President's Update - July 13, 2017

MLA President Steven Bowers

President's Update 

I want to welcome everyone to a new year at Michigan Library Association, even if we are in a Midsummer Night's Dream. While we enjoy the summer season in Michigan we are still hard at work. Libraries are at the height of summer programming, preparations for the fall semester, school-year planning, budget preparations and advocacy efforts and projects large and small. MLA is the voice of Michigan libraries and we are here to support the success of all libraries and library workers in the state. 
This year MLA will be continuing existing partnerships and forging new ones in our advocacy efforts for intellectual freedom, access to information, and library funding. The local, statewide, and national advocacy Fight for Libraries! is greater than ever. MLA urges everyone to become involved in efforts to strengthen the understanding and importance of what libraries contribute to a democratic society. Each of us can play a part in educating our local communities, our state legislature, and our national representatives. The MLA office will continue to be here to support and lead our statewide efforts but I encourage each of us to make this an ongoing part of our work and service for libraries. 
MLA is made by its members!  In addition to the important advocacy work of our association, MLA will be focusing this year on new efforts for membership engagement. Last year we began our new webinar offerings to allow members to participate in, and make connections for, new professional development opportunities. We will continue our webinars series and will also be looking to all members to participate in defining their own engagement through Interest Groups. It's up to each of us to be as involved as we want to be. More information and programming to support the groups will be available at the annual conference but you can sign up now! 
I'm excited about the professional development events MLA will be having this year. Speakers and activities for the MLA Annual Conference look more relevant than ever. The planning committee has worked with our MLA staff members to create a conference to foster engagement for all of the initiatives of our association. The year will be full with Leadership Academy programming, Academic Libraries conference, Spring Institute, Executive Summit, and lots of other events and opportunities in between. Make sure to check out the professional development scholarships
Please join us in efforts this year to be engaged, to participate, to grow, and to work! I encourage each of you to share your ideas with me as we move into this new year at the association. I'd love to help each of you get more involved and connected with others through the Michigan Library Association. 
This is it! It's all for you!  
Sincerely, Steve 
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