MLA News | Michigan Library Association

2021 MLA Annual Member Meeting Notice

August 26, 2021

Notice is hereby given to MLA members that the Annual Meeting will take place during MLA 2021 Annual Virtual Conference on Thursday, October 14, 2021, from 3:00 to 4:00 PM via Zoom. MLA 2021 Annual Virtual Conference registration is not required to attend the annual meeting and all members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Members will receive an invitation with the Zoom link to attend the meeting in early October. Watch for more information in our September newsletter.

 
Written by Deborah E. Mikula, MLA Executive Director   

Letter From Debbie - A Sneak Peek at THINK SPACE!

August 26, 2021

The world is a complex place, and our workplaces are only getting more complicated and challenging to navigate and manage. Michigan libraries included. For close to 18 months, since the pandemic began, MLA has pivoted, molded, shaped, and continues to spin new ideas based on a new reality. We are planning for our future. We provided rapid answers when they were needed. We incorporated solutions outside of our normal channels. We unleashed an entrepreneurial spirit. And we cultivated a more open, questioning climate. 

We didn’t waste a moment! 

This window of opportunity led us to have more conversations with the leadership of MLA and our library directors. To meet the expressed demand that they shared for higher-level educational content, MLA is excited to add to our professional development plate. Designed by library directors for library directors, it is called THINK SPACE and is an all-inclusive event including sessions, overnights, meals, shuttles, tours, hallways conversations, and the opportunity to build deeper, lasting relationships with other directors and deans of libraries throughout Michigan. 

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State of Michigan Budget Updates

July 22, 2021

With summer recess in full swing, work on the state of Michigan’s general fund budget continues. The Senate also voted to push back the state’s budget deadline for this year to September 1 (from July 1) so we continue to hope for an increase in state aid to libraries. The Governor’s and House version of the budget called for a flat budget for state aid. The Senate version called for a $2M increase. Our hope is that the Senate version will be adopted (of course!) and we will continue to advocate for this increase when legislators return to work.

While we wait for consensus-building on the general fund budget, Governor Whitmer has already signed into law the School Aid budget. In early July, House Bill 4411 marked a historical moment for the state by reaching the goal of eliminating the funding gap between districts at the minimum and maximum foundation allowances, as set forth by Proposal A of 1994. The bill finalizes the fiscal year 2022 School Aid budget, which totals $17.1 billion including $85.4 million from the state’s general fund and provides cost adjustments and supplemental funding for the current 2021 year. 

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Written by Kelly Richards, MLA 2021-2022 President   

President's Update - Letter From Kelly

July 22, 2021

With my first official letter as President of the Michigan Library Association (MLA), I want to thank every library worker for their hard work and perseverance during this pandemic. I don’t believe any of us were prepared or trained to deal with a crisis on such a historical scale. In the midst of the fear, loss of life and uncertainty, we managed to come together and support one another. We held local and state-wide Zoom meetings sharing ideas on how to protect staff and patrons and the best way to provide services.

Jennifer Dean, the out-going President, was awesome in the way she led MLA without the ability to meet in person. It appears we are coming out of this and I hope that I can keep Jennifer’s momentum going. Though she is the immediate past President, we are fortunate that she will remain on the Board.

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MLA Opposes House Bill 4536

June 24, 2021

House Bills 4535 and 4536 were recently introduced by Rep. Ken Borton, R-Gaylord. House Bill 4535 (HB 4535) would prohibit wheeled vehicles from driving on snowmobile trails between December 1 and April 1. House Bill 4536 (HB 4536) would direct the fines from these violations to be deposited into an account for the further maintenance of the snowmobile trails.

On Thursday, June 17, both bills passed out of the Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation on a unanimous vote, despite MLA testimony in opposition.

Penal and civil fines, which are variable across each of our counties, along with state aid to libraries, are the only legislatively directed sources of revenue for libraries. Between 2016 and 2020, in counties in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula where snowmobiling is most prevalent, per capita penal fine rates have dropped by as much as 100% (Arenac, Bay, Kalkaska, Montmorency, Schoolcraft) with a median loss of 26.6%.

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Written by Deborah E. Mikula, MLA Executive Director   

Letter From Debbie

June 24, 2021

Why do some places exude a spirit of community more than other places? Why do some places become focal points and anchors in their community and others do not? Why do we feel such a strong sense of belonging in some places over others?

I have discovered that most of us are drawn to places that are unique and creative, to places that exude a sense of community, to places that are lively and inviting, to places that are diverse and inclusive, to places that promote people’s happiness and well-being. Our libraries are these places. Our libraries are “third spaces” to many, and over the course of the past 15 months, you have been missed. Greatly missed!

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2021-2022 Advocacy and Legislative Priorities Survey Results

June 23, 2021

Thank you to those that provided their input to MLA’s Advocacy and Legislative Priorities Survey for 2021-2022. The Michigan Library Association has made advocacy one of its highest priorities. It has never been more important for librarians, staff members, trustees, and others with a vested interest in their libraries, to convey and address their challenges and successes. Meeting the challenges in 2021-2022 and, more importantly, making real progress for Michigan’s libraries in the long term requires fresh approaches and a proactive agenda. 

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