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Fall Institute: People First 
Featured Speaker

Opening Keynote With Heather Wood-Gramza: Effective Change Making at Every Level

Heather Wood-Gramza headshot

Unleash your individual power to become a positive change agent in your organization and community. Heather Wood-Gramza will share practical insights and advice on how to dream big, build a team and initiate powerful change regardless of your position within your organization.

Heather Wood-Gramza is passionate about people and building community around stories, common interests and social issues. She believes public libraries are the ultimate vehicle for positive change in communities large and small and is dedicated to exploring innovative ways to unleash that power. Heather earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations at Grand Valley State University in 1994 and her MLIS degree from Wayne State University in 2015. While her professional endeavors did not begin in libraries, Heather is delighted to have the opportunity to serve others in this capacity. She has worked in an elementary school media center as well as public libraries in varied roles such as teen whisperer, early literacy cheerleader, branch manager and most recently as director of the Howard Miller Library and Community Center in Zeeland, Michigan.

When she isn’t randomly dressed up as a T-Rex, changing her hair color or jamming to the Laurie Berkner Band, Heather loves traveling around the state with her BFF Vanessa Walstra to share insights on how to connect library patrons with stories they will love during one of their many material advisory workshops.


Afternoon Author Chat With Mindy McGinnis

Mindy McGinnisJoin award winning author Mindy McGinnis for an afternoon chat about her writing process, moving from her career as a school librarian to an award-winning YA writer, and the importance of writing honest characters and difficult stories. 

Mindy McGinnis is the author of multiple novels that span many genres. From historical to fantasy, contemporary to gothic thriller, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.A ninth-generation farmer, Mindy attributes much of her character to growing up on an Ohio farm, learning the value of physical labor, and the harshness of the natural world early in life. Much of her writing reflects small-town living and aspects of rural poverty. 

A former school librarian, Mindy still lives and works in her hometown, and is dedicated to making herself available to financially disadvantaged school districts and communities. Mindy has done multiple interviews and guest posts over the years, and has been featured on a myriad of podcasts, blogs, and websites including such outlets as NPR and PBS.


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.

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