MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
September 23, 2022
Note From Debbie
There is work ahead of us. When dealing with censorship, we must put in the time, energy and resources to address the growing challenges in our state. You can expect the vocal minority to show up at a library or school near you if they haven’t already.
This past week, we were heartened to read results from a national public opinion poll conducted by the nonpartisan research firm Embold Research on behalf of EveryLibrary showing that 75% of Americans oppose book banning and are willing to consider book banning when going to the polls this November. Just 8% of voters believe “there are many books that are inappropriate and should be banned.” These statistics indicate that the actions of a small, vocal minority are giving the impression that our schools and libraries are full of offensive materials, which is simply not the case.

We know that all politics are local. From our perspective, we have found that the greatest need in addressing local politics is for those in your own local community to step up and speak out. We need you to put in your time and energy, as citizens of your community, to help bring people together to form local coalitions to address local challenges as they are each unique and different from your neighboring communities. 
The only word that is really important right now isn’t about that we “may” do something, this isn’t about we “can” do something, this is about “MUST.” We MUST do something. READ MORE
Call for Nominations for 2023 MLA Board Election Now Open
The Call for Nominations for candidates for the 2023 Board of Directors opens today, Friday, September 23. 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. The Call for Nominations will close on Monday, November 7.
Each year in September, the Call for Nominations for the MLA Board opens. This year we invite individuals representing public, school, or academic libraries, any staff position within the library (not just directors), any size and budget, and from any geographic region of Michigan, to step up.

The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC) is seeking nominations/self-nominations for four member-at-large directors and the President-elect position, with terms beginning in July 2023 and ending in June 2026. The Call for Nominations will be open through Monday, November 7.

Our goal is to continue cultivating new board members who can expand the board’s collective wisdom with a variety of professional expertise, cultural backgrounds, life experiences, and geographic reach, and 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 to engaging new board members to share their perspectives and opinions – opening the door to different ideas and conversations.

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 PM on Monday, November 7, 2022. Submit a nomination by clicking the link belowFor any questions please contact Debbie Mikula, Executive Director at

More information about qualifications and criteria is linked below:
October is Michigan Library Appreciation Month
Get ready to celebrate Michigan Library Appreciation Month! This October we are celebrating Michigan libraries and library staff and highlighting all the many ways libraries serve their communities.

All summer, we have been promoting the new technology and content available to Michigan libraries through the MI-83 Project ARPA Grants. The campaign for the MI-83 Project will conclude at the end of September, but this October and beyond we are continuing the celebration of how MI Library is NOW...better than ever.

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.

Join us in participating in Michigan Library Appreciation Month and help us highlight just how much of an impact our libraries have made in the lives of Michiganders and how libraries now provide more than ever before.

We will offer several ways libraries, library staff and patrons can get involved. This month we ask that you submit the Michigan Library Appreciation Month proclamation to your local elected officials to give them time to proclaim their support! Issuing a proclamation can sometimes take a month or more but it's simple to do. Identify a council member, mayor, superintendent, dean, or supervisor to sponsor the proclamation and have them present it at a commission meeting or important leadership function. 

Watch for social media ideas, newsletter copy, graphics and more resources and easy ways to participate next month and plan to join the celebration to highlight Michigan libraries, librarians, and library workers all October long!
Aye! Senate Resolution 163 is Adopted.
Resolved by the Senate, that members of this legislative body designate October 2022 as Michigan Library Appreciation Month. During this time, we encourage all residents to visit their library in person or virtually to explore and discover its wide variety of services, resources, and collections. Senate Resolution 163
Professional Development Survey
Please consider taking a few moments out of your busy day to help us determine key needs for the continual professional development of Michigan library workers. Responses are needed by Friday, September 30:
We want to hear from you! MLA's mission is to lead the advancement of all Michigan libraries through advocacy, education, and engagement. With all the changes facing our world lately, staying informed and prepared is even more critical to professional success. We want to hear from you before MLA Ambassadors and staff begin planning the 2023 calendar of webinars and professional development opportunities. What programs do you want to see MLA host? How can we support you educationally? 

Your input is invaluable! Please complete the survey by Friday, September 30. 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 can help shape MLA's work for the coming year and beyond.
MLA Strategic Plan
Since 2019, the MLA Board of Directors has spent time and energy developing a strategic direction for MLA. The well-developed and executed plan has clarified and guided MLA in how best to utilize our time and resources in advancing the library community and meeting the future needs of all key stakeholders. 

