Executive Director's Desk - November 12, 2015


There is so much happening at MLA and within the library community that it has been difficult defining a topic for today’s update. So, in a nod to David Letterman, here is MLA’s top ten list for November:

1. Legislation has been introduced this week that will opt libraries out of new as well as pre 1994 tax captures unless the capture has a bond attached. Passage of the bills has the potential to bring an estimated $8 million to $12 million back to Michigan library budgets. Libraries will have the option to participate in any tax capture if they so choose. MLA is presenting a Tax Capture overview and Legislative Update in Grand Rapids on November 23 at Kent District Library’s Cascade Township Branch Library. Please join us. http://members.mla.lib.mi.us/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/events/overview-of-tifas-ddas-and-other-tax-capture-districts-2015/163/

2. The MLA Board of Directors has approved a two-year 3% dues increase for Organizational memberships only beginning July 1, 2016. This cost of living increase, the first in five years, will help fund advocacy efforts such as the tax capture legislation and increase professional development opportunities. Individual dues remain unchanged at $85 for affiliated and $170 for unaffiliated members.

3. MLA 2015 held in Novi this year was a hit with well over 500 library professionals participating. Keynotes provided the subject matter needed to spark important dialogue and the new executive exchange will be expanded next year as a result of participant requests. In addition, nearly 70 librarians took advantage of free professional portraits offered at the conference. Revisit the MLA social media wall at http://www.milibraries.org/prof-development-networking/annual-conference/social-media-wall. MLA2016 is scheduled for October 26-28, 2016 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, MI.

4. Another MLA success story is the steady stream of mentees responding to MLA’s new mentor program. Consider sharing your expertise with the next generation of library professionals. Mentors are strongly encouraged to apply. http://www.milibraries.org/career-development/mentor-program/overview/

5. The MLA Board of Directors sent a letter to President Obama strongly urging he appoint a professional librarian as the next Librarian of Congress. It stated this critically important position as a leader for our nation’s libraries and cultural institutions requires the knowledge and experience of a librarian who understands the importance of librarianship and the role of libraries in our nation. A successful Librarian of Congress must understand the vital role libraries play in education and economic development in their communities. As you may know, the head of the Library of Congress is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, and serves as the chief librarian of all the sections of the Library of Congress. http://www.milibraries.org/librarian-of-congress/

6. Michigan librarians have the opportunity to have a voice in how the ALA is serving is members and communities with the election of Michigan’s own Christine Lind Hage, director of the Rochester Hills Public Library. A candidate for the 2017-18 presidency of the American Library Association, Christine was named MLA’s 1997 Librarian of the Year and has been an active MLA member since 1971. http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2015/09/hage-announces-candidacy-2017-18-ala-presidency

7. Last week after many unsuccessful attempts to find funding for Michigan's roads, the Legislature delivered a plan to Gov. Rick Snyder that would eventually push $1.2 billion more into the state's infrastructure. The package passed the Senate before narrowly gaining the approval of the House. In close votes -- one of which was 54-53 -- the House sent the seven-bill package to Snyder, who is expected by many to sign it into law. It is unknown how the changes will impact library funding or penal fines. While some of the changes take effect in 2017, the shift in general funds won’t begin until 2019.

8. Peter Drucker famously stated that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Great leaders possess social intelligence, a zest for change, and above all, vision that allows them to set their sights on the things that truly merit attention. Registration for MLA Leadership Academy is now open. Don’t miss the chance to learn those skills not taught in library school. http://www.milibraries.org/prof-development-networking/leadership-academy/

9. The MLA board of directors is seeking candidates for the 2016-17 board election. In April members will vote for a MLA president-elect and three member-at-large board positions. The at-large positions will each serve for a three-year term beginning July 2016 and ending June 2019. The submission deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 16, 2015. To submit a nomination, complete the form (available through the page link below) and e-mail it to MLA Director of Finance and Administration Genny Allen at gallen@milibraries.org. http://www.milibraries.org/mla-seeks-2016-17-board-member-nominations/

10. MLA sponsored and collaborated with Library of Michigan, the Cooperative Directors Association, MCLS, and MI-ALA for this year’s Mahoney Conference held November 11, in Bay City. Scheduled as a preconference program ahead of the Michigan Association for Media in Education annual conference, the event focused on school libraries and efforts being undertaken by libraries of all types to meet the challenge of disappearing school libraries. MLA exhibited at the conference as well.

Finally please let us take a moment to embrace the season and express our gratitude. MLA is grateful for the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who take time from their libraries, their families and their free time to help guide and direct your Michigan Library Association. As staff we appreciate your insight into the profession, your dedication to your patrons and your commitment to the spirit of our libraries. You enable the achievement of our goal to help libraries and library professionals succeed. Thank you and have a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving.

Follow me on Twitter! @MLAExec



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