Robert Gaylor

Michigan Library Association

The Michigan Library Association is headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, United States. It publishes a library science journal, MLA Forum.


Guided by the belief that free access to information is the cornerstone of a free society, the Michigan Library Association, headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, has advocated for libraries on behalf of the state's residents for over 100 years. In its long history, the MLA has defended the right to read, sought to clarify library governance issues, promoted librarian education, worked for free access of information to all residents and proactively lobbied for adequate library funding. The Michigan Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in Michigan. It has influenced the course of Michigan's libraries since its inception in 1890, when Mary A. Eddy, the librarian at Coldwater wrote to the Detroit Public Library about organizing a state library association. As a result of Eddy's letter, the first MLA meeting was held in Detroit. Thirty-seven members attended, elected a slate of five officers and printed their original 40-line constitution on a 3-inch by 6-inch card.


The Michigan Library Association is a professional organization dedicated to the support of its members, to the advancement of librarianship, and to the promotion of quality library service for citizens of all ages of the State of Michigan. A chapter of the American Library Association, MLA is governed by an Executive Board whose officers are elected by the membership. The board provides leadership to the organization's units, each representing special library issues and populations, which carry out MLA activities with the assistance of the MLA staff.

Diversity in Libraries

Today's nearly 2,200 members include library directors, adult and youth services librarians, media specialists, systems administrators, cooperative directors, students, trustees, friends, educators, support staff, business representatives and others interested in information science and technology from across the state. MLA membership also reflects the wide diversity of Michigan's libraries--public, academic, school, state and special libraries serving persons in government, hospitals, commerce and prisons.

Legislative action

MLA educates and works with legislators to obtain the state and federal support necessary for libraries to flourish. Institutional membership dues pay for the services of a Lansing lobbying firm that works to support MLA's goals in the Michigan Legislature. Institutional members receive the "MLA Legislative Update," a publication highlighting current legislation affecting libraries.

Professional development benefits

Among MLA's many professional development benefits are a Jobline, which helps libraries with staffing needs; numerous award and recognition programs; workshops; and an annual conference, which gives members information on a wide range of issues facing Michigan libraries.

Public Library Fund

The Public Library Fund (PLF) is an endowed, reserve fund of the Michigan Library Association. The purpose of the PLF is to provide financial support for the development and enhancement of continuing education of library directors, library employees, and library trustees as fiscally responsible stewards of public funds for the public library.

The PLF is funded through donations and through revenue sources designated by the MLA Executive Board. Decisions regarding fund management, investment and disbursement are made by the Michigan Library Association Executive Board.

