MLA News | Michigan Library Association

Reminder: Reopening is a Dimmer Switch

June 6, 2020

MLA wants to remind all libraries in Michigan that we are behind you as you gradually bring your services and your facilities back up to speed. We encourage you to over-communicate your reopening plans through your website, your social media sites, through your local radio stations and newspapers, and other communication vehicles that will inform your patrons and others that it will take time once you are back in your buildings to prepare your sites, first to offer limited services (like curbside), and doing everything you can to mitigate the further spread of the coronavirus before you open your doors.


Governor Whitmer Releases Updated Workplace Standards for Retail Including Libraries, Reopens More Regions Under MI Safe Start Plan

June 5, 2020

On June 5, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-114 and 2020-115 to reopen more regions and economic sectors under the MI Safe Start Plan.

Starting on June 10, Regions 6 and 8 — which include much of northern Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula — will advance to Phase 5 of the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan. Phase 5 allows the reopening of salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Thursday, June 04, 2020 12:00 AM

MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Reopening Plans

Grab a cozy mug of your favorite beverage and join MLA Executive Director, Debbie Mikula as she moderates a panel discussion of how libraries across the state are planning their safe reopening. Panelists will discuss how they created their libraries' reopening plans, important phases and milestones included in their plans, and hurdles their libraries are facing. Each panelist will have 10 minutes to review the major components of their plan, followed by discussion.

View Coffee Hour Recording

Necessary Conversations on Institutional Racism

A message from MLA President Kristin Shelley
June 3, 2020

Black Lives Matter

In an October 4, 2013 “Scientific American” article by Julianne Chiaet, she writes that “reading literary fiction improves empathy.” It is evident, now more than ever, that we need empathy. As we grapple with racial inequities and racial conflict in our communities and our country, we need to have difficult discussions with elected officials, with community members, with our neighbors, with our friends, and with our families. However, many of us do not know how to begin these conversations. We do not know or understand what institutional racism is; and we do not know the historical context of the protests that are happening in our communities today. So often it is easier for many of us not to discuss race and the history of Black Americans, but this silence impedes healing and progress. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”


Governor Whitmer Moves Michigan to Stage 4 of MI Safe Start Plan, Libraries Allowed to Open June 8

June 1, 2020

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-110, rescinding her Safer at Home order and moving the entire state to phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan. As a result, Michiganders are no longer required to stay home. Instead, certain businesses will remain closed and specific activities that present a heightened risk of infection will remain prohibited. Any work that is capable of being performed remotely must be performed remotely.

Executive Order 2020-110, Section 10 states: "Unless otherwise prohibited by local regulation, libraries and museums may open as of June 8, 2020, subject to the rules governing retail stores described in Executive Order 2020-97 or any order that may follow from it."

Read EO 2020-110

View EO 2020-97, 6. for rules governing retail stores:,9309,7-387-90499_90705-529864--,00.html?fbclid=IwAR2tcgMBhTDxOf8CoLj7AxcTTZnbc2GZWjbgYR2keNHSF6Tz-RWo9MWVdBs

You can also take a look at the quick update from the legal community here in Foster Swift Legal Update:


Update on Executive Orders and COVID-19 Library Closures

May 28, 2020

The status of Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders continue to happen fast and some days unexpectedly. A special shout out to Clare Membiela from the Library of Michigan for all the work she has done to read them, analyze them and then publish on their website, so all of us can gain insight into what we should take into consideration and many times don’t necessarily need to pay attention to.

Right now, we are watching for any further direction from the Governor’s office on four Executive Orders and also waiting for word about the library advisory work group that has been announced but yet to have been put into play. When we know more, we will share this with the Michigan library community.


Letter from Debbie

May 28, 2020

Anyone else feel exhausted? Fatigued? I took the advice of one of our MLA Connect Coffee Hour speakers about taking care of yourself with a mental and physical break last week. Even when working from home, with nowhere to go due to the pandemic, it was time to slow the world down. I highly recommend it.

While we have been working remotely since March 13, the MLA staff continues to work hard on your behalf. I honestly believe that in MLA’s 129-year history, we have never needed to pay attention and synthesize so much information coming at us from so many sources, so quickly. The staff cancelled programming plans, made new plans, and are now updating plans to keep our advocacy, communications, education and engagement strong.

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