December 2021

Member Spotlight

Denise Leyton

Denise smiling in front of grapevines

Denise Leyton Strategic Projects Coordinator in Library Environments The University of Michigan Library What are you currently reading? I just finished "Blackout/All Clear", a two volume science fiction novel by Connie Willis. Before that I read "The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek" by Kim Michele Richardson, which I would not recommend, and before that "Más allá del invierno" ("In the Midst of Winter") by Isabel Allende which I would highly recommend. Along with this book by Allende, my top books from this year are "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi, "The Anthropocene Reviewed" by John Green and "Somebody's Daughter" by Ashley C. Ford. "The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig and the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett were also very good! What are your research interests? My job focuses on user experience research which I conduct in order to promote inclusion and make improvements to the U-M Library's services and spaces. Do you have hobbies or interests outside of the library? I enjoy taking walks in nature or just around the neighborhood, hanging out with my dog and listening to podcasts. My number one podcast recommendation is The Real Question with Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile. What drew you to the library profession? I enjoy supporting undergraduate student learning! What do you value about MiALA? MiALA gives me an opportunity to connect with other library professionals across the state. This helps me bring new ideas into my work and the opportunity to put together programming on topics I'm interested in like the events we put on in the Web/UX Interest Group. I also enjoy having conversations and doing work to promote inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility at a state-wide level through the IDEA Committee. Is there anything else that you would like to share/include in your member spotlight?? I'm not on twitter but am always happy to connect over email!  

President's Address

Kate Langan

Greetings all,
Exciting things are happening in MiALA! I want to use December’s newsletter as an opportunity to highlight some of the excellent MiALA hosted events I have participated in this past month.
It is inspiring to see the ways in which MiALA committees and IGS have been engaging members in IDEA initiatives. On Nov. 11, I was able to attend the pop-up conference co-hosted by MiALA and MHSLA on “Creating Equitable Library Spaces” On Nov. 18, the Mid-Level Leadership IG hosted a thoughtful discussion on trauma informed management and services structured around the book, “Trauma-Informed Approach to Library Service” by Rebecca Tolley, 2020. I want to thank Liz Svoboda, chair of the MLL IG and the other IG officers for leading a compelling event.
I also want to call everyone’s attention to the stellar work that is happening in MiALA’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee. Co-chaired by Sheila Garcia
and Denise Leyton, the IDEA committee hosted a member meet on Nov. 18. The meet up focused on “Cultivating Active Engagement with IDEA.”  In this short hour, we discussed some very large ideas such as bring anti-racism training to the MiALA membership, ways to support engagement more equitably, and finally how to review MiALA’s mission and policies through the lens of equity and justice. These items were all brought to the Nov. 19th Board meeting. I am happy to report that the Board of Directors has formally recognized these priorities.
“The Board formally recognizes and supports the IDEA Committee's project to initiate an Internal review of MiALA web, policy, and other documents through an anti-racist lens in order to improve the inclusivity and equity of the organization during 2022.”
We are still in an information gathering stage and hope to take action in the coming months. We will be updating the everyone as the process moves forward. Our next Board of Directors meeting is Dec.17th.
I encourage you to join one of the many events hosted by our committees and IGs. MiALA Event Calendar Don’t see an interest group that meets your needs? You can create a new one!
Submit an online application which will be forwarded to the Interest Group Coordination Council (IGCC). The application will certify that at least five MiALA members (in good standing) are interested in the topic. The application will have a key contact person (who, if approved, will serve as IG chair until the next regularly scheduled election), a statement of purpose, and list of initial membership.
I also want to give a shout out to everyone involved in helping Kalyn build her knowledge and expertise in all things MiALA. Thank you to Michelle Strasz (Communications and Marketing Comm.), Rachel Minkin (all things financial), Jessica Hronchek (Conference Comm.), and
Katrina Rouan (Membership Comm.), and anyone I forgot to list. The collegiality and effort put forth this past month by so many has made the transition go as smoothly as possible. Thank you!
Want to be a member spotlight? Fill out the member spotlight questionnaire. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at
Hoping you all have a safe and happy December,

Web/UX IG Virtual Coffee Hour

Grab your coffee (or favorite beverage) and join the Web/UX Interest Group for a chat. Come and hang out with us and connect with other members of this interest group. Register in advance for this meeting: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

-Event Date: 1/25/2022
-Event start/end time: 10 to 11 a.m. -Event contact name and email: Angela Brcka, -Event location: online using Zoom -Require registration to this event: No, not through MiALA site (registration will happen through Zoom link)

Cultivating Active Engagement with IDEA Wrap Up

Katrina Rouan

On Thursday, November 18th, the IDEA Committee hosted the first Member Meet Up of the 2021-22 year, Cultivating Active Engagement with IDEA. Members of IDEA shared their Committee’s plans for the year ahead which lead to engaging dialogue from all attendees.
If you were unable to join us, you can view the IDEA Committee’s slides here.
Additionally, several participants used chat to share resources they have found useful, including:
“Becoming Anti-Racist” visual (scroll to view) -
Intercultural Development Inventory -
ALAO 2021 Conference presentation recordings -
Association of Southeastern Research Libraries archived webinars -
Examples of personal acknowledgement:
Michigan State University’s Native American Institute’s Guide to Land Acknowledgements -
Beyond the Land Acknowledgement: Indigenous Language Revitalization, Student Activism, and Library Research -
How They Did It: Exposing How U.S. Universities Profited From Indigenous Land -
Look for more information about future Meet Ups coming soon. If you have questions regarding Meet Ups, please contact the Membership Committee at 
Hope to meet up with you soon!
Katrina Rouan, MiALA Membership Committee Chair
MiALA Newsletter - December 2021