the 2020 Census. Self-response and field data collection operations for the 2020 Census will conclude on October 15, 2020. Read the Census Bureau Statement on 2020 Census Data Collection Ending
Letter to Legislators Outreach
Check out October'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.

This month we ask that you also send a thank you to your legislators for their work supporting libraries!

The library community has been rewarded with a $1 million increase to the FY21 State Aid to Libraries. Please take this opportunity to thank your Senator, your House Member, and the Governor. You can find your legislators and send an email using the button below. We’ve created a quick thank you template if you need it, but feel free to personalize and share your heartfelt appreciation.
Michigan Library Awards Virtual Gala
Join the Michigan library community for the Michigan Library Awards! Follow us on Facebook, and tune-in to Facebook Live on October 29 at 6:30 for the can't-miss virtual event for celebrating excellence in the Michigan library community.
The Michigan Library Awards is the Michigan library community's very own version of the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Grammys, and the Tonys!

This October 29, you're invited to tune-in to Facebook Live and join us for 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).

Hosted by author and musician Wesley Stace, this fun event will feature entertainment and special guest appearances as we unveil the winners of the Rising Star, Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth, Heart of a Champion, Support Staff of the Year, Legislator of the Year, Public Librarian of the Year, Academic Librarian of the Year, Citation of Excellence and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Please mark your calendar now, follow us on Facebook, and plan to join us as we celebrate the accomplishments, dedication and service of outstanding library staff, trustees and supporters at the can't-miss virtual event for celebrating excellence in the Michigan library community.

You can also watch the award ceremony from any of the following organization's Facebook pages:
  • Michigan Library Association (MLA)
  • Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME)
  • Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA)
  • Capital Area District Library
  • Detroit Public Library
  • Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Library of Michigan
  • 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
Pre-Award Show Cocktail Hour with The Elixir Fixer Angie Jackson
Join MLA on Facebook live at 6:00pm on Thursday, October 29, before the Michigan Library Awards to get the party started with the Elixir Fixer, Angie Jackson, sponsored by Grand Traverse Distillery. Please Note: The pre-award show cocktail hour will only be live on MLA’s Facebook page.

Angie will join us for a live mixology demonstration and share the history behind the classic Cosmo cocktails and a few ties to Ken Kesey's literary classic: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Check out the recipe below and plan to follow along and mix your own beverage for a chance to win prizes, then you’ll have your drink ready in hand to sit back and celebrate library professionals from across the state at 6:30pm when our award show airs!
One Flew Over the Cosmos Nest Recipe

From Author Ken Kesey and Netflix's latest series "Ratched" that has sparked a new resurgence of the classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest:
1 1/2 oz. Grand Traverse Distillery True North Rye Vodka (can be found anywhere, including Meijer)
1 oz. cranberry juice (Ocean Spray was the original brand used)
1/2 oz. triple sec
1/2 oz. lime juice (fresh is best)
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.
Fall Institute for Youth Services Virtual Preconference - Last Day to Register is October 23!
Register today for MLA's Fall Institute for Youth Services Preconference, taking place on October 27 leading into the MLA 2020 Virtual Conference on October 28 and 29, and join hundreds of teen and youth services library staff from across Michigan.

The MLA Fall Institute 2020 theme is People First. Join us as we focus on creating equitable, diverse and inclusive collections, programs and services, and find creative new ways to serve our communities during the global health crisis that put People First and empower library staff, patrons and the communities we serve.

An entire day full of education and inspiration is only $45 for MLA members! Visit us on the web to view detailed conference information, the schedule at a glance, featured speakers, education sessions and special events and register today! Tomorrow is the last day to register!

Questions? Contact Amber Sheerin, MLA Program and Event Director at (517) 394-2774 ext. 223 or
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2021 - Call for Proposals Opens November 16
This year has been filled with challenges - but these challenges have resulted in so much innovation and creativity. We want to hear how your library has adapted to providing library services for children and teens. The Spring Institute 2021 Call for Proposals will open Monday, November 16. For years the Spring Institute tag line was Inspiring, Networking, Growing. Help us continue to inspire, network and grow. Share your experiences with the library community - challenges you've faced, what you've learned and plans for the future. Start brainstorming now and watch for complete details including this year's conference theme, format information and more in next month's Primary Source.
Upcoming MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Building a Michigan Library Ecosystem
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
10:00 - 11:00am
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.

