President's Update - July 14, 2016

MLA President Kathleen Zaenger

As the 2016-17 MLA President, I look forward to learning new skills and working with the dedicated volunteers and staff.  It is an honor to be part of such a powerful team in this influential organization.  I have worked in libraries and have been active in professional library organizations for many years, but it is truly a privilege to serve in this distinguished role. 

The MLA staff, board and volunteers have labored effectively.  Some of MLA’s recent successes for members include:

  • adding half-day training opportunities and webinars
  • expanding networking for young professionals at the annual conference
  • enhancing the MLA Mentor program with 34 successful matches

While the MLA advocacy efforts heard the voices of library supporters:

  • to help squelch the effects of SB571 that would have barred local governments including libraries from spending public funds on TV ads, mailers or phone messages about local ballots proposals. 
  • to sustain state aid to libraries at the same level as last year despite an estimated $500 million reduction in state revenues.
  • to help in the efforts to change Tax Tribunal Dark Store practices which reduces tax revenues to local governments including libraries.  
  • to pass a Senate bill which will protect libraries from tax captures. 

MLA is Celebrating 125 years!  What a notable milestone.  Look for the big celebration at the annual conference in Lansing, October 26-28, 2016.  Bring your memorable stories and/or plan to make new ones.  This will be fun!

One of MLA’s long-time partners is the American Library Association who is promoting a multi-year campaign to demonstrate how Libraries Transform. In this next year, we are working to forge some new partnerships that will transform opportunities for MLA members. 

It’s very rewarding to work as part of something bigger that brings value to so many.  There is a feeling of great purpose here.  Thank you for giving me this happy opportunity.


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