MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
January 26, 2023
Note From Debbie
I said “yes” before I really knew what was expected, but when the esteemed and honorable 49th Governor of the Great State of Michigan calls, you don’t hesitate, you step up and show up. 
I was incredibly honored to have been chosen to help Governor Whitmer lay the foundation for her State of the State address. This past Tuesday, I facilitated one of two small roundtable discussions of Michigan residents in Brighton as they shared how they are impacted by the economy, inflation, education and a few other topics. I got to ask questions about the central issues affecting our state, and the participants got to share with the Governor why these issues mattered to them, and to share their hopes for Michigan. They came from different walks of life and different political parties, but the time was spent having an authentic, civil conversation on the fundamentals that are sadly often missing these days. 
The Governor’s statement during the State of the State of chasing our bright future with “hustle” and “grit” resonated strongly at our session as well – we all must have the courage, confidence, self-belief, and self-determination to go out there and work it out – to make Michigan a thriving place to live, work, raise a family, and do business. “Let’s Get it Done!” I have no doubt that as her second term begins that we will see her put every ounce of energy into making Michigan shine with her partners in the House and Senate as we build a brighter future.  

MLA has a lot to do and an incredible opportunity during the next legislative session to live up to our own idea of “Getting it Done!” and I hope you’ll join me to put the library community squarely into the equation.
Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director
MLA’s Statement in Response to Governor Whitmer's State of the State Address
During this year's State of the State address, Governor Whitmer discussed many initiatives, and in doing so, highlighted the need for investments that will make our communities better places to live, work and visit. She asked Michiganders to lead by example and commit to bringing our collective “A” game for a brighter future. 
MLA looks forward to working with the Governor and legislative leaders on creating great places and focusing on issues vital to our libraries. Enhancing resources like State Aid to Libraries, supporting safety measures, staying on “offense” in protecting our freedoms and fundamental rights, investing in aging infrastructure, and increasing early education and media literacy are just a few of the key areas in which we can partner to achieve our shared goals.
As the Governor said, “Michigan - let’s embrace our duty”. Join us in answering the Governor’s call as Michiganders and librarians by rolling up our sleeves and embracing our duty in empowering our libraries, our communities, and our state.
Scott Duimstra
MLA President
Organizational Member Benefit: HealthiestYou
Library Directors: HealthiestYou is a new affordable option for providing your library staff with access to free healthcare!

What is HealthiestYou?
HealthiestYou is a healthcare service that offers convenient, confidential access to quality doctors and providers by phone, video, or app 24/7/365. To learn more, see a demo of the HealthiestYou app, get your questions answered, and get ready to enroll watch a recording of our informational session on YouTube.

Ready to Enroll?   
HealthiestYou is available exclusively to MLA Organizational Members. Please contact Rachel Ash, MLA Membership and Communications Director at [email protected] to confirm your library’s eligibility or to join MLA. Rachel will connect you with Corey Cushing to begin the enrollment process.  
Welcome to MLA's New Social Media Strategist Intern
Earlier this month, the MLA staff welcomed Avery Thompson as our Spring 2023 Social Media Strategist Intern. Avery is a full-time Sophomore at the University of Michigan who is thrilled to be joining the MLA team for the Winter/Spring semester. She is a projected Sociology major hoping to earn a minor in LGBTQ+ Studies, and absolutely adores writing, drawing, and mingling. She hopes to learn more about library advocacy with her belief that libraries can be a pillar of social change. During her time at U of M, she has thoroughly enjoyed her employment at the Spectrum Center (LGBTQ+ center on campus) and has built up organizational skills as a result of her serving as a Front Desk Student Lead, along with her involvement with the Spectrum Center Programming Board. In her spare time, she enjoys activities such as drawing comics, needle-felting, and working on her Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. She is grateful for this wonderful opportunity and excited to meet all of the wonderful folks working with MLA!
Using Your MLA Membership
Do I have to be a member to register for an MLA event? Is my library an MLA Organizational Member? Do I have an Individual MLA Membership?  Check out answers to MLA Member Account FAQs (pdf) and read on to make sure your membership profile is up to date!
Update Your Profile
Keep your member information up to date in our member portal. Please take a moment to add a work email, and an alternative home email address so you never miss important news and announcements. While you're there take a moment to update your library affiliation, job title, job function and interest areas so we can share relevant programs and services. Plus, make sure to add a home address! This helps us target our advocacy efforts in case we need to contact only members within a specific legislative district.

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 [email protected].

View the Organizational Member Directory
Search the MLA Organizational Member Directory to view library organizational members of MLA.

