The founders, Deborah Burand, Jerry Dennis and Inger Schultz, were brought together by a love for writing in the remarkable environment of the Great Lakes at the Bear River Writers’ Workshop and inspired by the Rocky Mountain Land Library commitment of connecting people to land.  They envisioned a library based on the geologic formation of great lakes that transcends borders and boundaries, eight states and two provinces connected by water; a library dedicated to inspiring exploration and understanding of the cultures, lands and water of the region. They founded the Library of the Great Lakes.


Founded in 2016, the Library of the Great Lakes incorporated in Michigan in 2017. The Library is a 501c-3 non-profit organization.


We imagine a world where all who encounter the waters of the Great Lakes and their surrounding region find connection to, become patrons of, and are joined by the past, present and future of this cherished place.


The mission of the Library of the Great Lakes is to inspire and launch explorations of the science, history, literature, arts, and cultures of the Great Lakes region.


To create a library without walls that invites all who encounter the Great Lakes region, in person or virtually, to:

•            Connect to this region more deeply and inclusively 

•            Understand this region more thoroughly and expansively

•            Cherish this region more mindfully and actively

Our team

Co-Founder, Director, Secretary

Deborah Burand is a professor of clinical law at NYU School of Law where she directs the International Transactions Clinic and the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship. When not teaching law, Deborah can be found at her cottage in Saugatuck, Michigan.   

Her career spans academia (NYU and University of Michigan), private sector (global law firm where she provided pro bono legal support for the world’s first debt-for-nature swap), nonprofit sector (microfinance and conservation), and public sector (Federal Reserve Board, Treasury Department, and the US government’s development finance institution (now called the DFC) where she served as General Counsel).


Kristin Evans is a writer and is in the midst of drafting a novel for curious-minded middle-graders about time traveling through libraries. Her concurrent career in business has included roles in marketing and events management, executive education and project development and direction.  It spans work with small businesses, large corporations, universities, and a Native American consortium. Growing up along the salt-water coast of California, she has lived in her adopted Great Lakes region for a dozen years and enjoys the freshwater of Lake Michigan every summer and whenever else possible at the family cottage.

Co-Founder, Director, President, Treasurer

Inger Schultz’s nonprofit board service includes Great Lakes Performing Artists Associates and the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts where she co-founded its Youth String Orchestra. Inger also founded the Arts in the Arb featuring Shakespeare in the Arb at University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum, where she taught, raised funds for and contributed work on interpretation of botanical gardens and arboreta. She worked with Arthur Miller in raising funds to construct the Arthur Miller Theater. As a chemical engineer she tested public water supplies and taught technical communications. On occasion, Inger can be found hunting for Petoskey stones along the Michigan shore.