News - MLA
Thursday, May 09, 2019 12:00 AM

Michigan Library Association Announces New Executive Director

May 9, 2019                                                                     
Romy Fitschen, (517) 394-2774 ext. 226     

LANSING – The Michigan Library Association (MLA) Board of Directors is happy to announce the appointment of Deborah E. Mikula (Debbie) as the association’s new Executive Director. She will assume the role beginning June 24. Mikula succeeds Gail Madziar who retired from the association on May 3.

Deborah E. Mikula headshot“The MLA Board of Directors is excited to have Debbie lead our organization. She comes to MLA with a great deal of experience as a director of nonprofit organizations and associations. She is a relationship builder and collaborator and has experience developing and implementing strategic plans,” said MLA President Kristin Shelley. “Both relationship building and strategic planning will be valuable skills as she advocates for Michigan libraries and moves MLA into the future. I can’t wait to see where Debbie leads us, and I look forward to working with her.”

Mikula brings extensive experience leading nonprofit organizations and advocating for the value of cultural institutions. She served as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing since 2013. Prior to that, she served for a year as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ArtServe Michigan and for ten years prior as the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies (MACAA). She has also worked nationally as the Executive Director of the League of Historic American Theatres in Washington DC, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of historic theatres.

“This position will provide an excellent way for me to personally touch what I deem to be an essential and critical component to the quality of life in our communities,” said Mikula. “Working in nonprofit arts and cultural organizations for my entire career, I am eager to affect and share my knowledge with another group of dedicated professionals. But more important, I am ready to stand up to strongly and passionately advocate the value of our public, academic and school libraries across Michigan.”

Mikula has a bachelor's degree in Theatre from Michigan State University and a Graduate Certificate in Arts Management from The American University in Washington DC. She also serves as an adjunct instructor at Michigan State University teaching Arts and Cultural Management and serves at the pleasure of Governor Witmer as one of 15 members of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is Michigan's oldest and largest library association. Guided by the belief that free access to information is the cornerstone of a free society, MLA has advocated for libraries on behalf of the state's residents for more than 125 years. MLA's membership is comprised of more than 1,500 individual and organizational members from public, academic, school and special libraries. MLA defends the right to read, advocates for adequate library funding, clarifies library governance issues, promotes librarian education and works for free access to information for all residents. For more information visit


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