MLA News | Michigan Library Association
News - MLA
Friday, March 18, 2022 12:00 AM

Movement on the MLA Board        

On Friday, March 18, the MLA Board of Directors appointed Lisa Waskin to serve in the seat vacated by Jasmine Parker, who is leaving the state for a new role. Lisa will serve as a Member-at-Large on the MLA Board through June 30, 2023.

After working as a Director at three different libraries in the Chicago area, Lisa is now the Director of the Superior District Library in Sault Ste. Marie – with nine branches in the Upper Peninsula. She studied history and archaeology at the University of North Dakota and then went on to obtain a Master’s in Library and Information Science Degree from Dominican University.

MLA Connect Archives
Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:00 AM

MLA Connect Advocacy Hour: Intellectual Freedom: When the Challenges Are Truly Political

When a book or materials challenge is made by people with legitimate interests in the outcome, however difficult it is to discuss, there will be an outcome in line with the First Amendment and your library's values. However, there is an entirely different class of book bans that are political, politicized, and performative which must be understood in order to be properly engaged. 

For public libraries, these challenges are used to attack the library's funding, its staff, or even its existence. In school libraries, these performative and politicized challenges seem to attack or negate the students the books represent. In order to face these unusual types of challenges, library leaders in both public and school settings need to see that these challenges are more expansive than previous intellectual freedom fights - and need to be prepared to engage them on multiple fronts at once. 
Join MLA and MAME for a discussion with EveryLibrary Executive Director John Chrastka about ways to anticipate and answer highly politicized challenges with integrity to your mission and compassion for the community or students your library serves. 
View Coffee Hour Recording
News - MLA
Friday, March 11, 2022 12:00 AM

MLA 2022 Youth Literary Awards Top Ten Titles Lists Announced

We are excited to announce the top titles of the 2022 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! Awards! Top Ten Title flyers, awards seals and award banners are available and free to use! Please use these resources at your library to help us promote MLA Youth Literary Awards and the amazing job our workgroups do in selecting the very best books for youth! Read on for details.

MLA Youth Literary Award workgroups worked throughout the past year, spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and discussing hundreds of books to determine the top titles for youth published in 2021.

View the Top Ten Titles of the 2022 MItten, Youper and Thumbs Up! Awards below! The winners and honor books will be announced at the new MLA Youth Literary Awards event: Save the date for Friday, May 27 at 10:00 AM and plan to join us live on Zoom or watch for the announcement from MLA on our social media and website!

News - MLA
Written by Deborah E. Mikula, MLA Executive Director   

Letter From Debbie

February 24, 2022

MLA has been a strong advocate for libraries throughout our 130-year history. Just in the past 2 years, we have increased library funding, taken a stand on library privacy, property taxes, intellectual freedom, open meetings, and so much more. 

This week, I had the great opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes work of the American Library Association (ALA) and have had great conversations with other advocates from around the country and here in our state. I have been reminded many times over how strong our argument is for the value and importance of our libraries throughout our nation and in our world. We can’t ignore the evidence that strong libraries make strong communities. 

News - MLA
Thursday, February 24, 2022 12:00 AM

Call for Ambassadors 2022-2023

The Call for Ambassador online signup for 2022-2023 workgroups and committees is now open!! Applications are accepted through April 29, 2022. If you're interested in growing personally or professionally, we have a place for you! Review available volunteer positions and sign up on the web at

The Call for Ambassadors is now open for members interested in serving on MLA workgroups and committees. We invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to make a difference in the Michigan library community, develop your leadership skills, grow your professional network, and represent MLA!

All MLA members are eligible to volunteer for workgroups and committees. Nonmembers interested in volunteering are welcome to join MLA by filling out the online membership application or by contacting us at (517) 394-2774 or [email protected].

Check out available opportunities to get involved on the web and complete the online ambassador application by Friday, April 29, 2022.

News - Advocacy
Wednesday, February 09, 2022 01:12 PM

Governor Whitmer's Fiscal Year 2023 Proposed Budget

Today, Governor Whitmer introduced her FY23 proposed budget with a $74.1 billion spending plan, the largest in state history. The Governor’s priorities for FY23 are laid out specifically on page 3 of the budget presentation document and the Budget Stabilization Fund – “Rainy Day Fund” has increased by $51.8 million bringing the total fund to $1.5 billion.

Even with increases in revenue, the Governor’s General Fund budget, which totals $14.3 billion, remains flat for Library State Aid at $15,067,700 but also continues to include $800,000 for a Library Pilot project for school and public library collaboration. (See pages 79 and 80 in the FY23 General Omnibus Budget). Other line items for the Library of Michigan take into account slight salary and program increases from FY22 for MeL and other library operations. 

News - MLA
Thursday, February 03, 2022 10:58 AM

MDHHS Library Over the Counter COVID-19 Testing Program

Over the past few months, many libraries in Michigan have stated their interest in distributing COVID-19 test kits to Michigan citizens if tests were available.  

In mid-January, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) began a small pilot project with libraries in select counties to offer free, over-the-counter test kits. Initially, 18 library buildings were selected by MDHHS based on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). 

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