Meeting FAQ

MiALA Meeting Planning Frequently Asked Questions

Is your group interesting in planning a MiALA meeting? Are you confused about the different types of meetings & events hosted by MiALA?
Below are questions that have been asked by other MiALA members. Click on the question for the expanded answer. If you need further information and/or have suggestions for questions/information to be hosted here, please contact Heather Ladiski at
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Annual Conference - happens annually, usually around the 3rd Thursday and Friday of May. Usually a 1 1/2 day event with general session (including a keynote speaker), poster session with posters (determined through a call for proposals in January), breakout sessions with presentations (determined through a call for proposals sent in November), and a business meeting. Interest Groups can schedule networking opportunities during the conference. There is a registration fee for members and non-members to attend. This conference is coordinated by the conference planning committee.


Mini-MiALA Conference - a one day educational opportunity mid-MiALA year (as not to compete with the annual conference). Takes place late fall. Provides multiple opportunities for membership participation including presenting breakout sessions and networking. There is usually a registration fee for members and non-members to attend. To keep attendee fees minimal, grant funds are available upon application and approval by the board of directors.


Pop-up Conference - scheduled as an educational opportunity coordinated by a specific section(s) and/or interest group(s) with one determined focus. Usually a 1-day event. There is usually a fee for members and non-members to attend to cover expenses. To keep attendee fees minimal, grant funds are available upon application and approval by the board of directors. These conferences are coordinated by Section and/or Interest Group leaders.


Board Meetings - The board of directors meets either in person or (more often) virtually at least quarterly, per the MiALA bylaws (but normally monthly) to conduct the business of the organization. Board members provide reports from the committees/sections that they liaise and other old/new/recurring business is discussed. Minutes are posted on the MiALA website after approval. These meetings are coordinated by the board president and secretary.


Strategic Planning Retreat - happens annually. Either 1 or 1 1/2 days. Opportunity for incoming/outgoing board members, committee chairs, section chairs and chairs-elect, and Interest Group chairs and chairs-elect to learn about the resources available to them as well as determine the strategic plan of their respective groups in the upcoming year. Registration is complementary to all eligible attendees through budgeted association funds. This retreat is coordinated by a task force determined by the board.


Committee Meetings - Opportunity for committee members to meet (usually virtually) to conduct the business of the committee. These meetings are coordinated on an as needed basis by their respective committee chairs.


Section Meetings - Opportunity for members of a section to learn and/or network either in person or virtually. These meetings are coordinated on an as needed basis by their respective section boards.


Interest Group Meetings - Opportunity for members of an interest group to learn and/or network either in person or virtually. These meetings are coordinated on an as needed basis by their respective interest group boards.


Section Chair/Board Liaison Meetings - Opportunity for chairs of all sections and their respective board liaisons to meet to discuss the issues of interest to sections and their respective interest groups. Information learned and questions that need further guidance are shared with the board of directors at their next meeting. These meetings are coordinated on a regular basis by the board.


Webinars/Online Workshops - Opportunity for members and non-members to attend an educational program virtually using an online meeting platform (such as Webex, Zoom, or GotoMeeting). These programs are coordinated on an as needed basis.


The list above is not meant to be all inclusive. Committees, Sections, Interest Groups, and/or other groups may use whatever means/venues that they prefer to hold meetings and events.
Check out the event planning section on page 28 of the MiALA policies and procedures manual. There is information on planning events. Click here for the Section/Interest Group Program/Event Planning Timeline and Checklist.
Yes. You can go to the MiALA events calendar on the website. This calendar shows not only MiALA events but other library conferences/events that may be relevant to MiALA members. If there is a meeting/event that you believe should be listed on this calendar, email MiALA at As soon as your meeting/event date is secure, be sure to have it listed on this calendar.
There are a few ways to handle expenses for MiALA meetings/events. If possible, try to obtain sponsorship of these expenses through your (or your member's) library/network. If sponsorship through your network is not possible, grant money may be available through association funds. You will need to determine projected expenses for your meeting/conference and apply for funds using the application located here. Applications will be forwarded to the board for consideration to subsidize some or all expenses. If awarded funds do not cover expenses, then registration fees would need to be charged. After determining a registration fee structure, registration is handled through the MiALA website. You would need to work with Heather at MiALA to set up your registration page. All monies are handled by the MiALA office.
No. Any unused grant funds go back into the grant fund pool to be used for another meeting/conference.
There are many ways to share the news of your meeting/conference such as the monthly eNewsletter, the events calendar and/or MiALA news feed on, the MiALA Facebook page, and the MiALA twitter feed. MiALA members can submit a news/event article using the form here.

Please refer to the MiALA policies and procedures manual located on the MiALA website for editorial policies and deadlines prior to submission. Submissions are welcome at anytime but should be received prior to the 15th of the month for inclusion in the next monthly eNewsletter.

News articles for the website news feed and eNewsletter should be concise and clear, and use simple sentences and active voice. Submissions may be edited due to space limitations or editorial decisions.

If you have any questions prior to submitting your news article, contact the Communications and Marketing committee chair at
Yes, if you would prefer to have only those who are members of MiALA and/or only members of your Section/Interest Group attend your meeting/conference, there are ways to limit registration through the website.
The board has recently purchased a license for Zoom online meeting software. For more information, and to reserve this software for your online meeting, contact the MiALA Administrative Assistant, Heather Ladiski, at
If you are interested in having a face-to-face meeting, meeting rooms at the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services offices in Lansing are available for free to conduct MiALA business. For more information and to reserve a meeting room, contact Heather Ladiski at Meeting rooms are subject to availability. Please note that the meeting rooms at MCLS are available "as is" meaning there is no audio visual equipment or expertise included with your reservation. Your group is responsible for bringing and setting up any needed AV for your meeting.
We do not have a mechanism at this time to share low/no cost speakers but it is encouraged that the members of your group reach out among their network of colleagues for speaker ideas.