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Spring Institute: People First

Education Sessions

Thursday, March 19, 2020

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Friday, March 20, 2020

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Thursday | 11:30 – 12:30 p.m.

Beyond the Desk: Information Literacy in School Outreach

Go beyond the desk with resources and practical applications for Information Literacy instruction from MeL, which will support your school outreach. Learn time-saving tips & tricks to take your youth programs & information services to a new level with eResources content such as forth-coming title lists, go-to information in personalized account folders, practice tests, & more. You will leave knowing how to recognize, locate, evaluate, and use information, and will walk away with a plan and the tools to tackle Information Literacy, putting your community first.  


  • Empower Youth Library Staff to use MeL eResources and eJournals when engaging with the public and schools; becoming familiar with accessibility features such as language, vision, and reading levels.
  • Raise awareness, understanding public libraries’ role, and discovering tools to support Information Literacy in your communities. 
  • Attendees will leave with program and outreach ideas based on Information Literacy and the tools and resources to put the youth in their communities first.


Liz Breed
Library of Michigan

Cathy Lancaster
Library of Michigan

Theresa Runyan
Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS)

Reflecting and Empowering Families Through Library Collections and Spaces

As communities become more diverse, libraries are diversifying collections so youth see themselves and understand others. How do we know we are accurately reflecting our community? What else can we do to build equity and empower families? Youth staff will share how we set up a collection diversity audit and create inclusive library spaces and activities.


  • Demonstrate how to set up and begin a collection diversity audit.
  • Share tips about assessing community demographics and need with data and through connections with people and community partners.
  • To provide ideas youth librarians can use to develop inclusive, empowering collections, spaces, and activities.


Jodi Krahnke HeadshotJodi Krahnke
Ypsilanti District Library


Liz Pitcher HeadshotLiz Pitcher
Ypsilanti District Library


Kristen Hamilton headshot

Kristen Hamilton
Ypsilanti District Library


Dynamic Displays: Spice Up Your Space

Are you looking for ways to highlight your collection, invite participation, promote programs, improve readers' advisory, and capture interest in the library?  Join us to learn about a variety of creative displays that are inclusive, eye-catching, and adaptable to different spaces.  Head back to your library with a list of new ideas and tips for keeping up a rotation of fresh displays.


  • Gain a list of display ideas that they can implement in their library.
  • Learn at least three general tips for creating and maintaining displays.
  • Learn how to ensure their displays are inclusive.


Marissa Boisclair
Delta Township District Library

Becky LeBoeuf
Delta Township District Library

Thursday | 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Mamas Matter - Maternal Wellness in the Library

Maternal Wellness in the Library, “the What, How, and Why?” One recent study found that 1 in 7 women may experience PPD in the year after giving birth. With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 postpartum depression diagnoses, and at least 70% of mothers experience the "baby blues". In this session attendees will learn how to implement a baby and mama support group in their libraries, connect with community health organizations, and facilitate circle practices to provide a sacred space for women as they navigate the uncertainties of motherhood.


  • Give data on maternal wellness needs in the state of Michigan and beyond.
  • Provide insight on forming meaningful partnerships with local organizations that can benefit mothers and their families.
  • Teach attendees how to implement a mama support group in the library.


Abby D’Addario
Kent District Library

OneCard for Every Kalamazoo Student!

What if every student was automatically registered for a public library card? Discover how the Kalamazoo Public Library and Kalamazoo Public Schools worked together to develop the OneCard program; an initiative that ensured that every student was automatically registered for a public library card.


  • Hear about the plans for implementation of the OneCard program, as well as the obstacles encountered and how KPL was able to overcome them.
  • Learn how to make the program work with their ILS.
  • Discover how to promote and celebrate a similar program regardless of library size.


Kevin King headshotKevin King
Kalamazoo Public Library


Cultivating Early Literacy Partnerships in Your Community

Recognizing the school's need for support in the age of "Read by Grade Three," our library branches partnered with schools to bring literacy initiatives to teachers, students, and caregivers. This session will discuss building your own organic partnerships with local organizations, resources for creating your own literacy initiative, and meeting community members where they are.


  • Gain new ideas on ways to bring literacy initiatives into your communities
  • Learn about multiple resources for developing literacy programs


Nicole Greiter 
Ingham Intermediate School District

Lynn Harper HeadshotLynn Harper
Capital Area District Library


Samantha Ruth Huber
Capital Area District Library


Thursday | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Drag Queen Story Time

Drag Queen Storytime (DQS) is a program in which librarians and drag queens partner to produce a storytime promoting inclusion, equity and diversity. This session provides an overview of the best practices and the unique challenges inherent in hosting a potentially controversial program including the advance planning necessary to ensure success.