You can search by library name, address or zip or view all organizational members in alphabetical order. Need to update your library's info? Library directors can log in to their individual member profiles to access and update their library's organizational membership. For assistance, contact Rachel Ash, MLA Membership and Communications Director at [email protected].
MI Library Is NOW
Michigan’s libraries continue to evolve and expand their services and now offer more programs, events, services, resources, and collections than ever to serve and support their communities. MI Library is NOW an art gallery, a concert venue, a community living room and so much more.

Help us continue to amplify our message and promote all Michigan libraries! Just share some of the cool things your library is up to on social media: "MI Library is NOW… [fill in the blank]. Find your library at" Remember to tag your posts with #MILibraryisNOW!

Resources to help you promote the message are available and free to use. Download graphics and more at
A New Legislative Cycle Begins…A New MLA Bill Tracker
Check out MLA's Bill Tracker to view a full list of legislation that the Advocacy and Legislative Committee is watching.
As the 102nd Legislative Cycle begins, we are excited to begin anew and have introduced a new MLA Bill Tracker on our website. Each year, the MLA membership has the opportunity to choose priority issues that directly affect Michigan libraries. MLA then works with the Michigan Legislature to move these issues through the legislative process. The MLA Bill Tracker is updated monthly by the MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee to inform our members of the Senate and House bills MLA is watching and addressing, our position if any, and actions that we are taking to support or oppose the legislation.
Get to Know Michigan’s 102nd Legislature
Library advocates need to reach out to their new legislators to begin building collaborative relationships. Lawmakers need to know how valuable libraries are to their communities and be educated about the library profession and libraries' role in upholding intellectual freedom, privacy, and access for all.

Find out who is representing you! Working directly with legislators and the administration to secure positive results is one way to advocate. But advocacy starts well before we meet with a legislator in Lansing. It starts with educating and building relationships. One phone call or message from you makes an impact.

The 102nd Legislature Committee Assignments have been confirmed. If your legislator is on a committee it will be even more important to connect with them about the importance of libraries! House committees can be found here and Senate committees can be viewed here.
Celebrating the Introduction of Bills to Amend the Elliott-Larsen Act 
On the first day of the 2023-2024 session, our new legislators took immediate action to introduce two important bills that MLA is proud to endorse and support. Senate Bill 0004 and House Bill 4003 which mirror each other in language, were presented by a large group of senators and house members to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act 453 of 1976 to include sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression as part of the long list of discriminatory practices. The Act currently prohibits discriminatory practices, policies and customs in the exercise of those rights based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status. 

We are in full support and will work with our legislators to help make this a reality!
Equality Michigan is asking us to show support for the amendments to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act by having our friends, families and allies sign a petition.

Their statement reads, “Today's action by legislators sends a clear message that discrimination has no home in our state. Modernizing the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act would ensure LGBTQ+ people have explicit, comprehensive, statewide protection against discrimination.
Michigan’s Budget Process Begins
The good news and the bad news at January’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference.
Michigan’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC) took place on Friday, January 13, 2023. The CREC meets in January and May of every year and brings together the state’s leading economists to discuss the national and state economic outlook, and issue revenue forecasts that help inform state policymakers ahead of the state budget process. The budget process is expected to formally begin in early February when Governor Whitmer releases her Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Executive Budget Recommendation. View the full CREC report (pdf).

While revenues are up over May 2022 estimates, net General Fund/General Purpose revenue for FY 23 was forecasted downward 2.8 % from FY 22 at $14.7 billion, and School Aid Fund revenue is expected to be down 1.1 %t at $17.6 billion, for a combined total of $32.4 billion. Budget Director Chris Harkins stated, “The nature of this forecast reminds us that revenues may fluctuate, and it remains important that we continue to ensure that any available one-time revenues be used for one-time investments to grow and build Michigan.” 

In FY 24, estimates were revised upward 1.6 % with combined General Fund/General Purposes and School Aid Fund at $32.9 billion. 

In FY 25, the CREC estimates 6.7 % growth year over year for a combined General Fund and School Aid Fund total of $33.8 billion.

Meanwhile, the state's surplus has climbed to an unprecedented $9.2 billion ($5.1 billion General Fund, $4.1 billion School Aid Fund), according to information shared during the conference. And it should be noted that nearly $6 billion of the surplus is considered one-time money, meaning it's not recurring tax revenue that can be used to fund state agencies and programs in future years.

