Library Soup

library_soupLibrary SOUP is back by popular demand after a successful event at last year’s MLA Conference. Library SOUP is based on the concept of Detroit SOUP, which is a community based crowdfunding event (usually held at dinner time with a soup entree) that empowers local residents to financially support neighborhood based projects. This micro grant funding project allows attendees of SOUP events to democratically vote on the project winners and give back to their community.  

Library SOUP was created to help:

    Empower the library community to pursue bold projects

    Connect the needs of the community through innovative ideas

    Promote a creative/entrepreneurial spirit in the library community

What is Library SOUP?

Library SOUP is a fundraising event that will help secure money for innovative projects your library would otherwise not be able to pursue.  Think of it as a go-fund-me project where your peers will vote for the winning project idea.  

Library SOUP will be held during the MLA 2017 Annual Conference on Thursday, October 19, 2017 from 2:15 – 3:15p.m.  Attendees will pay only $10.00 to attend this event.  Half the admission fee will go to support the MLA Scholarship fund and the remaining half will go to the winning project of Library SOUP.  

Library community members are urged to submit innovative project ideas for Library SOUP.  These projects should EMPOWER your library or library staff to pursue bold, new or needed services or ideas.  Library SOUP projects should CONNECT these ideas or services in some way to their library community’s immediate needs.  Finally these projects should PROMOTE creativity and spur innovation.  

Submitted Library SOUP project submissions will be initially judged by the MLA 2017 planning committee.  All submitted projects will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Presentation:  Proposal shall have a concise and memorable description, along with clear goals and objectives.
  • Practicality:  Can objectives be achieved with given budget and resources?
  • Risk: Is your project innovative and new?
  • Creativity:  Does proposal address a problem or goal in a unique and exciting way?
  • Engagement: Does proposal actively engage with the library’s user base/community?

Library SOUP submissions will be narrowed down to the top 5 projects.  These 5 projects will be promoted in the MLA 2017 conference literature leading up to the event.  The top 5 projects will present their ideas to the conference attendees where a live vote will determine the winner.  

Dates of Interest:

May 15:    Call for Library SOUP proposals open

July 31:    Library SOUP submissions due

Oct 19:        Library SOUP presentations, live vote, winning project awarded prize


  1. Your library must be a current member of MLA.
  2. Your Library SOUP project must in some way give back to your library community.
  3. Your Library SOUP project must have a timeline of completion by MLA 2017.

If you are chosen into the Top 5:

  1. You must attend the Library SOUP event on October 19, 2017 from 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
  2. You and any presenters must pay to attend the event ($10.00 each).
  3. You must be prepared to give a 7 minute presentation on your project.

If you are the voted winner:

  1. You must be present to win.
  2. Library SOUP event attendees will vote onsite the winner.
  3. If there is a tie, the winners will split the award evenly.
  4. Winning project must present their project as a poster or session at MLA 2018.

Questions?  Contact MLA at or 517-394-2774

Want to attend Library Soup?

If you are attending MLA 2017 Annual Conference, sign up during the registration process, select the desired pass( Full, one day, two day) and make sure to select the Library SOUP event under Events for Thursday, October 19.


If you are not attending Annual Conference, but would like to attend Library SOUP, select the registration pass: (AC2017 Library SOUP ONLY (Not Registering for the Conference) located at the bottom of the screen and select the Library SOUP event.


Interested in submitting a Library SOUP project proposal?  Fill out the following form:

Additional Names and email addresses of those involved in this project:

Spell Check

Limit to 300 words. If your project is picked, this description will be used in printed promotional materials.

Spell Check
Spell Check
Spell Check
Spell Check
Spell Check
Spell Check