With back to school comes back to Lansing for our legislators. Session begins in September and our lobbyist GCSI is already lining up meetings with Representatives and Senators so we can talk about issues important to libraries. As always, one of those issues is funding and more specifically millages. We worked last year to make sure our elected officials were aware of the huge dollars being funneled away from libraries via DDAs and TIFAs. Again this year, we plan to address some solutions for this financial drain to our libraries.
MLA is pleased to announce that Laura Kasischke is the winner of the 2013 Michigan Author Award. Laura will accept her award at MLA 2013 Annual Conference in Lansing, Michigan.
Laura is a prolific author and poet. She has written eight novels, two of which, The Life Before Her Eyes and Suspicious River, were made into feature films. She has also authored eight books of poetry and received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 2012. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several Pushcart Prizes and numerous poetry awards. Her writing has appeared in Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Harper’s and The New Republic.
Laura has strong ties to the state of Michigan. She grew up in Grand Rapids and currently resides in Chelsea. She is also an Allan Seager Colleagiate Professor of English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan. Throughout her diverse body of work, Laura ties her characters to the state of Michigan. These connections and her creative gift make Laura a perfect fit for this award.
A panel of judges representing Michigan Library Association members and the Michigan Center for the Book determined the recipient on overall literary merit. To receive the award authors must be a current resident of Michigan, a long-time resident of Michigan, recently relocated, or an author whose works are identified with Michigan because of subject and/or setting in Michigan. Past Michigan Author Award Winners include: Tom Stanton, Sarah Stewart, Steve Hamilton, Christopher Paul Curtis, Patricia Polacco, Dan Gerber, Charles Baxter, Nancy Willard, Janet Kauffman, Elmore Leonard, Loren Estleman, Gloria Whelan, Jerry Dennis, Janie Lynn Panagopoulos, Thomas Lynch, Nicholas Delbanco, Diane Wakoski, Dave Dempsey, John Smolens, Gary Schmidt and Bonnie Jo Campbell.
The MLA 2014 Schedule at a Glance will be posted in the spring of 2014. We look forward to seeing you in Grand Rapids on October 15-17!
After spending nearly 20 years in the business world as a Certified Public Accountant, Kay Schwartz obtained her MLS at the University of Michigan's School of Information in 1998. In the mid-90's she became incredibly excited about the potential of the Internet to connect people and to make information more available to everyone all over the world and so began her second career as a cybrarian at the Flint Public Library. Kay has been at FPL ever since in a variety of positions including Manager of Automation and Technical Services, Interim Director and finally Library Director as of September 2010.
Kay is especially interested in the changes to her work enabled by technology. She sees librarians as not only embracing but also leading those changes - to the profession of librarians and even the definitions of "library" and "book" and feels it is a very exciting time to be in a leadership role.
Kay was recently elected to serve a three-year term on the MLA Board of Directors.
Michigan is home to 17 “school public” libraries, some very unique year-round libraries that face the challenge of doing it all for their vast constituencies. Munising School Public Library (MSPL) is one and this week is in transition from “school” to “public” for summer 2013.
MSPL (housed in the Munising Middle/High School) serves all of Alger County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Constituents include local 7-12 students (grades 6-12 next year, when sixth graders move to the Middle/High School), all public and parochial schools in the county, 9,300 county residents and any Upper Peninsula Michigan vacationers who stop in for directions, advice or internet access. There is a small branch of MSPL in the pre-kindergarten-sixth grade school.