MLA Committees and Workgroups

Committees and workgroups selected during an annual call for volunteers help guide the work of MLA through identifying and developing future leaders, advising on the latest trends, planning educational events such as conferences and workshops, and selecting award winners. The Call for Volunteers is issued each spring. Learn more about participating.

2023-2024 Standing Committees

Advocacy and Legislative Committee

Monitors legislative and policy issues impacting libraries and makes policy recommendations to the board. Informs and educates members about state legislation and policy issues. Contact legislators as needed to educate them about library concerns.

Jenny Marr

Chair: Jenny Marr
Capital Area District Libraries

Larry Neal

Vice-Chair: Larry Neal
Clinton-Macomb Public Library

Deborah Mikula

Staff Liaison: Deborah E. Mikula
Michigan Library Association

Lisa Buttigieg

Staff Liaison: Lisa Buttigieg
Michigan Library Association

Bob Devries

Lobbyist: Bob DeVries
Governmental Consultant Services, Inc.

Shirley Bruusema

Shirley Bruursema
Kent District Library

John Clexton

John A. Clexton
Gladwin District Library

Bryan Cloutier

Bryan Cloutier
Oxford Public Library

Jim Flury

Jim Flury
The Library Network

Dillon Geshel

Dillon Geshel
Superiorland Library Cooperative

Anne Heidemann

Anne Heidemann
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Library

Jessica Keyser

Jessica Keyser
Grosse Pointe Public Library

Kathy Lester

Kathy Lester
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

Cindy Mack

Cindy Mack
Brighton District Library

Michael McCullough

Michael McCullough
Willard Public Library

Claire Lopiccolo

Claire Meeker
Romeo District Library

Clare Membiela

Clare Membiela
Library of Michigan

Ann Neff-Rohs

Ann Neff-Rohs
Grand Rapids Public Library

Dale Parus

Dale Parus
Ionia Community Library

Christine Peele

Christine Peele
Detroit Public Library

Paulina Poplawska

Paulina Poplawska
Salem-South Lyon District Library

Erin Schmandt

Erin Schmandt
Caro Area District Library

   

Intellectual Freedom Taskforce

The purpose of the Intellectual Freedom Task Force is to support the Michigan Library Association in safeguarding intellectual freedom and first amendment rights, proactively educate and inform the library field of legislation related to intellectual freedom, develop a position and response by MLA in instances of controversy over censorship and encourage Michigan libraries to develop policies that will support free speech and the freedom to read.

Juliane Morian

Chair: Juliane Morian
Rochester Hills Public Library

Deborah Mikula

Staff Liaison: Deborah E. Mikula
Michigan Library Association

Deborah Mikula

Staff Liaison: Keeley Briggs
Michigan Library Association

Kate Pohjola Andrade

Kate Andrade
Woodlands Library Cooperative

Shirley Bruusema

Bryonna Barton
Eaton Rapids Area District Library

Rori Bielak

Rori Bielak
Dexter District Library

Shirley Bruusema

Shirley Bruursema
Kent District Library

Sarah Burchart

Sarah Burchart
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Azita Frattarelli

Azita Frattarelli
Riverview Veterans Memorial Library

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Kathleen Gallagher
Grosse Pointe Public Library

Grace Galvan

Grace Rose Galvan
Shelby Township Public Library

Dillon Geshel

Dillon Geshel
Superiorland Library Cooperative

Alice Howard

Alice Howard
Ecorse Public Library

Mary Grahame Hunter

Mary Grahame Hunter
Ferndale Area District Library

Paris Kelvakis

Paris Kelvakis
Canton Public Library

Dennis Kreps

Dennis Kreps
Community Volunteer

Stephanie Luyt

Stephanie Luyt
Traverse City Area Public Schools

Clare Membiela

Clare Membiela
Library of Michigan

Chase McMunn

Chase McMunn
Orion Township Public Library

Ann Neff-Rohs

Ann Neff-Rohs
Grand Rapids Public Library

Tonya Ryals

Tonya Ryals
MacDonald Public Library

     

Nominating and Leadership Development Committee

Cultivates leadership potential within MLA membership to maintain strong and effective governance and solicits and evaluates nominations of candidates for service on the MLA Board of Directors.

