Communities of Practice Listserves

Communities of Practice Overview

Michigan Library Association has developed Communities of Practice (CoPs) to create and archive knowledge, develop and document best practices, solve problems and build relationships among professionals.

Current CoP areas of interest include Academic, Children and Youth, Circulation/Access Services, Economic Development, Library Technologies, Reference and Work/Life Balance for Librarians.

What is a Community of Practice and why is it important?

  • They are a place where colleagues an network and share information on topics of shared interest.
  • They can retain knowledge in “living” ways, unlike a database or a manual.
  • They can steward competencies to keep an organization at the cutting edge.
  • They provide homes for identities. They are not as temporary as teams, and unlike business units, they are organized around what matters to their members.

What will CoPs do for me?

MLA members want the opportunity to network and pursue topics of interest. MLA Communities of Practice are intended to be:

  • Groups by topic or interest area;
  • Flexible to meet member interests and needs;
  • Inclusive of all MLA members throughout the state;
  • Supportive of peer–to-peer professional development;
  • A means for identification of emerging issues and professional development needs.
  • They require voluntary leadership. Member participation drives the community and participation is in the hands of the members. Communities are primarily Web-based so that all members may participate and have open access to the same information. Community lifecycles are dependent on member interest, topic timeliness or relevance and whether members want to produce a concrete product or output beyond archived discussions.

Why should I participate?

This is your chance to help build something to meet the needs of library professionals in Michigan. By participating in a CoP that matters to you, you can explore networking opportunities online with colleagues and engage with others as you wrestle with a problem and find solutions. You can connect with your peers and lead MLA into the future.

What outcomes do we want to achieve through Communities of Practice?

  • Open access to all and broad participation by members
  • A supportive forum for networking and discussion
  • Simple, clear, easy process to get involved and participate
  • A warehouse of member-created resources
  • The incubation of new initiatives
  • A positive, rewarding culture within MLA
  • A powerful, united presence in the community at large

How do I get involved?

Login to your MLA profile via the Update Personal Profile link under the Membership section and select “Email Discussion Lists” from the drop down menu at the top. Join as many CoP listservs as you like by selecting a subscription type to the CoP(s) of your choice. Click the “Submit Changes” button at the bottom of the screen. You will receive an email verifying your successful subscription(s).

Joining the list-serv is all that is required to become a member of a Community of Practice.

For more detailed instructions, read how to join a MLA Community of Practice.