  • Provide rationale, methods, planning, implementation and best practices involved in DQS.
  • Understand the unique challenges inherent in hosting a potentially controversial program at your library.
  • Learn details regarding advance planning necessary to ensure community and local government buy-in and safety for all involved.


Joyce Krom
Huntington Woods Library

No 3D Printer? No Space? No Problem:  Bringing Maker Opportunities to Your Library Without the Space

Don't have a 3D printer? Don't have a lot of space? No problem! Explore how the Salem-South Lyon District Library handled this challenge and learn how you can bring maker and STEAM activities to a library with limited resources.


  • By the end of the session, attendees will know at least one STEAM/maker activity that they can implement in their library with little to no start-up cost
  • Understand that while there is value in the new emerging technologies, there is also value in "low-tech" making as well.


Kelly Soerens headshotKelly Soerens
Salem-South Lyon District Library


Sarah Swiderski
Salem-South Lyon District Library

Meet Up and Eat Up

Ever wonder what hungry children who receive free lunch do during the summer? They come to your library! Join Kent District Library librarians as they discuss the positive outcomes that hosting the Meet Up and Eat Up program and the difference it made in our libraries.


  • Provide information about the Meet Up and Eat Up program.
  • Provided encouragement and statistical information.
  • Understand the resources, logistics, and ideas for making a program like this work in your library.


Leigh Verburg
Kent District Library

Friday | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Using Connected Learning With Teens at Your Library: A YALSA Initiative

Teens spend almost 80% of their time outside the classroom making an opportunity for public libraries to connect with them. We’ll introduce participants to the core concepts of Connected Learning (CL) explore how public libraries are already using it in theory, but may not realize it, and discuss how to use CL to support equity in youth programming.


  • Understand connected learning and how it relates to libraries.
  • Understand what a library’s role is in creating connected learning opportunities through programming.
  • Shape future YALSA Initiative trainings throughout the state of Michigan that will impact all library staff professionals.


Lindsay Gojcaj
Novi Public Library

Amanda Heidema
Herrick District Library

Cathy Lancaster
Library of Michigan

Beyond Parties: Looking for New Program Models

We frequently will have a This-themed party or a That-themed party, changing the theme to fit current trends and the preferences of our audiences. What if, however, we moved beyond "parties"? What if instead of jumping from theme to theme with programs that are an array of crafts/activities/games, etc., we structured programming in a new and conscious way? What if we named our programs to be specific and convey purpose? Let's take a look at some models of programming that go beyond a "party" and reflect on how we can create different experiences for our patrons. We can shift our perspective from simply deciding what we do programming on, to how we program.


  • Encourage participants to initiate consciousness of how their programs are structured.
  • Role-model reflection techniques for program creation.
  • Increase awareness of how the naming of programming can affect how patrons perceive and interact with the program.


Amanda Vorce headshotAmanda Vorce
Commerce Township Community Library


Let’s Chat

Friday | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Decolonizing Library Organizational Systems to Put Patrons First

We know that library organizational schemes like Dewey aren’t perfect and that libraries have found ways to adapt them. Indigenous peoples are one group consistently misrepresented and demeaned by these systems, so how can we learn to recognize this harm and do better? In this session we will look at ways libraries can adapt systems or create new ones in order to better serve our communities.


  • Identify at least three ways in which the Dewey Decimal System causes harm to readers through its inherent bias.
  • Identify at least three practical techniques/concepts they might implement in their own libraries.


Anne Heidemann
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Libraries

“Stay in Your Lane” to “Blowing up the Lanes”:  Community Engagement & Outreach Mobile Library Services KDL Style

A question and answer session designed to inspire other Libraries to dream big when they create programs and events prioritizing underserved populations in their communities


  • Gain an understanding of how to transition their Outreach efforts toward serving under-represented populations within their communities and learn about important factors for success in their Outreach efforts
  • Introduction of strategies for building rapport with underserved communities that can be implemented at their Library systems
  • Attendees will be introduced to at least one new resource for information regarding the representation of diverse groups and points of view and will be inspired to provide one new program that is identified as community need-driven


Joyanne Huston-Swanson headshotJoyanne Huston-Swanson
Kent District Library


Kevin Kammeraad headshotKevin Kammeraad
Kent District Library


Teaching Students to Identify False Information They Find on the Internet

This program is designed to help students identify false information on the internet. It is easy for educators to give them reliable sources for good information, but what about the time they spend without supervision on social media? We will help them to develop the critical thinking skills required to analyze what they are seeing. This will be the same presentation as given to children in classrooms so attendees can hear the discussions and directions given to students.


  • Teach children to develop critical thinking skills required to analyze what they are seeing in the media.
  • Provide valuable resources to educators in the community.
  • Help public librarians become a familiar presence in community classrooms.


Danielle DiAmico
Bay County Library System




Uniting the Michigan Library Community

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