MLA’s Mission

Helping Libraries and Library Professionals Succeed.

MLA Values Statements

Access to Information:

MLA values free and open access to information and skilled professional assistance in information retrieval and research while protecting an individual’s right to privacy.


MLA values the advancement of well-informed and well-trained library professionals through quality professional development.


MLA is a forum for collaboration, cooperation, and partnerships cultivating cutting-edge ideas and awareness of best practices in an open and supportive culture.


MLA provides leadership and empowers members to promote libraries as a powerful united presence that is civically engaged and socially active to provide for the sustained stewardship of informational, financial and community resources.


MLA is a sustainable, financially viable association that is characterized by diversity and has the ability to quickly change to meet member needs.

MLA’s Membership

MLA’s membership is comprised of nearly 2,000 individual and institutional members from public, academic, private and special libraries.  MLA serves all library professionals and their supporters.


MLA is Michigan’s oldest and largest library association spaning three centuries,  Guided by the belief that free access to information is the cornerstone of a free society, the Michigan Library Association has advocated for libraries on behalf of the state’s residents for over 100 years. MLA defends the right to read,  advocates for adequate library funding, clarifies library governance issues, promotes librarian education, and works for free access of information to all residents.

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.