Is there a recession on the horizon? Economists from the University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics forecast a 60 to 65 percent chance the United States will enter a recession in late 2023 – also stating that it will be mild and growth is predicted to resume the following year. The Senate and House Fiscal Agencies as well as the Dept. of Treasury all predict Michigan will enter a recession as well predicated on the response from the Federal Reserve. The estimates were based on a projected unemployment rate of 4.8% by 2024, which was the indicator of a mild recession. 
State Aid to Public Libraries
In 1977, the State Aid to Public Libraries Act (Act 89 of 1977) was enacted and funding for public libraries and cooperatives was set at $0.50/capita. Based on the rate of inflation, $0.50/capita in 1977 would be equivalent to approximately $2.50/capita in 2023. It took 46 years to reach only $0.50/capita. It is now long past time to increase the state's financial investment to keep our 397 public library systems viable and strong in each of our Michigan communities.
The total amount of State Aid to Public Libraries in FY2023 is $15,567,700 with a per capita breakdown of $.503478 for direct and indirect State Aid to Public Libraries. Cooperative per capita of $.503478 and a density payment of $10.069561 per square mile. Visit the State of Michigan's Library of Michigan webpage for information on the State Aid to Libraries Act 1977 PA 89, application instructions, annual per capita aid amounts, statistical information on payments to libraries, and options for assistance.
Letter to Legislators
Check out January's edition (PDF) 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 also sent a flyer with information introducing MLA and our legislative priorities. Download the legislative leave behind (PDF).
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 and take the pledge to protect every Michigander's right to read.
Featured Intellectual Freedom Toolkit Resource
Looking to update your library policies for the new year? Get started by checking out our Intellectual Freedom Toolkit for example documents shared by libraries from across Michigan and the country! Many important policies are represented including collection development policies, request for reconsideration forms, and patron conduct guidance. Please discuss any potential policy changes with your library’s attorney before implementing them.

View more resources to assist libraries with First Amendment challenges at
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023: Sustaining Our Future
Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 is in person March 30-31, 2023 at the Ann Arbor Sheraton Hotel. Attendee registration is open!
You're invited to join the Michigan library community at Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023, March 30-31 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ann Arbor.

This year, the conference theme is Sustaining Our Future. Join us as we highlight all the ways we are working to protect books, communities and relationships. 

Full conference early-bird registration is only $250 for MLA individual members and includes all meals and events! Early Bird Rates expire Friday, February 24, 2023.

Location and Hotel
3200 Boardwalk Street
Ann Arbor, MI, 48108
(734) 996-0600

Reserve your room before March 1, 2023 to receive the MLA discounted rate of $139 plus tax, per night. Please note, to receive the discounted rate you must call the hotel and identify yourself as part of the MLA Spring Institute.
Keynote Speakers
We are pleased to welcome award-winning author Kyle Lukoff as our opening keynote speaker and pediatrician Dr. Dipesh Navsaria as our Friday morning keynote speaker.
Call for Digital Poster Proposals
The Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 Workgroup is seeking digital poster proposals. Digital Posters are short videos, five minutes or less, that share an idea, program, or story about your library with the conference attendees. A good poster session focuses on one main theme, presents useful information, and is funny and engaging. It’s a great way to jump into presenting without building a full-blown program.

Submissions are welcome through Friday, February 3, 2023. Download the MLA SI23 Call for Posters Guidelines (pdf). Visit for complete details and to submit your proposal using the online form.
Health and Safety Guidelines
We ask you to be courteous and conscientious of others while meeting in person at MLA events, especially when it comes to health and safety. View our updated Health and Safety Guidelines for Spring Institute 2023 including COVID-19 procedures and vaccination requirements and new guidance around common allergens. 
Call for Exhibitors and Sponsors
Do you offer products and services for libraries? MLA Spring Institute for Youth Services Sustaining Our Future is your opportunity to support the Michigan library community and connect with youth services library staff from across the state.

We have sponsorship opportunities for every budget that help promote your organization to the Michigan library community. Plus, our exhibit area is a one-stop shop for our members who are looking for new products and services to use in their libraries.

Check out available sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities online and sign up today using our online form.

Contact Amber Sheerin, MLA Program and Event Director at (517) 881-3194 or [email protected] to learn more about sponsoring or exhibiting at Spring Institute for Youth Services 2023 or MLA 2023 Annual Conference. Download the Spring Institute Vendor Prospectus (pdf).
Check out the MLA Connect On Demand virtual education platform! MLA members have access to dozens of virtual programs and sessions on a wide variety of topics, all available to view on-demand. To view available programs, visit MLA Connect On Demand, browse the archives, and log in with your MLA individual login credentials.
MLA Connect Advocacy Hour: How Advocates and Collaborators Passed New Jersey’s K-12 Information Literacy Curriculum Requirement
Thursday, February 16, 2023
3:30 - 4:30 PM

Could Michigan be next? Earlier in January, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the nation’s first statewide information literacy requirement for schools. The bill requires the state’s education department to gather a committee of educators, primarily those who are certified school library media specialists, to develop the learning standards for information literacy. K-12 students will now learn about how information is produced and spread on the internet, critical thinking skills, the difference between facts and opinions and the ethics of creating and sharing information both online and in print.