The adopted plan is a “rolling plan” and each year MLA is dedicated to revisiting it, talking through our challenges and successes to remain relevant as we address the needs of the field. A small group of key stakeholders was gathered in 2022 – Eva Davis, Scott Duimstra, Dillon Geshel, Michele Howard, Jenny Marr, Maria McCarville, Debbie Mikula, Kristin Shelley, Sophia Ward-Brewer, and Ryan Wieber to review and update the strategic direction for the next three years. We can’t thank them enough for the wisdom and thoughtful discourse that they shared on MLA’s future.
Major highlights for 2022-2024 and increased focus will be given to Intellectual freedom as a core value of the library profession and a basic right in our democratic society. We must protect Michiganders’ right to read, oppose attempts to ban books from Michigan libraries, educate the public about the right to read, oppose any legislation that infringes upon First Amendment rights and ensure that librarians across Michigan will be entrusted to continue to do their jobs and serve the needs of ALL individuals and communities.  As an organization that values those that are shaping the field for the future, we will be investing our time and resources to expand this work throughout each of our goal areas: advocacy, knowledge and community. View the MLA Strategic Plan 2022-2023 (pdf).
MLA Awarded $40,000 Services to the Field Grant from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council
We are very proud to announce that MLA has been awarded $40,000 for a Services to the Field Grant through the Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC).
On September 16th, MACC announced FY23 operational, programmatic and special grant awardees. Funds totaling over $12.7 million were awarded. View grant recipients by program or county:
Since 1966, the Michigan Arts and Culture Council has recognized the value and importance of 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 part of the mix! Congratulations to all of the grant recipients!
Happy Library Card Signup Month!
MLA Welcomes Social Media Strategist Interns
MLA is adding more talent to our team! We are proud to announce that Trinity Jones, a senior at Eastern Michigan University and Hannah O'Malley, a senior at Michigan State University will be joining us for three months as our social media strategist interns to promote both MLA and Michigan’s awesome libraries and library workers. At MLA, they will work on social media projects like content development, photos, graphics, analytics and engagement. We are excited to welcome our new team members to MLA and continue to expand our communication efforts on our social media channels.
Social Media Strategist Intern
Fall Semester 2022
Social Media Strategist Intern
Fall Semester 2022
Jessica Keyser Appointed to MLA Board (Again)
At the MLA Board of Directors September meeting, the Board voted to appoint Jessica Keyser to the seat vacated by Tim Gleisner, who stepped down to take a position in Texas. Jessica will fulfill the remainder of the term which ends June 30, 2023.

Jessica is the Director at Grosse Pointe Public Library and Past Chair of MLA's Advocacy and Legislative Committee. In 2021-2022 she stepped up to serve a 6-month appointment on the MLA Board. When we said goodbye in June 2022, none of us realized how quickly she would be re-appointed. But we are so happy to have her back helping direct and focus our work for the future. Congratulations Jessica and welcome back!
Annual Member Meeting Notice
Notice is hereby given to MLA members that the Annual Meeting will take place during MLA 2022 Annual Conference at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron on Thursday, October 20, 2022, from 4:00 5:00 PM. MLA 2022 Annual Conference registration is not required to attend the annual meeting and all members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Check out MLA's Bill Tracker to view a full list of legislation that the Advocacy and Legislative Committee is watching.
State of Michigan Budget Updates
On October 1, the FY23 State of Michigan budget will begin and libraries have much to be thankful for. 

As we reported in July, 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.

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.

It should be noted that upwards of $7 billion more in federal COVID relief money still remains to be distributed and will be included in supplemental budgets to be approved after the election. MLA is beginning to advocate for additional infrastructure dollars for our library facilities and we will keep you informed about any potential movement.

Advocacy happens year-round! Your messages to our legislators over the years have resonated and we are thankful every time you contact your legislators by picking up the phone, writing a note, sharing an email, inviting them to read a story, hold their coffee hours at your library, and/or responding to an MLA call to action. Your membership in MLA helps make this happen!

Take time today to thank your Senator, your House Member, and the Governor. You can find your legislator's contact information using the button below.
MDHHS Library OTC COVID-19 Test Program "Chat"
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) invites libraries participating in the Library OTC COVID-19 Test Distribution Program, and others who may be interested in joining the program, to a “program chat” on Friday, September 30 from 11:00-12:00. The MDHHS Testing Team will be providing a brief overview and recent updates to the program before welcoming feedback and discussion from program participants, as well as answering any questions you might have. This is also an opportunity for libraries who may be interested in the program to gain insight into how it works, and the experiences of libraries currently participating.

