Executive Director's Desk - August 10, 2017

Escape the Ordinary with MLA and Your Colleagues
As we enjoy the final weeks of summer, the MLA office is focused on fall and annual conference being held October 18-20 at the Lansing Center. The MLA Annual Conference work group has put together a mix of education, networking and fun that will help you escape the ordinary. From escape rooms to keynote Manoush Zomorodi who is the host of the tech show about being human, you will be entertained and informed. Be sure to preregister for an escape room challenge. Space is limited. Our second key note Pat Wagner will focus on the skills needed to support library productivity and positive workplace relationships including ethics and service. Closing keynote is political commentator for Michigan Radio, NPR, Jack Lessenberry. Jack will be talking about fake news and how it impacts mainstream reporters and what librarians can do to help quell its impact in the community. In the spotlight this year is Nicole Cooke, PhD., Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director, The iSchool at Illinois. Her concentration includes human information behavior, particularly in an online context, along with diversity and social justice in librarianship. She is the author of the book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016).
The opening reception will have you breaking in during a special event planned by the MLA work group. While you play the game, you can browse through exhibits, enjoy some cool jazz, great food and connecting with colleagues. Then, head back to the Radisson for game and stitch night. Are you secretly a Jenga prodigy or possess world domination skills and rule at Risk? Find yourself and your new conference friends at MLA’s Games and Crafts Night and end the first event day winning at Life! Whether you are new to gaming or a pro, we’ll have a wide selection of board games available to play. Learn some new games and play some of your favorites while you enjoy some great company.
A fundraiser for the MLA scholarship takes a cue from the go-fund-me craze. Library SOUP is a fundraising event that helps secure money for innovative library projects. In an American Idol-style event, the top contenders will have a chance to make a short presentation to convince you why their project should be chosen. Attendees will vote for the winning project. Half of your $10 ticket price will go to the Library SOUP award and the other half will go to MLA's scholarship fund.
Don’t miss our legislative update with Gary Owen, Governmental Consultant Services Inc. Find out what’s really happening in Lansing and what we can expect heading into a huge election year.
Back by popular demand is Executive Exchange. Billed as an unconference in a conference, this two-session event will include high level round table discussions about what keeps you up at night and a presentation from library consultants John Keister and Sarah Keister Armstrong to help directors engage with, persuade, and motivate trustees to become advocates for the libraries they serve. John and Sarah bring a combination of professional advice and practical tips on navigating the relationship between board members and directors. The three-pronged session will cover how directors can better speak the language of boards, how to motivate trustees into active roles as advocates, and practical tips you can apply when you return to the library. Any dean, director, upper management or aspiring leader is encouraged to attend Wednesday, October 18, 3:15 - 5:30 p.m.
The Thursday night Intersections Reception at the East Lansing Public Library highlights their new renovation and provides some hands on activities along with plenty of fun, food and beverage.
The State Librarian’s Lunch on Friday at 12:30 p.m. honors the winner of the Library of Michigan Foundation’s State Librarian’s Excellence Award. The Michigan Author Award winner Doc Fletcher will be honored at the lunch on Wednesday. He has published six books about the joy of paddling Michigan's rivers including his latest book, “Canoeing and Kayaking College Campuses in Michigan”. Learn more about Doc and his books at www.canoeingmichiganrivers.com
There is so much more planned, both new and classic to enjoy and learn from you won’t want to be left out of MLA 2017. I hope to see you there. You can register here.
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