Cathleen Russ

Chair: Cathleen Russ
West Bloomfield Township Public Library

Deborah E. Mikula headshot

Staff Liaison: Deborah E. Mikula
Michigan Library Association

Steven Bowers

Steven Bowers
The Library Network (TLN)

Mallorie DeVilbiss

Mallorie DeVilbiss
Suburban Library Cooperative

Eric Stanton

Eric Stanton
Capital Area District Libraries

Kate Van Auken headshot

Kate Van Auken
White Pine Library Cooperative

Sophia Ward Brewer

Sophia Ward Brewer
Grand Rapids Community College

Lisa Waskin

Lisa Waskin
Superior District Library

 

Finance Committee

Provides financial oversight for the organization, including budgeting and financial planning, financial reporting, and the creation and monitoring of internal controls and accountability policies in support of the MLA Board of Directors.

Lisa Waskin

Chair: Lisa Waskin
Superior District Library

Deborah E. Mikula headshot

Staff Liaison: Deborah E. Mikula
Michigan Library Association

Anne Heidemann

Anne Heidemann
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Library

Mary Higginbottom Johnson

Mary Higginbottom Johnson
Muskegon Area District Library

Michele Howard

Michele Howard
Traverse Area District Library

     

Strategic Planning Committee

The Michigan Library Association’s Strategic Planning Workgroup’s role is to develop, analyze, modify and evaluate the strategic plan/goals and objectives of MLA and identify any areas that need improvements within the organization. The Strategic Planning Workgroup annually reviews the strategic plan/goals and objectives of the organization and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding proposed changes.

Scott Duimstra

Chair: Scott Duimstra
Capital Area District Libraries

Dillon Geshel

Vice-Chair: Dillon Geshel
Superiorland Library Cooperative

Deborah E. Mikula

Staff Liaison: Deborah E. Mikula
Michigan Library Association

John Clexton

John Clexton
Gladwin County District Library

Jaci Cooper

Jaci Cooper
Kent District Library

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Eva Davis
Canton Public Library

Michele Howard

Michele Howard
Traverse Area District Library

Jenny Marr

Jenny Marr
Capital Area District Libraries

Valerie L. Meyerson

Valerie L. Meyerson
Petoskey District Library

Kate Van Auken

Kate Van Auken
White Pine Library Cooperative

Vanessa Verdun-Morris

Vanessa Verdun-Morris
Madison Heights Public Library

Sophia Ward Brewer

Sophia Ward Brewer
Grand Rapids Community College

Lisa Waskin

Lisa Waskin
Superior District Library

     

2023-2024 Professional Development Workgroups

Workshop and Webinar Workgroup

The Workshop and Webinar Workgroup will assist in planning and creating programming such as the MLA Connect webinar series.

Amber Sheerin

Staff Liaison: Amber Sheerin
Michigan Library Association

Tracy Bedford

Tracy Bedford
Southfield Public Library

Amber Johnson

Amber Johnson
Chesterfield Township Library

Dennis Kreps

Dennis Kreps
Community Volunteer

Michael Postula

Michael Postula
Ann Arbor District Library

Sarah Rick

Sarah Rick
Millington Arbela District Library

   

MLA 2023 Annual Conference Workgroup

The MLA 2023 Annual Conference is scheduled for October of 2023. The workgroup assists in the planning and execution of this event with up to 600 attendees, guests, speakers and exhibitors.