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device.
Meeting ID: 229 419 660 517 
Passcode: 9kjfHn
How Can You Help Protect the Right to Read in Michigan?
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.
Below are a few things you can do to take action for the right to read and support all Michiganders' First Amendment rights.

Visit today to join the coalition. View resources to assist libraries with first amendment challenges at
Share Your Views, Values, Voice and VOTE!
You have the ability to make a difference at the polls. There’s too much at stake to take anything, or any person, or any vote for granted. We implore you to put in the work and research, research, research. We need everyone to not only know where the individuals who are running for the top seats in government stand, we need to also know where our county commissioners, city council members, school board members and most importantly, where our library board members stand.

We developed a graphic template that helps support our pro-library position and ask you to share it on social media and begin to take action. It is easy to remember Views…Values…Voice…VOTE!
Views and Values. Get to know your candidates, learn about their views and values about libraries, know what they stand for – especially if they support First Amendment rights and will stand up to censorship challenges. What should you pay attention to when evaluating candidates? Ask yourself: Do they understand the role? Can they clearly articulate their goals? And do they share your values? Find out who is on your ballot.

Voice. Use your voice and be vocal. Share your opinion on social media, in op-eds and by standing up and speaking articulately, and with conviction, at school and library board meetings in support of your library. Call out Mis- Dis- and Mal-information when you see it. Make sure that your own views and values are shared and that you encourage others to vote as well.

Vote. It is your right and your obligation to vote. YOUR VOTE MATTERS! You all know what to do here – vote for candidates that prioritize and support the right to read, who will stand strong to support our libraries with diverse, inclusive collections, and will stand up to censorship challenges. Our libraries deserve your attention to this - not just now but in every election! Not registered? Register to vote today.
Give a Presentation
Local organizations are the backbone of your community! When building your coalition to protect library access and the freedom to read, consider reaching out to service organizations such as Kiwanis or Rotary, your chapter of advocacy groups like the League of Women Voters or local philanthropic groups. Ask to present at a meeting and share the facts about libraries and intellectual freedom.
To get you started, MLA’s Intellectual Freedom Taskforce has put together a set of presentation slides covering the basics of library governance, the collection development process, what censorship looks like and the importance of free access to information in libraries. Click here to view the presentation. Additional resources can be found in our Intellectual Freedom Toolkit, and make sure you’ve joined the growing coalition at MI Right to Read!
Post on Social Media
Download social media graphics and check out suggested social media copy in our Intellectual Freedom Toolkit message center. Tag us @MIRightToRead!
MLA 2022-23 Advocacy Action Plan
The MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee, chaired by Dale Parus, finalized the 2022-2023 Action Plan. The plan outlines the top legislative priorities on both a State and Federal level as well as an advocacy plan to promote the value of libraries and librarians to both legislators and the general public.

View the MLA 2022-2023 Advocacy Action Plan at
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, for MLA 2022 Annual Conference: Bridging the Divide.
MLA 2022 Annual Conference has the education you need with sessions on topics ranging from intellectual freedom, advocacy and policy, to management, collection development, community outreach, programming, and more.

Join us this October 19-21 and learn about innovative services and programs from libraries throughout Michigan, explore different areas of librarianship, grow your professional network, stay up-to-date on library trends, get involved in the Michigan library community, and be inspired to keep Bridging the Divide.

Standard Rates expire on October 5. Check out the schedule at a glancefeatured speaker lineupbreakout sessions, and special events, then review registration options and register today at
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 

2021 Water Street
Port Huron, MI 48060
(810) 662-3400
Keynote Speakers
Library Continuing Education Program
Continuing education stipends are also available through the Library of Michigan Library Continuing Education Program. Michigan public, academic and school library staff are eligible to apply for funds to attend MLA 2022 Annual Conference.

