MLA News | Michigan Library Association

Executive Orders: Updates

October 2, 2020

MLA continues to follow the Governor's Executive Orders to monitor their impact on libraries. Here is the status and a short recap of Executive Orders of note to libraries as of October 2, 2020.


Federal Advocacy by ALA – HEROES II Proposal

September 30, 2020

There’s nothing like waiting until the last minute…Congress is expected to take action to avoid a government shutdown tonight at midnight on September 30, 2020. The Senate is scheduled to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR), which will keep the government funded at the current FY20 levels until December 11. The House cleared the bill last week, and the President is expected to sign it later today. This will put the FY21 appropriations discussion after the election in November when Congress returns for a lame-duck session. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:00 AM

MLA Connect Webinar: Findings and Resources From the REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
1:00 – 2:00 pm

As libraries across the country begin to resume operations and reopen to the public, the need for clear information to support the handling of core museum, library, and archival materials has become increasingly urgent. Through the REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project, OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle are conducting research on how long the COVID-19 virus survives on materials that are prevalent in libraries, archives, and museums. Join this session to learn more about the testing process and results, how project resources can inform your local decisions, and what you can expect from the project in the months to come.

View Webinar Recording

Membership to Vote Online on Bylaw Updates Before 2020 Annual Meeting

September 24, 2020

The Michigan Library Association Board of Directors is recommending changes to the organization’s bylaws. Due to the global pandemic and a virtual annual meeting for 2020, an online vote will take place between Monday, October 5, and October 29 at 2:00 pm. An announcement of the results of the voting will take place at the MLA Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 29 at 2:45 pm. All members eligible to vote based on the current bylaws (organizational members, unaffiliated library directors, and affiliated/unaffiliated individual members) will receive voting instructions via email. All members are encouraged to read the proposed draft of the MLA Bylaws and note the following changes generally and by section.

General corrections include correcting spelling mistakes and making the wording of titles of officers consistent throughout the document. We have also removed all sections and references concerning voting by Proxy.


Letter from Debbie

September 24, 2020

cartoon stick figure spinning platesLike many of you, my internal calendar resets and my new year begins when September rolls around. Perhaps it is because the summer is winding down and school begins in earnest. Perhaps it is because of the change in the weather. September has always given me the chance to reflect on accomplishments, to step up my game, and to set new parameters to achieve our goals for the upcoming year.  

A few days ago, I was thinking of how much work we have accomplished, and how much we have added to our plates and taken on since the pandemic. I like to work “proactively”, but the pandemic has most of us working “reactively” and I hate to admit how much of our advocacy work is still not settled, still a bit chaotic – we still have many spinning plates in the air (and who, might I ask, lit them on fire?)


Call for Nominations for 2021 Board Elections

September 24, 2020

A selection of different colored cartoon chairs with the text "We've got some seats to fill"

MLA has seats to fill and the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC), chaired by Past President Kristin Shelley, is looking for interested candidates to fill three at-large seats plus a President-Elect position on the MLA Board of Directors, with terms beginning in July 2021 and ending in June 2024.

Each year in September, the call for nominations for the MLA Board opens. This year we invite each and every one of you that are members of MLA to apply – individuals representing any type of library, any staff position within the library (not just directors), any size and budget, and in any geographic region of Michigan.


$1 Million Increase in State Aid for Libraries for FY 21

September 23, 2020

Our voices have been heard!

Our advocacy efforts (yours, mine, and ours) have paid off!

We did it! 

The library community has been rewarded with a $1 million increase to the FY21 State Aid for Libraries.

This kind of increase takes determination, time, and lots of hard work…For the past few years, we asked for an increase. A year ago, we were hopeful that our legislative leaders would add this as a supplemental as the budget “season” dragged on. This year, in the midst of dramatic budget cuts throughout our state – caused by a global pandemic and worsening economic challenges – we were hopeful to remain flat. But that certainly isn’t the case!

As of September 23, Michigan legislators voted to approve the FY21 State Budget with an increase in State Aid to Libraries of $1 million GF/GP for a total of $13,067,700. Other line items for the Library of Michigan – 33 FTE - $4.9M, Michigan eLibrary - $1.7M (the MeL GF was cut by about $32,000), and Library Services and Technology Programs - $5.6M have remained somewhat similar to past year’s budgets with general increases to staff salaries, Governor Whitmer is expected to sign this budget into law in the coming days and it will become effective on October 1, 2020. The Governor's office issued a press release yesterday evening stating: "The Michigan Legislature and the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have worked together to put the Fiscal Year 2021 budget in place that will soon become law. It is a budget that funds shared priorities such as education, economic development, public health, public safety, and the environment."

View the FY2020-2021 General Omnibus Budget. The Library of Michigan budget appropriations can be found on page 104-105.

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