Dillon Geshel

Chair: Dillon Geshel
Superiorland Library Cooperative

Wesleyann Johnson

Vice-Chair: Wesleyann Johnson
Center Line Public Library

Amber Sheerin Headshot

Staff Liaison: Amber Sheerin
Michigan Library Association

Katherine Bryant

Katherine Bryant
Bloomfield Township Public Library

Lisa Burns

Lisa Burns
Grosse Pointe Public Library

Rebekah Craft

Rebekah Craft
Baldwin Public Library

Andrea Ingmire

Andrea Ingmire
Peter White Public Library

Amber Johnson

Amber Johnson
Chesterfield Township Library

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson
Muskegon Area District Library

Kevin King

Kevin King
Kalamazoo Public Library

Cindy Mack

Cindy Mack
Brighton District Library

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Sara Magnuson
Kent District Library

Cindi L. Place

Cindi L. Place
Bellaire Public Library

James Pugh

James Pugh
Orion Township Public Library

Holly Teasdle

Holly Teasdle
Lyon Township Public Library

Sophia Ward Brewer

Sophia Ward Brewer
Grand Rapids Community College

Lisa Waskin

Lisa Waskin
Superior District Library

Tim Wiggins

Tim Wiggins
Niles District Library

Elissa Zimmer

Elissa Zimmer
Van Buren District Library

 

MLA 2024 Annual Conference Workgroup

The MLA 2024 Annual Conference is scheduled for October of 2024. The workgroup assists in the planning and execution of this event with up to 600 attendees, guests, speakers and exhibitors.

Wesleyann Johnson

Chair: Wesleyann Johnson
Center Line Public Library

Lisa Waskin

Vice-Chair: Lisa Waskin
Superior District Library

Amber Sheerin Headshot

Staff Liaison: Amber Sheerin
Michigan Library Association

no photo available

Matt Archibald
Traverse Area District Libraries

Andy Bourgeois

Andy Bourgeois
Capital Area District Libraries

Lisa Burns

Lisa Burns
Grosse Pointe Public Library

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Amelia Chea
Hackley Public Library

Michele Howard

Michele Howard
Traverse Area District Library

Andrea Ingmire

Andrea Ingmire
Peter White Public Library

Sara Morrison

Sara Morrison
Briggs District Library

James Pugh

James Pugh
Orion Township Public Library

Holly Teasdle

Holly Teasdle
Lyon Township Public Library

Tim Wiggins

Tim Wiggins
Niles District Library

Elissa Zimmer

Elissa Zimmer
Van Buren District Library

   

MLA 2024 Small Libraries Pre-Conference Workgroup

New for 2024, the workgroup is planning a one-day event tailored to small and rural library staff ahead of the MLA 2024 Annual Conference in October.

Linda Adams

Linda Adams
Northland Library Cooperative

Kate Pohjola Andrade

Kate Andrade
Woodlands Library Cooperative

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Trixie McMeeking
Homer Public Library

Eric Palmer

Eric Palmer
Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

Lisa Waskin

Lisa Waskin
Superior District Library

Tim Wiggins

Tim Wiggins
Niles District Library

   

Spring Institute for Youth Services 2024 Workgroup

This two-day conference brings together approximately 200 statewide children and teen service librarians to share, learn and experience best practices. Help plan valuable programming that includes national award-winning authors, illustrators and storytellers.

Ashley Lehmen

Chair: Ashley Lehman
Orion Township Public Library

Jill M. Anderson

Vice-Chair: Jill M. Anderson
Kent District Library

Amber Sheerin Headshot

Staff Liaison: Amber Sheerin
Michigan Library Association

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Laura Bultman
Kalamazoo Public Library

Becky DeLiso

Becky DeLiso
Chesterfield Township Library

Kristen Getzin

Kristen Getzin
Fraser Public Library

Natalie Haggard

Natalie Haggard
Brighton District Library

Heather Harrison

Heather Harrison
Genesee District Library

Jay Hull

Jay Hull
Capital Area District Libraries

Jocelyn Levin

Jocelyn Levin
Lyon Township Public Library

Stephanie Martin

Stephanie Martin
Clarkston Independence District Library

Courtnei Moyses

Courtnei Moyses
Traverse Area District Library

Holly Osentoski

Holly Osentoski
Troy Public Library

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Lydia Schmidt
Hackley Public Library

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Michele Wittkopp
Muskegon Area District Library

Michigan Library Advocacy Day 2024 Workgroup

On Tuesday, April 16, the Michigan library community will unite to amplify our collective voice in support of all Michigan libraries at MLA's Michigan Library Advocacy Day! Passionate and committed library advocates from all across Michigan will join together in person in Lansing to represent our public, school, academic, tribal and special libraries.

