President's Update - April 14, 2016

MLA President Leslie Warren

Happy National Library Week! This is the week that we celebrate our achievements and reflect on the many ways that libraries and library professionals support our communities. There is no doubt that this year’s theme, Libraries Transform, is true across Michigan and across the country.

There aren’t enough pixels in the universe for me to thank each of you who contributes to libraries and our communities. Instead, I am forced to highlight just a few people and accomplishments. Here goes:

First and foremost, thank you to all of you who provide a safe oasis in times of crisis. I’m looking at you, Flint Public Library. Kay Schwartz and her colleagues at the Flint Public Library inspire all of us. You stood up for your community, used your funds to make sure that everyone had safe water in their public library, and made sure that your community’s stories were documented through oral histories.

Thank you to those of you who support young people and help them develop into strong adults. Dion Mindykowski, director of the Tahquamenon Area Library in Newberry, is doing exemplary work here. Those of you who heard Dion’s Ignite talk at the 2015 MLA Annual Conference know what I’m talking about.

Thank you to Kent District Library director Lance Werner and all of you who advocate not just for your own library, but for all of us. Did you see Lance on the cover of Library Journal? Such a good choice for Mover & Shaker!

Thank you to Randy Riley and the excellent staff at the Library of Michigan. Your leadership throughout the state is appreciated. And I’m not just saying that because of your professional development grants, honest.

Thank you to the directors and staff of the cooperatives and other library organizations. Pam Christensen, Kate Pohjola Andrade and the others make it possible for us to work collectively and efficiently.

Thank you to Gail Madziar and the best association staff a board president could hope for. I appreciate all that you do to support libraries and library professionals.

Finally, the biggest, hugest thanks goes to the staff at the Lydia M. Olson Library at Northern Michigan University. You are the most dedicated, smart, kind staff that a dean could want. You do an amazing job each and every day. One week is not enough to celebrate the many ways that you transform our campus. Thank you!

Happy National Library Week, everyone!

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