View complete program details, eligibility and criteria, and apply:
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.
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).
Think Space: Holding True to Our Values and Staying Strong
Think Space is an all-inclusive educational and networking experience including four full days of learning, two overnight hotel stays, meals, fun special events, and the opportunity to build deeper, lasting relationships with other directors and deans of libraries throughout Michigan. Join your colleagues for time to THINK deeply in a safe SPACEAttendance is limited so reserve your seat today!
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.
Now Available to View On-Demand:
Intellectual Freedom: Library Law, the Constitution and Compliance
Library policies and procedures are important tools when protecting your community’s right to intellectual freedom. The unique legal position of libraries requires careful consideration when developing policies. Learn about must-have policies, common mistakes, and how your policies can help you respond to book challenges and other pressures in your community. Topics will include First Amendment issues, patron privacy, and a new twist on censorship challenges - Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliance.
September Advocacy Hour: Legislative 2022-2023 Action Plan
Learn more about MLA's advocacy priorities for the coming year. Join MLA's Advocacy and Legislative Committee led by Chair Dale Parus, as we share the results of the 2022-2023 Advocacy Survey and present the 2022-2023 Legislative Action Plan.
November Advocacy Hour: The Michigan High Speed Internet Office 
Thursday, November 17, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In 2022, Eric Frederick was chosen to lead the Michigan High-Speed Internet (MIHI) office as its first Chief Connectivity Officer. Governor Whitmer created the office in 2021 to help lead the development of the necessary infrastructure and investments to bring quality and affordable broadband access to all Michiganders. This digital divide includes hundreds of thousands of households that have not been reached by high-speed internet infrastructure, as well as an estimated 865,000 households that are disconnected due to the cost of subscribing to service or purchasing an appropriate device, a lack of digital skills, or other related barriers. Gaps in high-speed internet availability, affordability, adoption and use also disproportionately impact communities of color, those in rural areas and low-income households.

At this Advocacy Hour, Mr. Frederick will discuss the work the office is doing, updates to the Michigan Broadband Roadmap, the incoming investments including the ROBIN grant program to provide access to underserved communities, and how libraries can help fulfill these goals. 

Advocacy Hour conversations are always free to attend but registration is required.
Eric Frederick comes from Connected Nation Michigan, where over the last 10 years, he served as Vice President of Broadband Planning and Executive Director, assisting the State with numerous broadband-related projects. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in planning from Northern Michigan University and his Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University. 
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 30, 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
Congratulations are in order for Stephanie Swenski who has been appointed as the new Director of the West Iron District Library. Wishing you the best in your new role. 
Brown City Public Library has a new Director. Congratulations to Ruth Kulman who will join the team at BCPL. Wishing you great success! 
Wishing much success to Amanda Hanson, the new Director at the Howard Miller Public Library. Congratulations on your new role!
Kent District Library is pleased to announce Lulu Brown's promotion to the Regional Manager I position at the Cascade Twp. and Caledonia Twp. Branches. Congratulations and all the best Lulu!
Kudos and Congratulations
Congratulations to the creativity, innovation, and tireless work ethic of the Charlotte Public Library, which was named “Business of the Year” by the Chamber of Commerce. Way to go CPL!
In Memoriam  
Remembering Audrey Lewis, A voracious reader, Audrey spent her career as a librarian in Michigan, starting as a Children's librarian in Detroit and then working in several Saginaw County libraries. She was the Head of Reference for White Pine Library Cooperative for several years and 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.
Flint Public Library – Flint, MI

Flint Public Library – Flint, MI

Pontiac Public Library – Pontiac, MI

View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
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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I Love My Librarian Award

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's work focuses on the issues that Carnegie...

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Library Card Sign-up Month
Check out Library Card Sign-up Month graphics along with media tools such as a press release template, proclamation, and sample social media posts. Follow I Love Libraries on Facebook and Twitter and the hashtag #LibraryCardSignUpMonth to join the celebration on social media.
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.
2022-2023 Out-of-School Time (OST) Grants
The Michigan Department of Education is pleased to announce the availability of $24.5 million in funds for a grant to provide in-person before-school, after-school, before-and-after-school, or during the summer programming to children in any grades K to 12. This grant opportunity will be awarded through a competitive application process under Michigan Public Act (P.A.) 144 of 2022, Section 32n. OST programs must provide educational programming in core subject areas, including, but not limited to, mathematics, reading, and science.
MAC 2022 Fall Leadership Summit: Working Smarter, Not...

Join the Michigan Afterschool Collaborative (MAC) Fall 2022 Leadership Summit: Working Smarter, Not Harder designed for staff to encourage leading with empathy within your OST programs. We will bring back why you do what you do in out-of-school...

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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.
Contact Us
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.