Executive Director's Desk - August 11, 2016


One of my favorite quotes is from a simple truths book that I keep on my desk. It’s by Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein titled. “Change is good…You go first.” It talks about change being a gift that we should embrace. Our MLA Annual Conference workgroup has taken that pursuit to heart and they have some interesting and innovative new events for MLA 2016.

Since we’re celebrating a milestone anniversary, 125 years of service to libraries and library professionals, there is nothing like a party to honor the past and look toward the future. Thursday night’s reception will surprise you with clever and just plain fun ideas. Browse through exhibits, poster previews and our life size history timeline.  You can get your picture taken in a photo booth and enjoy music from the decades while enjoying some great food.

At the suggestion of our MLA President, the workgroup also came up with a new way to raise funds for the MLA scholarship fund taking 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 5 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. For the Library SOUP top five visit our website.

Our legislative update takes on a new look as we add a government relations panel with John Chrastka, Every Library; Gary Owen, Governmental Consultant Services Inc.; Mary Rzepczynski, Delta Township District Library; and Lance Werner, Kent District Library. You’ll take away ideas to spark your own participation in the legislative process. The session complements our update on pending legislation by GCSI lobbyists. Plus, you can find out how the election results could affect your library.

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 Anne Seurynk, Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, focusing on common legal issues that arise during board meetings.  Any dean, director, upper management or aspiring leader is encouraged to attend. Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 3:15 – 5:30 p.m. The session is free but we ask you to please register in advance.

Also new for Wednesday evening is game 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 game 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 snacks and great company. 

A Local Brews Beer Crawl is set for Thursday evening, October 27, 2016 when you can tour and taste the best local brews that Lansing has to offer.  Join old friends and new colleagues for food and drinks as the group travels from pub to pub using the safe and convenient CATA Entertainment Express to make your way around the city.  Feeling festive with Halloween around the corner?  Feel free to dress in your best costume.  A full list of pubs and a map will be available prior to the event. 

While change is good, some of our classics remain just that as 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 Awards.

There is so much more planned, both new and classic to enjoy and learn from you won’t want to be left out of MLA2016. Please help us celebrate 125 years. You can register here.

Congratulations 2016 MLA Librarian of the Year

Congratulations to Tammy Turgeon this year's 2016 MLA Librarian of the Year. Tammy is an outstanding individual and well deserving of this honor. Join us Thursday for the award ceremony. For more information, visit: http://www.milibraries.org/about/librarian-of-the-year/

A Note of Thanks

We express our gratitude to MLA Director of Finance and Administration Genny Allen for her years of dedication and service to MLA and members of the library community. Genny has moved on to a larger association where she will experience new challenges and opportunities for professional growth. We wish her every success and the best of luck.  

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