A patron of one library is the potential patron of any other library at a different time of life or location. No library exists independent of the library ecosystem. When we stand together in mutual support using common messaging themes that demonstrate this interconnectedness, every library is stronger.

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.

Hear from task force member, Steven Bowers, director at The Library Network in Michigan, about strengthening the library ecosystem and learn about ALA's new toolkit created to help states strengthen relationships among all types of libraries.
Fill out this short form to register:

This coffee hour is free to attend to anyone interested in joining the conversation! A maximum of 500 attendees can join the live event. Registered attendees will receive information and a link to access the meeting on the Zoom platform. A recording of the event will be available on the MLA website for those unable to attend the live event.
Questions? Contact us at (517) 394-2774 or
Last Call! Registration Closes Tomorrow
We're "Charting a New Course, Together" and going virtual! Join the adventure! Registration closes on October 23 - tomorrow is the last day to register for the MLA 2020 Virtual Conference, October 28 and 29, 2020.
With less than a week to go before the conference begins, the countdown to MLA 2020 Virtual Conference in on! The conference work group has gone above and beyond this year, not only doing the work to transition to a virtual conference, but planning an exceptional lineup of speakers, educational sessions and fun networking opportunities.

We can't wait to share this virtual experience with the library community next week!

Not registered yet? Check out the lineup of education sessions, networking opportunities and awesome keynote speakers and join us!
MLA 2020 Virtual Conference Work Group Pictured left to right: First Row: Claire Lopiccolo, Conference Chair: Kevin King. Second Row: Jackie Wrosch, Andrea Vernola, Tim Gleisner, James Pugh, Sherri McConnell. Not pictured: Amber Alexander, Mattie Cook, Jill Lansky, Bethany Maley, Terry New, and Jill Spreitzer. (Photo taken last year before the pandemic.)
Individual registration is only $130.00 for members and includes two full days of education, plus hours of on-demand content, AND exclusive access to recordings of every conference session to review on-demand after the conference.

Check out messages from some of our keynote speakers below then head to our website to view the schedule at a glance, education sessions, featured speaker lineup, special programming and events and more and register today at
Add an MLA 2020 Virtual Facebook Profile Frame
Add an MLA 2020 Virtual Conference frame to your Facebook profile picture, sponsored by Gale, A Cengage Company, and help spread the word, get excited and show your support.

To add a profile frame, visit and search for MLA 2020 Virtual Conference.
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
MLA Connect: Between Two Bookcases
Between Two Bookcases spotlights members, award winners and speakers in a fun new way. We'll touch on challenges in the profession, personal career development, the future of libraries, words of wisdom and more for a personal inside look at the heart of our libraries: the people in the profession.
Kevin King
Kalamazoo Public Library
Check out the latest MLA Connect: Between Two Bookcases, with MLA Membership and Communications Director Rachel Ash, Program and Event Director Amber Sheerin, and our special guest, MLA's 2020 Virtual Conference Chair, Kevin King.

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
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 to share news of promotions, new hires, appointments, awards or a tribute in memoriam.
On the Move
Jennifer Roth has been appointed the Interim Director of the Westland Public Library.
LeRoy Community Library has appointed Laura Jacobson-Pentces as their new director. Congratulations Laura!
Congratulations to Kathleen Rash who has been appointed as the new Director of the Hart Area Public Library. Wishing you the best!
Jessica Ann Bratt will be transitioning from Youth Services Manager to the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Grand Rapids Public Library. Congratulations Jessica!
October 2nd was Sue Alt's last day at MCLS. She had served many roles over the past 20 years, most recently as MelCat Support and Delivery (RIDES) Coordinator. Wishing you a happy and relaxing retirement!
Director Kay Williams has retired from the Hart Area Public Library. Enjoy your retirement!
In Memoriam
Rawson Memorial District Library has lost one of its most beloved librarians – Ann Louise Craig (Starmann). “Our hearts are heavy as we say goodbye to our long-time coworker and friend. We were honored to have Ann work at Rawson Memorial District Library for 42 years.”
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

MacDonald Public Library New Baltimore, MI

Fowlerville District Library Fowlerville, MI

Millington Arbela District Library Millington, MI

Shiawassee District Library Owosso, MI
 Don't keep this great resource to yourself!
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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.