December 2023

Welcome New Members

Hope College Van Wylen Library
Hannah Gingrich

Michigan School of Psychology
Rachel Melton

Aquinas College
Christina Radisauskas

Member Spotlight

A picture of Heidi Keppen Palmer holding a cup of coffee and smiling
Heidi Keppen Palmer
LTS Librarian
University of Michigan-Dearborn

What are you currently reading?

I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately, but the current top of my TBR includes The Trespasser (Tana French) and The Anatomist's Wife (Anna Lee Huber).

What are your research interests?
Most recently, I've been most interested in the practical application of Critical Cataloging practices (especially retrospective applications) within small cataloging teams.

Do you have hobbies or interests outside of the library?
I knit and crochet, and am a tester and editor of prepublication patterns. As a dyed-in-the-wool nerd, I also enjoy TTRPG and board games, attending comic cons, and most things related to fantasy worlds.

What drew you to the library profession?
After completing two research-heavy degrees in music and music education, I found that I enjoyed research and resource management more than teaching. Once I started working in libraries, I realized how critical good metadata practices are, which led me to my current position.

What do you value about MiALA?
Even as a student, I was able to get involved. Over the last few years, I've been able to ask questions, share ideas, and make connections in a supportive environment.

Member Spotlight

LaCharmine wearing a beautiful gold butterfly necklace smiling into the camera
LaCharmine Jefferson
Madonna University 
Reference & Instruction Librarian 

What are you currently reading?  
I am currently reading The First Ladies by Victoria Christopher Murray and Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King. 
What are your research interests?  
My current research interest is in weeding in an academic library. 
Do you have hobbies or interests outside of the library?  
I enjoy dance fitness, volunteering with my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and watching entertaining movies and t.v. shows. 
What drew you to the library profession?  
Being an avid reader, lifelong learner, and author drew me into the library profession. I've been writing and publishing for 15 years. Realizing that my author life is likely to always involve working a day job to pay the bills, I decided that I wanted my day job to involve work that was meaningful and important to the greater community.  
What do you value about MiALA?  
What I value about MiALA is the networking, professional development, and the opportunity to grow in the profession. 

Message from the President

“Holiday break? Who needs a break?”: said No Library Worker, Ever!

As we prepare to close our semesters or terms, as well as the calendar year, many of us look forward to a few days of  catching up with with friends and family, or maybe that series we’ve been wanting to binge. Your Board has been making plans for a busy and  productive new year for MiALA. Watch for an announcement and invite to an all-member midyear meeting, the return of the Academic Librarian Of The Year award, and a kick-off of our strategic planning process.

As always the many programs and activities sponsored by our IGs and committees and our signature conference in May offer opportunities for learning and engagement. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the winter holiday season and the joy and renewal it will hopefully bring to you and yours.
Be good to each other, and most importantly, yourselves.
Darlene Johnson-Bignotti

MiALA 2024 Annual Conference Update

Call for Proposals

Libraries: Where Ideas Take Flight
"Libraries: Where Ideas Take Flight" captures the curiosity, optimism, and technological innovation propelling academic libraries on an ascent towards new heights. As skilled navigators of knowledge, academic library workers are entrusted to ensure our communities' smooth voyage into intellectual exploration. Have you implemented a forward-looking approach, developed a best practice, or have an engaging idea or project to share? If so, join us as a copilot on this journey, inspiring attendees with ideas that will shape the trajectory of librarianship and academic libraries into the future.
MiALA invites you and your colleagues to submit presentation proposals for the 9th annual conference to be held in-person, May 15-17, 2024 at The Fetzer Center, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. Participation from librarians, library staff, LIS students, and administrators from all types of academic libraries is encouraged.  MiALA membership is not required to submit a proposal. We welcome proposals on topics covering any aspect of academic libraries.
We are seeking the following presentation formats:
  • Presentations, panels, or moderated discussion sessions (45 min.)
    • Individual or group presentations, panel sessions, and moderated discussion sessions are all welcome. Each of these sessions will be 45 minutes, including a Q&A.
  • Interactive workshops (105 min.)
    • An opportunity to teach and explore current and emerging topics in a collaborative atmosphere. Workshops encourage a hands-on experience that may combine active learning, collaboration, and discussion.
  • Lightning Talks (10 min.)
    • A short individual presentation addressing a specific topic or project. Lightning talks provide attendees the opportunity to hear about a range of innovative ideas from a broad and varied group of colleagues in a short amount of time. Lightning talks will be grouped into sessions that may or may not be themed. Lightning talk sessions will be 45 minutes, including a Q&A.
Along with presenter(s) information, program proposals must include title, presentation format, presentation description (up to 300 words), short abstract (up to 75 words), and learning objective(s). Proposals will be evaluated on relevance to the conference theme, impact on academic libraries and higher education, originality, creativity, and clarity. For workshops, include plans for interactivity and audience engagement in the session description.
If you have a topic you’d like to explore and are looking for collaborators, consider adding your session idea to the Breakout Session Collaboration spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is not monitored by MiALA or the Program Committee and is not part of the official submission process.
Please submit your breakout session proposal using the application form located here by January 19, 2024. The primary contact listed on each proposal will receive a message indicating receipt of the proposal when it is submitted and decisions on proposals will be communicated to the primary contact in late January or early February.
Questions about proposals can be sent to
Questions about the conference in general can be sent to

IDEA Featured Resource

This month’s featured resource from the MiALA IDEA Resources for Education and Training list is:
Dunbar-Ortiz, R. (2014). An indigenous peoples' history of the United States. Beacon Press.
Description: American history leaves out or glosses over the colonization and genocides committed against the indigenous peoples of this continent. Dunbar-Ortiz writes this history and examines how the violent seizing of land and life from indigenous peoples has influenced American culture to the modern day.
As part of the IDEA Committee's continued effort to build a concise, streamlined list of recent articles, books, reports, training resources and toolkits, websites, videos, terminology resources, and online communities related to IDEA, MiALA members are invited to suggest resources. Make your suggestion here.

IDEA Reading Group Discussions

Save the Date: The IDEA Committee will be hosting a reading group discussion of Sophia Leung's article, "The Futility of Information Literacy & EDI: Toward What?" on January 24, 2024, at 10:00AM (Eastern).
Save the Date: The IDEA Committee will be hosting a reading group discussion of “Nice White Meetings”: Unpacking Absurd Library Bureaucracy through a Critical Race Theory Lens" on February 21, 2024, at 10:00AM (Eastern).


OER-IG - Leadership, Advocacy, and Communication discussion

Join the OER-IG monthly meeting for a Leadership, Advocacy, and Communication discussion. Special guest speaker Mandi Goodsett, Performing Arts & Humanities Librarian and OER & Copyright Advisor at Cleveland State University will be presenting. All are welcome.

Register here

OER-IG monthly meeting - Planning for March Open Ed Week IG

Join the OER-IG for their monthly meeting. We will be discussing and planning a collaborative event for Open Ed Week in March.

For more information, please visit:
MiALA Newsletter - December 2023