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Written by Gail Madziar, MLA Executive Director   

Executive Director's Desk - October 11, 2018

Gail Madziar headshot

“Change is the key that unlocks the door to growth.” - unknown  

One of my favorite books is “Change is Good, You Go First” by Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein. It’s a simple little book that offers encouraging ways to view change. It talks about our fear and often reluctance to make a change. Well, we have lucky number seven news items in today’s update and each one represents change. While you could classify them as good or bad, you can also look at them all as an opportunity. An opportunity for growth and for the future of our association and our librarians. Another of my favorite quotes in the book is “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance a lot less.” That’s something librarians have embraced for more than 150 years as our libraries continuously evolve to meet the needs of their patrons and communities.

  1. At the September MLA Board meeting I announced my retirement date of March 15, 2019. It is a bittersweet decision. I love my job, the librarians and my staff but it is time for my next adventure. We have accomplished so much in my six years here and MLA is on solid footing both financially and in our advocacy efforts. Membership is high at more than 1,600 total individual and organizational members. The association is led by a strong board and we have a dedicated and capable staff. In a future update I'll be sharing some of the things I've learned over my years as your executive director. Please know I will miss you. 

  2. The MLA Board of Directors approved a 1% dues increase for organizational members for the next four years. This reflects a small cost of living increase to cover expenses as your association works to bring you the latest training and professional development opportunities and continues our successful advocacy efforts in the legislature. For a class 1 library that amounts to an increase of under $2 per year. For a class six it's around $58. Watch for more details in January.

  3. MLA has a new leadership program for new directors. This does not replace the Library of Michigan new director training. That is an important overview and is required for state aid qualification. MLA’s program is a combination of in person, webinar and one-on-one events and digs deeper into your scariest problems as a recently minted library director. You’ll also be part of a cohort meeting regularly at the MLA office to help you continue your successful journey. You‘ll have a chance to chat with the instructor at the opening reception in Novi. Learn more

  4. Also, if you’re a new director you may want to catch MLA Board members Cathy Russ and Karen Knox in the MLA annual conference breakout session geared especially for those new library leaders. Library Management: Problem Solving: Wednesday, October 18, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

  5. Exciting changes to MLA database, the MLA website and registration module are now live. Transition to our new database MemberClicks offers enhanced website navigation, a dedicated annual conference site and easier registration for our professional development events.  

  6. Congratulations to Pickford Community Library. They were ranked number one in the USA in the 2019 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. This is the second year Scholastic is recognizing the contributions of libraries and community partners along with schools in the challenge. The Pickford Community Library coordinated and administered the challenge for Pickford Public Schools, area homeschoolers, and participants from other Eastern Upper Peninsula schools. From May 7 to September 7, 152 area students read 338,057 minutes. In addition, the local community provided outstanding support for the library's "piggyback rewards program" in which students earned in-house prizes all summer long.

  7. When you’re at MLA 2018. in Novi next week, please stop by the MLA Booth or connect with me in the hallway, at sessions, etc. I would love to take the opportunity to chat and say goodbye.

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