Join us and learn more about the advocacy efforts that got this legislation passed, who led the charge, who helped and when the work began. We encourage public and school librarians to attend! Note, this Advocacy Hour is in the afternoon to welcome our school librarian colleagues.
Guest Speaker
Olga Polites, New Jersey Chapter Leader, Media Literacy Now.

Media Literacy Now leverages the passion and resources of the media literacy community to inform and drive policy change at local, state, and national levels in the U.S. to ensure all K-12 students are taught media literacy so that they become confident and competent media consumers and creators.

Other guest speakers will be confirmed in the coming days.
Now Available On-Demand
Recordings of MLA 2022 Annual Conference Keynotes are available on MLA Connect On Demand. Conference attendees automatically have free access to the recordings. Couldn’t make it to the conference? Purchase access to all three keynotes for $25 for members or $50 for non-members.
MLA Connect 2023 Virtual Programs
We are excited to share the 2023 MLA Connect lineup! Visit us on the web to register now or save the date for upcoming programs!
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
The Loutit District Library Board of Trustees has named Ellen Peters the new Executive Director of Loutit District Library. Wishing you all the best in your new role Ellen! 
Congratulations to Les Rout who has been appointed Branch Librarian at the Beecher-Vera B. Rison Library, Genesee District Library. All the best in your new role Les!
Congratulations to Shannon White who will be retiring from the Library of Michigan in February. Thank you for your many years of service Shannon!
In Memoriam
Remembering Tim Watters, who worked for the Library of Michigan for nearly 24 years. He was widely respected by his peers in Michigan, nationally and abroad for his exceptional cataloging skills and contributions to the field. Tim was held in high regard by those he worked with for his many outstanding personal qualities. He will be greatly missed.
In memory of Debbi Schaubman who passed away on Saturday, January 21. Debbi led MCLS’s Shared Library Systems team (including MeLCat, MeL eResources, and RIDES support) from 2010 to 2022. She will be sadly missed.
Advertise on MLA’s Job Board
Members receive deep discounts on job postings through the MLA Career Center job board. Learn more here.
Central Michigan University Libraries – Mount Pleasant, MI

Loutit District Library – Grand Haven, MI

Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University – Detroit, MI

Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University – Detroit, MI

Charlevoix Public Library – Charlevoix, MI

Siena Heights University – Adrian, MI

Midwest Collaborative for Library Services – MI

View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
2023 MiALA Annual Conference Poster Session Proposal Form

MiALA invites you and your colleagues to submit poster session proposals for the 8th annual conference: "Riding the Waves: Finding Balance in an Age of Uncertainty," to be held May 17-19, 2023. Participation from librarians, library staff, LIS...

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Rates and Registration | 2023 ALA Annual Conference &...

If you'd like to register a group, ALA is offering a Register 5 People and get 1 Free Registration option. To register a group, begin by signing in with the first person you'd like to register, then check the "Add Another" button on the Review...

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Series of Comprehensive History Webinars

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) identifies teaching comprehensive history as an important effort supporting Michigan's Top 10 Strategic Education Plan. An essential part of MDE's efforts to improve comprehensive history instruction is...

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Shakespeare in American Communities

Shakespeare in American Communities provides grants of up to $25,000 that connect young people across the country to Shakespeare's plays. Grants support performances and workshops in schools and in the justice system. Photo by:...

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Bridging Michigan Grants | Michigan Humanities

Bridging Michigan grants provide Michigan nonprofits with up to $2,500 in support of public humanities programming that sparks in-depth thinking and conversation around persistent challenges affecting our communities. We welcome projects that aim ...

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Michigan Arts and Culture Council Grants

The Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC) coordinates grants to arts and culture organizations, cities and municipalities, and other nonprofit organizations ensuring that every citizen and community in Michigan enjoys the civic, economic and...

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FINRA Foundation Library Grants Program

Application deadline: March 1, 2023 Purpose: This grant program supports public libraries and academic libraries in their efforts to meet financial and/or investor education needs at the community level by providing high-quality education,...

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Science Kit for Public Libraries (SKPL)

Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) program that raises funds for public libraries to make science kits as easy to check out as a book! With access to a public library and a...

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Libraries Transform Communities: Engagement Grant
Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme. For the 2022-2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on connection and reconnection with your community. Applications are due February 1, 2023.
Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities
Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities will offer more than $7 million in grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities. To be eligible, a library must have a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and be located at least five miles from an urbanized area, in keeping with Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) definitions of small and rural libraries. Applications are due February 28, 2023.
Peggy Barber Tribute Grant
The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant is an annual grant of the American Library Association (ALA) that recognizes, promotes, and supports meaningful programs in libraries that have limited and/or no access to budgetary support for programming. The grant, named after the late library leader Peggy Barber, aims to help ease library budget challenges by awarding three libraries $2,500 to support a proposed program, program series, or programming effort. Applications are due February 1, 2023.
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.
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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.