Designed by library directors for library directors.

Being the director or dean of a library, regardless of size or type, is a unique job with unique needs that often only another person in that position can fully comprehend or appreciate. Designed to meet the unique professional development needs of Michigan library directors, Think Space will showcase innovations in key areas of library management, leadership, and technology via compelling and cutting-edge sessions presented by well-respected experts, all while giving attendees the opportunity to build deep, lasting relationships with a cohort of directors and deans of libraries throughout Michigan. 

Think Space: Holding True to Our Values and Staying Strong

Each year, Think Space will focus on one specific issue of importance to Michigan library leaders. Our second iteration of this program will focus on “Holding True to our Values and Staying Strong.”

We will cover topics such as:

  • First Amendment issues and the values libraries hold
  • Telling your library’s story and demonstrating your value
  • Developing plans to respond to the culture wars
  • Self-care and mental well-being of staff members
  • Instilling confidence as you continue this hard work

Think Space is an all-inclusive educational and networking experience including four full days of learning, two overnight hotel stays, meals, fun special events, and the opportunity to build deeper, lasting relationships with other directors and deans of libraries throughout Michigan. Join your colleagues for time to THINK deeply in a safe SPACE. Attendance is limited so reserve your seat today!

Speakers Include

Alison MacrinaAlison Macrina
Founder & Executive Director, Library Freedom Project

Alison is an activist librarian and the director of Library Freedom Project. Alison started LFP in 2015 to build community with other librarians who are dedicated to library values of privacy, intellectual freedom, social responsibility, and the public good. She works from a justice orientation, rooted in a materialist analysis that emphasizes people’s real-life conditions, recognizing the systems responsible for oppression and their inherent contradictions.



Rob BostonRob Boston
Senior Adviser; Editor, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Rob Boston is Senior Adviser at Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Editor of Church & State, AU’s monthly membership magazine. Rob, who has worked at Americans United since 1987, is the author of four books: Close Encounters with the Religious Right: Journeys into the Twilight Zone of Religion and Politics (Prometheus Books, 2000); The Most Dangerous Man in America? Pat Robertson and the Rise of the Christian Coalition (Prometheus Books, 1996); Why the Religious Right Is Wrong About Separation of Church and State (Prometheus Books, 1993; second edition, 2003) and, most recently, Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do (Prometheus Books, 2014).


Jonathan FriedmanJonathan Friedman
Director, Free Expression and Education Programs, PEN America

Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D., is the director of free expression and education programs at PEN America. He oversees research, advocacy, and education related to academic freedom, educational gag orders, book bans, and general free expression in schools, colleges, and universities. An interdisciplinary scholar by training, Friedman has served as lead author on PEN America’s reports, Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools (2022), Banned in the USA: Rising School Book Bans Threaten Free Expression and Students’ First Amendment Rights (2022), Educational Gag Orders: Legislative Restrictions on the Freedom to Read, Learn, and Teach (2021), and Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America (2020). He also steered the production of PEN America’s Campus Free Speech Guide (2020). He regularly provides commentary for news media about educational censorship, and has published op-eds for CNN, The Washington Post, The Hill, The Daily Beast, New York Daily News, and Inside Higher Ed.


Nathan TriplettNathan Triplett
President, ACLU of Michigan Board of Directors

Nathan Triplett serves as Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs for the State Bar of Michigan. For over 15 years, he has worked in and around state and local government as an attorney, organizer, policy advocate, and elected official. He previously served as Minority Legal Counsel for the Michigan House of Representatives and as the Director of Public Policy and Political Action at Equality Michigan. At EQMI, Triplett spearheaded a successful, first-in-the-nation campaign to secure an interpretive statement from the Michigan Civil Rights Commission establishing that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is encompassed within the state’s existing statutory prohibition of sex discrimination. Triplett served on the East Lansing City Council for eight years. He was elected to serve as the city's youngest Mayor in 2013 and as President of the Michigan Municipal League. Triplett joined the ACLU of Michigan’s Board of Directors in 2012 and was elected President in 2020. He also serves as Chair of the Capital Area Transportation Authority Board of Directors, as a commissioner of both the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and Ingham County Parks and Recreation Commission, and as Vice President of the MML Foundation. He is a graduate of Michigan State University's James Madison College with degrees in Political Theory/ Constitutional Democracy and Social Relations. He also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the MSU College of Law.



Early Bird Rates

Member: $1,595
Non-member: $3,190

Upcoming Deadlines

Early Bird Registration: November 4, 2022
Library of Michigan Continuing Education Stipend Application: September 30, 2022
MLA Scholarship: November 4, 2022
Hotel Reservation: November 7, 2022
Registration Closes: December 1, 2022, or when class is full

The Think Space cohort will meet in person this December for the first two-day gathering, followed by a virtual check-in session in February, the second gathering in May, and concluding with a breakfast reception during the MLA 2023 Annual Conference that is exclusively for members of the Think Space cohort.

Registration includes all educational sessions, breakfasts, lunches, receptions, special events, parking, and overnight accommodations in Grand Rapids and Boyne City.



Subject to change

Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids
Thursday December 8, 2022
12:00 – 5:00 Think Space Sessions
6:00 – 9:00 Evening Group Activity
Friday December 9, 2022
8:00 – 4:00 Think Space Sessions

Virtual Session
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
10:30 - 12:00 via Zoom

Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne City
Thursday, May 11, 2023
12:00 – 5:00 Think Space Sessions
6:00 – 10:00 Reception and Bonfire
Friday, May 12, 2023
8:00 – 4:00 Think Space Sessions

Radisson Plaza Hotel, Kalamazoo
Thursday, October 19, 2023
8:00 – 9:00 Think Space Breakfast


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

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