Current and past presidents

Years Name Organization
2009-10 Larry Neal Clinton-Macomb Public Library
2008-09 Kathy Irwin Mardigian Library - University of Michigan Dearborn
2007-08 Josie Parker Ann Arbor District Library
2006-07 Leah Black Michigan State University
2005-06 Michael McGuire Traverse Area District Library
2004-05 Linda Farynk Saginaw Valley State University
2003-04 Marcia Warner Public Libraries of Saginaw
2002-03 Phyllis Jose Oakland County Reference Library
2001-02 Elaine Didier Oakland University Library
2000-01 Tom Genson Grand Rapids Public Library
1999-2000 Denise Forro Michigan State University
1998-99 Nancy Bujold Rochester Hills Public Library
1997-98 Pamela Grudzien Central Michigan University
1996-97 Beverly Papai Farmington Community Library
1995-96 Martha Stilwell Kellogg Community College-Battle Creek
1994-95 Sandra A. Scherba Cromaine Library, Hartland
1993-94 Sandra Yee Eastern Michigan University
1992-93 Francis J. Buckley
1991-92 Jean Houghton Saginaw Valley State University
1990-91 Jule Fosbender Adrian Public Library
1989-90 Linda Heemstra Bay County Library System, Bay City
1988-89 Colleen Hyslop Michigan State University Libraries
1987-88 Clara N.Bohrer Farmington Community Library
1986-87 Margaret Auer University of Detroit Library
1985-86 A. Micheal Deller Madison Heights/Livonia Public Libraries
1984-85 Robert Garen Detroit Public Library
1983-84 Eleanor Pinkham Kalamazoo College Library
1982-83 Margaret Thomas Farmington Community Library
1981-82 Patricia Wilson Rochester Hills (Avon Township) Public Library, Rochester
1980-81 Howard Lipton St. Clair Shores
1979-80 Carolyn McMillen Michigan State University Libraries
1978-79 Robert Raz Grand Rapids Public Library
1977-78 Joan Wilcox Oakland County Library Board, Pontiac
1976-77 Robert Gaylor Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester
1975-76 Roberta Cheney Powell Branch, Kalamazoo Public Library
1974-75 Bernard Oppeneer Saginaw Public Library
1973-74 Mark Crum Kalamazoo Public Library
1972-73 Mary Daume Monroe County Library System
1971-72 Benard C. Rink Northwestern Michigan College, Petoskey
1970-71 Mildred M. Winslow Western Michigan University
1969-70 Robert E. Booth Wayne State University
1968-69 James Sterling Warren Public Library
1967-68 W. J. Kimbrough Lansing Public Library
1966-67 Richard Chapin Michigan State University Libraries
1965-66 Mary Mitchell Detroit Public Library
1964-65 H. G. Johnston Flint Public Library
1963-64 Madalyn M. Bradford Webster Memorial Library, Decatur
1962-63 G. Flint Purdy Wayne State University Library
1961-62 Ransom L Richardson Flint Public Library
1960-61 Robert W. Armstrong Detroit Public Library
1959-60 Frederick Wagman University of Michigan Library
1958-59 Katharine Harris Detroit Public Library
1957-58 Clifford B. Wightman Hackley Public Library, Muskegon
1956-57 Clover Flanders University of Michigan Extension Service
1955-56 William Chait Kalamazoo Public Library
1954-55 Ethel Walker Yarbroff Detroit School Librarian (retired)
1953-54 Ruth Warncke Kent County Library
1952-53 Frances E. Burnside Jackson Public Library
1951-52 Robert M. Orr Grosse Pointe Public Library
1950-51 Marian C. Young Detroit Public Library
1949-50 Alta Parks Mason Public Library, Ingham County
1948-49 Alice Louise LeFevre Western Michigan College, Department of Education
1947-48 Hobart R. Coffey University of Michigan, Law Library
1946-47 Donald W. Kohlsedt Grand Rapids Public Library
1945-46 Adeline Cooke Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham
1944-45 Ernest I. Miller Detroit Public Library
1943-44 Cecil J. Mettale University of Michigan, Department of Library Science
1942-43 Eudocia Stratton Central Michigan College of Education Library, Mt. Pleasant
1941-42 Irene C. Hayner University High School, Ann Arbor
1940-41 Dorothy T. Hagerman West Side Branch, Grand Rapids Public Library
1939-40 Frances A. Hannum Ann Arbor Public Library
1938-39 Ruth Rutzen Detroit Public Library
1937-38 Ralph A. Ulveling Detroit Public Library
1936-37 Maude E. Grill Jackson County Library
1935-36 Samuel W. McAllister University of Michigan Library
1934-35 Loleta D. Fyan Wayne County Library, Detroit
1933-34 C. Tefft Hewitt Hackley Public Library, Muskegon
1932-33 Nancy B. Thomas Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham
1931-32 C. B. Joeckel University of Michigan Library School
1929-30 Elisabeth Knapp Detroit Public Library
1928-29 William Webb Flint Public Library
1927-28 William Bishop University of Michigan Library
1926-27 Gail Curtis State Library, Lansing
1925-26 Louis Bailey Flint Public library
1924-25 Harold L. Wheeler Hackley Public Library
1923-24 Constance Bement State Library, Lansing
1922-23 Flora B. Roberts Kalamazoo Public Library
1921-22 Alma A. Olson Detroit Public Library
1920-21 Annie Pollard Grand Rapids Public Library
1919-20 Adam Strohm Detroit Public Library
1918-19 Francis L. D. Goodrich University of Michigan Library
1917-18 Kathryn G. Sleneau McGregor Public Library, Highland Park
1915-16 John S. Cleavinger Jackson Public Library
1913-14 Theodore W. Koch University of Michigan Library
1912-13 Annie F MacDonell Bay City Public Library
1910-11 Nina K. Preston University of Michigan Library
1908-09 G. M. Walton State Normal College Library, Ypsilanti
1906-07 Samuel Ranck Grand Rapids Public Library
1891-1905 H. M. Utley Detroit Public Library

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