The organization of Michigan Friends began with the formation of a “Friends Committee” in 1961 as a component of the Michigan Library Association. This committee evolved through a series of affiliations and alliances within the Michigan Library Association structure to become a full Division of MLA in 1966. That status was short-lived, however, as the MLA Friends Division was soon reduced to a Roundtable with no seat or voting privileges on the MLA Executive Board. Sometime around 1969 several members of the Roundtable began the process of forming the Friends of Michigan Libraries (FOML) with its own governing board and board officers.
While this move away from MLA was an important step in FOML’s history, it left FOML without a home to carry out its business operations and with limited funds to continue its work in support of Michigan Friends. Fortunately, early pioneer leaders such as Harriet Larson came to the rescue in the 1970s by negotiating a collaborative agreement with the Livonia Civic Center Library to use that library as the mailing address for FOML business as well as the location for the FOML Archives. FOML board meetings were held at various libraries around the state, but most often at the Livonia Civic Center Library.