MLA News | Michigan Library Association

Homeland Security Guidance for Essential Workers

January 28, 2021

On December 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, updated their guidance in version 4 of their document “Ensuring Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Have the Ability to Work Safely”.

As the nation continues to respond to COVID-19, it is important that considerations regarding essential critical infrastructure workers continue to inform response policies and activities. The ability of these workers to perform their jobs safely is critical to our Nation’s ability to maintain the resilience of national critical functions. It is for this reason that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in collaboration with other federal agencies, State and local governments, and the private sector, has issued the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidance for COVID-19 response (first issued in August 2020). This guidance is intended to help State, local, tribal, and territorial officials and organizations protect their workers and communities and ensure the continued safe and secure operation of critical infrastructure, by identifying the universe of essential workers that may require specialized risk management strategies so that they can work safely. It can also be used to begin planning and preparing for the allocation of scarce resources used to protect essential workers against COVID-19.


Letter from Debbie

January 28, 2021

Depicted in ancient stories as a bearded, wise old man, wearing long robes and a timepiece, Father Time left us at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2020. He imparted his wisdom and reinforced his message – time is passing. I know that we all gave a huge sigh of relief that 2020 was finally over (and with a sigh, many of us silently, or loudly, added…"don’t let the door hit you in the rear as you leave.")

At exactly one second past midnight as the new year dawned on January 1, 2021, we marked the change that everyone desperately needed. In the same ancient stories alongside Father Time is Baby New Year, commonly depicted as a baby swaddled in a diaper and looking at what lies ahead with the promise of rebirth; a new beginning; a fresh start; an important, promising turning point.

The MLA staff conversed about the opportunities ahead of us as a new year dawned and as you can see, they were up for some fun in our cover photo to give you their rendition of Baby New Year. Can you guess who is who?

But more seriously…while I think we were all looking forward to a bright and beautiful 2021, it is somewhat interesting to note that in the first 20 days of the year, we experienced one of the most horrific days in our lifetime AND one of our brightest. Within six days of the calendar turning over, we found ourselves reacting to the violent attack on our nation's Capitol. Fourteen days later, we witnessed the inauguration of Joe Biden as our 46th President, and Kamala Harris as the first woman, first Asian American, and first Black American Vice President.


MLA Advocates for Upgraded Vaccine Eligibility for Library Workers

January 25, 2021

We know vaccine eligibility is of great concern to many Michigan library workers. MLA is advocating for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for library workers using a two-pronged approach. We are requesting the prioritization of public and academic library workers as essential service providers in the vaccine rollout program and we are also providing a template for library leadership to use to contact their local health departments.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations place our school and academic library workers in Phase 1b of a vaccine rollout, but public library and archive workers are in Phase 1c. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) guidelines (Michigan COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Prioritization Guidance – January 6, 2021) prioritize vaccine allocation for only K-12 school personnel, including K-12 library workers, in Phase 1b of the rollout.


Library Board Meetings Continue Virtually

January 22, 2021

On January 22, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its epidemic order (,9753,7-406-98178_98455-550215--,00.html) with some modifications allowing additional specific indoor activities. The order takes effect on February 1 and remains in effect until February 21, 2021. All library board meetings must remain virtual. In fact, all public meetings, remain prohibited.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 12:00 AM

MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Northern Michigan Opioid Response Consortium Naloxboxes

Thursday, January 21, 2021
10:00 – 11:00 am

The Northern Michigan Opioid Response Consortium (NMORC) is comprised of 32 member organizations over 18 rural Northern Michigan Counties. One of our goals under preventing deaths from opioid overdoses is related to providing Naloxboxes to community organizations, with the purpose of having naloxone available in areas where overdoses may occur, and public libraries are a priority for this placement. NMORC will discuss reasons for having Naloxboxes and a draft policy for implementing them in your libraries.

View Coffee Hour Recording

Image peering through a bookshelf with ALA logo and MLA logo

Learn More About the American Library Association at ALA Midwinter - You're Invited to Attend ALA Council Sessions and ALA's Member Meeting

Communication from the Michigan Library Association’s ALA Councilor, Jennifer Dean

As MLA's ALA Chapter Councilor, I have the honor of representing MLA members - and, in some ways, the state of MI - on the ALA Council.

With the ALA Midwinter meetings coming up beginning this weekend, I wanted to let you know of a number of sessions that you are invited to attend. If you've ever wanted to know more about the business of ALA and how some decisions are made, you are welcome to sit in on a Council session, or for a part of one - unless the Council is in closed session. Only Councilors may speak at Council sessions unless feedback from others in attendance is specifically solicited. (Council sessions can run pretty long even without additional input...)


Together we can combat the danger of disinformation and strengthen our democracy.

A message from MLA President Jennifer Dean

January 8, 2021

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) condemns the violent attack on our nation’s Capitol. The wanton destruction, looting, and racist and anti-Semitic sentiments our nation was subjected to on January 6, 2021, are antithetical to our core constitutional principles and the ideals of justice and reconciliation to which our nation aspires today. This relentless attempt to thwart the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democracy, beginning with baseless claims of fraud and culminating in the tragic loss of lives, was a conflagration of deliberate disinformation, misuse of authority, and a desire to reassert dominance based on centuries-old systems of white power and privilege.

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