President's Update - July 9, 2015

LWarren
MLA President Leslie Warren
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This is an exciting year for the Michigan Library Association. I am honored to be your president. We have a thoughtful, productive board of directors bringing many important perspectives to the table in order to fulfill our mission of helping libraries and library professionals succeed.

In June the board approved a strategic plan that will guide us as we move forward to develop new partnerships, explore new ways to serve our members, continue to be the leader in advocacy for Michigan libraries and identify new ways to continue the association's financial strength. The plan reflects the aspirations and challenges that you noted in last year's membership survey, work done by our committees and informal feedback shared with the board and MLA staff. Those of us who were able to attend the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco heard a lot of buzz same themes being addressed on the national level. I look forward to sharing the plan in more detail and discussing ways that we can work together to build on programs that are already underway.

I'm particularly excited by the strategic opportunities related to collaboration. The MLA board has been discussing collaboration not just between libraries and library organizations, but also opportunities to develop partnerships with other professional associations. Identifying state-level organizations with goals and values that complement what we do in libraries will help us promote the value of libraries and increase the opportunities to support our communities.

Within the library community itself, new initiatives such as the MLA Mentor Program are being established to provide a method of introducing and encouraging librarians and other library professionals to work together and network within the community. If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to participate as either mentor or mentee.

This past year there has been a lot of discussion about what types of libraries MLA supports. I can assure you that the Michigan Library Association continues to be a strong, multi-type library organization that supports libraries and library professionals in many settings. The board is committed to working with all organizations that share our values. The board is also committed to continuing to provide opportunities for engagement, professional development and leadership for members from all types of libraries. I am very pleased that our membership continues to reflect our multi-type mission.

I am pleased that MLA is working with Michigan Association of Media in Education (MAME), the Library of Michigan and others to discuss ways we can work together to support school librarians and media specialists. In November, MLA will participate in the 2015 Mahoney Workshop on Collaboration and Student Achievement: How School, Public and Academic Libraries Are Working Together.

I am looking forward to working with each of you this year. The Michigan Library Association depends on you and all of our members in order to fulfill our mission. Your participation is what allows us to be successful as an association. Without you, we could not advance our common values of Access to Information, Professionalism, Sharing, Leadership and Sustainability. Michigan Library Association is strong because we work together.

I hope to see each of you in October for the annual conference. Please contact me if you would like to meet with me while we're in Novi. I will make sure that I am available to chat with individuals or small groups about your aspirations, questions, concerns and ideas. In the meantime, you are always welcome to reach out to me by phone, email, or in person in the beautiful Upper Peninsula.

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