Deborah Mikula

Chair: John Clexton
Gladwin County District Library

Deborah Mikula

Staff Liaison: Deborah E. Mikula
Michigan Library Association

Amber Sheerin

Staff Liaison: Amber Sheerin 
Michigan Library Association

Rachel Ash headshot

Staff Liaison: Rachel Ash
Michigan Library Association

Lisa Buttigieg

Staff Liaison: Lisa Buttigieg
Michigan Library Association

Deborah Mikula

Staff Liaison: Keeley Briggs
Michigan Library Association

Bob Devries

Bob DeVries
Governmental Consultant Services, Inc.

Ann Neff-Rohs

Ann Neff-Rohs
Grand Rapids Public Library

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Tammy Soule
Governmental Consultant Services, Inc.

     

Think Space 2023-2024 Workgroup

The Michigan Library Association’s Think Space workgroup leads the development, planning, and execution of the multi-part Think Space event. The workgroup will determine appropriate educational content and networking opportunities targeted at established library directors. Each Think Space event will have one central focal point to be determined by the workgroup and MLA staff.

Deborah Mikula

Staff Liaison: Deborah E. Mikula
Michigan Library Association

Amber Sheerin

Staff Liaison: Amber Sheerin 
Michigan Library Association

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Jack Buck
Richland Public Library

Claire Meeker

Claire Meeker
Romeo District Library

Valeria Meyerson

Valerie L. Meyerson
Petoskey District Library

Juliane Morian

Juliane Morian
Rochester Hills Public Library

Stef Reed

Stef Reed
Flat River Community Library

 

Polling and Messaging Workgroup

In March 2023, the Michigan Library Association contracted with EPIC-MRA, a full-service survey research firm with expertise in Public Opinion Surveys and Market Research Studies to conduct a statewide survey on library issues. While we have been using national studies to prove that book banning and censorship issues are not tolerated by the majority of voters in the country, we now have solid Michigan data to back this up.

Deborah E. Mikula

Staff Liaison: Deborah E. Mikula
Michigan Library Association

Rachel Ash headshot

Staff Liaison: Rachel Ash
Michigan Library Association

Dillon Geshel

Dillon Geshel
Superiorland Library Cooperative

Jenny Marr

Jenny Marr
Capital Area District Libraries

Christine Peele

Christine Peele
Detroit Public Library

     

Michigan Library Awards Workgroup

Reviews and updates award guidelines, encourages nominations, reviews nominees and selects the winners for our MLA professional recognition awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Public Librarian of the Year, Heart of a Champion, Rising Star, Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth and Support Staff of the Year.

Cathleen Russ

Chair: Cathleen Russ
West Bloomfield Township Library

Rachel Ash

Staff Liaison: Rachel Ash
Michigan Library Association

Lauren Arnsman

Lauren Arnsman
Troy Public Library

Jan Davidson

Jan Davidson
Midwest Collaborative for Library Services

Marissa Lasoff-Santos

Marissa Lasoff-Santos
William P. Faust Public Library of Westland

Chris Potts

Christopher Potts 
Capital Area District Libraries

   

2024 Literary Award Workgroups

Mitten Award

Recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in picture book format. Read more about the Mitten Award here.

