President's Update - May 10, 2018

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MLA President Steven Bowers
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I was able to attend so many great events this past month and some more good ones are coming up. Both speakers for the recent human resources workshop on difficult conversations were excellent. They really knew how to focus in on helping employees succeed at doing their jobs well, and how to prevent uncomfortable situations that none of us want to encounter. There was a nice crowd at the event and we wrapped up with very engaging table talks.   

The ALA Advocacy Bootcamp, sponsored by Michigan Cooperative Directors Association and MLA, and held at the Library of Michigan, was packed. The powerful session helped refocus advocacy efforts on building support networks of library champions. The presenters suggested that we each can identify individuals in our communities that we need to develop relationships with to strengthen our advocacy partnerships. Advocacy can then be a natural outpouring from community members rather than repetitive asks from our libraries.

Many of you have likely encountered the ALA Libraries Transform campaign and toolkit in the past. I am excited to report that ALA recently released a new toolkit for the campaign that will allow us to make customized Libraries Transform materials with Michigan branding. You can access the toolkit here.  
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Many of us are aware that our communities include transient and long-term homeless persons. Our libraries work to serve these individuals as we would anyone else. Each person we serve has unique needs. The Homelessness in Libraries workshop this month was another engaging opportunity to learn how to better serve the homeless in our communities.   
 
I’m already looking forward to next month’s Executive Summit. We’ll be meeting in Lansing to hear about leadership through change management. At this point in the game I think we can all see that change is an essential part of successful libraries. This year’s Executive Summit isn’t just for administrators, it’s for anyone that wants to prepare for change. Please join us to learn how you can fit in and be a leader in changes for the future.  
 
I truly believe we are doing great things to fulfill our mission at MLA to help libraries and our communities succeed. Make sure you are participating in some of the many outstanding professional development and service opportunities offered by our association. Let me know if you need help getting connected. Don’t miss out.  
 
You Got Me Up!
 
-Steve
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