MLA News | Michigan Library Association

Executive Orders: Updates as of September 30

September 30, 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 September 30, 2020.


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.

Our goal this year is to cultivate new board members who can expand the board’s collective cultural awareness. We are looking for candidates with a variety of professional expertise, cultural backgrounds, spectrum of life experiences, and geographic reach, who can help MLA respond to future needs within the library field. 

As we expand our search beyond the customary networks (yes – that includes those of you who have never, ever considered this experience), we want to make sure that you know how dedicated we are in engaging new board members to share their perspectives and opinions – opening the door to different ideas and conversations. Our recruitment process, between September 25 and November 2 when nominations close, will be thoughtful, strategic, and respectful as we begin to look for ways to become a more diverse organization.

Self-nominations are definitely accepted. Throw your hat in the ring, we’d love to hear from each and every one of you.

The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2020. To submit a nomination, complete the nomination form online. For any questions please contact Debbie Mikula, Executive Director at [email protected]

More information about qualifications and criteria is linked here.

Submit a Nomination

$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.


ALA 2020 Councilor Report Available Online

Jennifer Dean

Jennifer L. Dean
ALA Councilor
Dean of University Libraries,
University of Detroit Mercy Libraries

We are very lucky to have such wonderful representation at the national level by our ALA Councilor, Jennifer Dean. For the past two years, she has represented MLA’s interests. Part of her responsibility is to connect Michigan to the national agenda and to represent us at the ALA Midwinter and Annual Conventions. Due to the unusual circumstances surrounding us with the global pandemic, Jennifer has been attending these events virtually and has done an outstanding job writing up her findings and reporting back out to the field. Here is her most recent report:

ALA 2020 - Midwinter Meeting and Virtual Conference MI Chapter Councilors Report (pdf)



SB611 Library Privacy Act Passes in the Senate, Heads to House

September 22, 2020

For the past year, the Michigan Library Association (MLA) and our members have worked diligently with Senator Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford) to make sure that any changes to the Michigan Library Privacy Act (1982 PA 455) continue to protect the rights of Michigan citizens.

After an extensive pause in moving bills through the legislative process due to the coronavirus, a few weeks ago, SB611 (S-2) was moved from the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee to the full Senate. With a slight amendment recommended by the MLA Board and approved by Senator MacGregor, on Tuesday, Sept. 22, SB611 (S-2) was heard on the Senate floor and was passed with a unanimous vote of approval. We are proud to say that it will now move onto the Michigan House of Representatives for their consideration (we think after the election) and then onto Governor Whitmer for her final signature (hopefully before the end of the year.)

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