News - MLA

Letter from Debbie

May 27, 2021

Our world is changing and the library profession must address challenges that a few short years ago were nowhere on our radar. What was important yesterday, may now be irrelevant. Challenges that once were thought solved…back on the plate. Values of equity, diversity and inclusion, justice, accessibility are being brought to the forefront.

Last year, the MLA Board adopted a new mission, a new vision, and a three-year strategic plan. We affirmed that it is a “rolling” plan -- updated annually to make sure we remain relevant, continue to address the needs of the field, and address the achievements of MLA. 

At the same time MLA developed a strong mission and vision to guide our work, we also took time to develop a robust and deep-rooted set of guiding principles and beliefs. We began by surveying our membership, diving deep into our conversations with our stakeholders, and writing down a set of commonly-held “truths” that define our culture and beliefs. Our way of working is equally important as what we do. If we are to be effective, we must project and advocate for these guiding principles in all that we undertake – and right now, our world demands it of us. 

  • We believe that all libraries are central to the intellectual and creative lives of the people they serve. 

  • We believe that across all library types, we share a deep commitment to the enduring value and role of libraries in our communities, in our schools and campuses, and within our businesses. 

  • We believe in equal and free access to information and knowledge while protecting an individual’s right to privacy. 

  • We believe in the spirit of collaboration and building strong alliances, and that greater impact is made when we work together toward a common goal. 

  • We believe in life-long learning – being well-informed and well-trained to address and cultivate cutting-edge ideas. 

  • We believe in a member-focused environment – where members' opinions are gathered, vetted and analyzed to establish the direction and priorities of MLA. 

  • We believe that by investing in equity, diversity and inclusion that the library community will be energized and empowered to embrace best practices in the 21st century. 

We took our time, we developed a shared sense of who we are and what we believe. We are proud of the statements we have created…guiding us as the future unfolds. Yet, they are but a starting point for us. Tell us what is missing as MLA continues to take the next steps in addressing a changing world and profession. 

Debbie Signatiure

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director

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