Dena Moscheck

Chair: Dena Moscheck
Bay County Library System

Leigh Verberg

Vice-Chair: Leigh Verburg
Kent District Library

Rachel Ash headshot

Staff Liaison: Rachel Ash
Michigan Library Association

Lauren Aquilina

Lauren Aquilina
Commerce Township Community Library

Tracy Bedford

Tracy Bedford
Southfield Public Library

Jackie Boss

Jackie Boss
Kent District Library

Emily Brush

Emily Brush
Novi Public Library

Austin Gullett

Austin Gullett
Delta Township District Library

Elyshia Hoekstra

Elyshia Hoekstra
Coopersville Area District Library

Whitney Jones

Whitney Jones
Northville District Library

Holly Kirsten

Holly Kirsten
Chesterfield Township Library

Wendy Lehman

Wendy Lehman
Rochester Hills Public Library

Kirsten Malzahn

Kirsten Malzahn
Novi Public Library

Kelly Marra

Kelly Marra
MacDonald Public Library

Christina McIntosh

Christina McIntosh
Salem South Lyon District Library

Everett Pine

Everett Pine
Ferndale Area District Library

Lisa Rodkey

Lisa Rodkey
Grand Haven Public Schools

Loni Wetherell

Loni Wetherell
Cromaine District Library

   

YouPer (Young Person) Award

Recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in chapter book format. Read more about the YouPer Award here.

Jessica Keeler

Chair: Jessica Keeler
Plymouth District Library

Katie Perkey

Vice-Chair: Katie Perkey
Clinton-Macomb Public Library

Rachel Ash headshot

Staff Liaison: Rachel Ash
Michigan Library Association

Taryn Allan

Taryn Allan
Clinton-Macomb Public Library

Catherine Ash

Catherine Ash
Clinton-Macomb Public Library

Heather Draft

Heather Draft
Cromaine District Library

Fillippa Genovese

Fillippa Genovese
Clinton-Macomb Public Library

Nicole G. Gillies

Nicole G. Gillies
Bloomfield Township Public Library

Kristen Jayska

Kristen Jayska
Livonia Public Library

Cheryl Lawrence

Cheryl Lawrence
Branch District Library

Stephanie Martin

Stephanie Martin
Clarkston Independence District Library

Carol Robinson

Carol Robinson
Grand Ledge Area District Library

Jeanette Smith

Jeanette Smith
Romeo District Library

Samantha Tomlinson

Samantha Tomlinson
Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Damon Verdema

Damon Verdema
Ferndale Area District Library

Robert White

Robert White
Flint Public Library

Thumbs Up! Award

Recognizes an outstanding contribution to teen literature that has both literary quality and teen appeal for those 13 to 18 years of age. Read more about the Thumbs Up! Award here.

 Sarah Swiderski

Chair: Sarah Swiderski
Salem-South Lyon District Library

Rachel Ash headshot

Staff Liaison: Rachel Ash
Michigan Library Association

Nathan Bartos

Nathan Bartos
Kent District Library

Lisa Boyd

Lisa Boyd
Canton Public Library

Georgina Broyles

Georgina Broyles
MacDonald Public Library

Josh Campeau

Josh Campeau
Pontiac Public Library

Robert Chartrand

Robert Chartrand
Capital Area District Libraries

Kayla Dies

Kayla Dies
Paw Paw District Library

Mollie Hall

Mollie Hall
Dexter District Library

Sabrina Halsey

Sabrina Halsey
Orion Township Public Library

Jody Helme-Day

Jody Helme-Day
Tecumseh District Library

Samantha Ingerson

Samantha Ingerson
Sterling Heights Public Library

Cristen Jackson

Cristen Jackson
Flint Public Library

Colleen Kingsbury

Colleen Kingsbury
Plymouth District Library

Anjelica Lyman

Anjelica Lyman
Commerce Township Community Library

Julianne Novetsky

Julianne Novetsky
Warren Public Library

Chelsea Pridmore

Chelsea Pridmore
Clarkston Independence District Library

Kelsey Schaeflein

Kelsey Schaeflein
Cromaine District Library

Amanda Shepard

Amanda Shepard
Herrick District Library

Sarah Welch

Sarah Welch
Big Rapids Community Library

Liz Wierenga

Liz Wierenga
Kent District Library

     
 


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