September 2020

Member Spotlight!

Kate Langan

Kate Langan
Humanities Librarian
Western Michigan University

MiALA Vice President - President-Elect

What are you currently reading?
I mostly listen to audiobooks that I access through Kalamazoo Public Libraries. I get the most listening done while walking my two dogs every morning before work. My preferences have leaned towards autobiographical works by women in politics; Hilary Clinton, Condaleeza Rice, and Madeleine Albright to name a few. Oh, I guess I should have said former U.S. Secretaries of State. :) Actually reading is reserved for short stories by Borges and Calvino. 

What are your research interests?
For research, I am currently reading anything to do with philosophy of information and connecting the philosophical works of Wittgenstein on the naming and labeling of information. Another aspect of this is looking at bias in the labeling of information and how that connects to the information literacy classroom. 

Do you have hobbies or interests outside of the library?
I am a figure skater and belong to an adult synchronized skating team with the Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association. During the summer, I am at the lake waterskiing and trying to make it through that slalom course. 

What drew you to the library profession?
My career path has always been academia. After a few degrees in French Literature I realized I enjoyed the researching more than synthesizing. Teaching has always been a great joy and I knew that when switching over to academic librarianship, I would to focus on public services, particularly research support and instruction.

What do you value about MiALA?
Mi-ALA provides connectedness and an alignment of our professional pursuits that is more intimate than what we can find at the national level.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I am a mom to 4; one at WMU, one at K College, one in 9th, and one in 4th). I am a transplant to Michigan byway of many states and countries. Since 2009, I call Kalamazoo home.

Did you miss a MiALA event this summer?

Did you miss the MiALA leadership retreat? 
Did you want to attend the MiALA/MHSLA Joint Conference on Adult Learners but was unable to view it live?  

You can review these and other recorded sessions by going to the Archived Event Page:

President's Message

Cynthia Simpson

Welcome to the 2020-2021 academic year! While our landscape may look a little different, our service and commitment to our campus communities and each other remain unchanged. MiALA is here to support you in your efforts and initiatives. In this vein, there are a few exciting opportunities ahead of us:
MiALA will be selecting our first Academic Librarian of the Year, to be honored in a combined ceremony with the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Library Association and the Michigan Association for Media in Education. This virtual ceremony will be October 29, 2020, and the nomination form will be live on our site in the very near future. Please nominate that deserving colleague, or even yourself!

As many of our members struggle with financial hardship, reduced hours or loss of income in your home, MiALA is offering a discounted hardship membership renewal for the 2020-2021 year. You define what that means and there is no proof required. We need you. We need your voice and your contributions to make MiALA strong and accessible for everyone.

To help with reopening and curbside pick-up initiatives, MiALA has created a plan repository on our homepage. Use it to benchmark initiatives your institution is considering or to discover new opportunities for service delivery. The repository is more impactful the more plans it contains, so please consider adding yours. A brief description of what has been implemented would also be beneficial for our library community.

Look for more information in the coming days on virtual socialization opportunities, organized by our fantastic Interest Groups.

Going forward, there will be bumps in the road, but our journey will be easier because we travel together and support each other in these challenging times. I’m looking forward to our year together!

Be safe, be well and be kind to yourself-

Nominations open for MiALA Academic Librarian of the Year Award

The MiALA Board is excited to announce the MiALA Academic Librarian of the Year award!

This award has been created to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of a MiALA member librarian or library administrator and their contributions to their institution and academic libraries within the academic year 2019-2020.

The winner, along with other award recipients, will be formally recognized during a special statewide event, to be held the evening of Thursday, October 29, 2020 (via zoom). The winner will receive the following:
  • $250 cash award
  • Statuette
  • Complementary registration to the 2021 Annual Conference

The deadline to nominate yourself and/or a fellow colleague is Wednesday, September 23, 2020. For more information on eligibility and to submit your nomination, go to the award page: 

Share your library reopening plans

Are you interested in learning about library reopening plans throughout the state? 

Would you like to share your library's reopening plan with your fellow colleagues?

We are currently accepting library reopening plans & are sharing them on the MiALA Library Reopening page: 

This page will be updated frequently as information is received.

Pandemic Membership Renewal Offer

In response to the pandemic and the financial impact currently affecting all aspects of our lives, the MiALA Board has approved an initiative in hopes of providing relief to all of our fellow MiALA colleagues. We do not want a fee to prevent members from continuing their membership during these tough economic times. Starting now until September 30, 2020, all current individual, student, and retiree members of MiALA, can renew their membership for 2020-2021 at whatever they can pay (even if it is $0).

If you have any questions on this initiative, please contact the MiALA administrative assistant, Heather Ladiski (
MiALA Newsletter - September 2020