My year of service to you is almost done. Wow, this past year went quickly. As I look back at my work with MLA this year, the one word that comes to mind is perspective. People see the world and issues through their own lenses based on experience, philosophy and motives. There is nothing wrong with this fact of life. Sometimes in our profession we are overly averse to sharing differences of opinion that are needed to make change and to move forward. We should celebrate our differences. If we all saw things the same we would have a bland Michigan library landscape instead of the rich and innovate library culture that permeates our state.
The Michigan Academic Library Association (MI-ALA) was formed in this past year. Academic librarians will always have a place in MLA. We will continue to offer substantial value to all Academic librarians through advocacy and professional development. If academics need more opportunities than MLA can offer then I'm glad MI-ALA is here to help. Gail, Leslie and I met with members of MI-ALA at MLA's Academic Libraries Conference. We had a great conversation on how the two groups can work together in the future.
The MLA board will be voting on a new strategic plan in June. The plan was created quickly but it's a good plan that gives direction to MLA staff while also requiring more advocacy by the MLA board to share the value that MLA provides the library profession. Don't be surprised if you get a call or see a MLA board member reaching out to library professionals in a more active way.
I'd like to thank MLA staff for their help in so many ways this past year. I'd also be remiss to not say thank you to my home library, the Grand Rapids Public Library, for allowing me this opportunity.
I'm excited for the future of the Michigan Library Association. I'm excited for library professionals. There is a world of opportunity for us all, at least that's my perspective.
Make it an outstanding day! Asante.