News - MLA
Thursday, November 17, 2022 07:51 AM

Note from Scott

November 17, 2022

Scott Duimstra HeadshotI’d like to welcome you with my first official President’s Update after being President of MLA for one week. Life happens fast! First, I’d like to thank Ryan Wieber for all his work not only for MLA but also for the libraries he’s worked for in Michigan. Ryan was always the colleague I turned to when I had questions or wanted to run an idea past a knowledgeable director. He will be missed, but Lincoln City Libraries are getting one of the best directors I’ve known. 

As I move into my new role with the Michigan Library Association, I look at libraries in our state and try to envision what we’ll encounter in the coming year. We have many things to be grateful for in our profession. As we focus on end-of-year reports and statistics and we look at how the pandemic impacted our libraries, we are beginning to see more people coming back, more items being checked out, and more people visiting library events. This gives me hope that activities in our libraries will return to pre-pandemic numbers. As an organization, MLA has accomplished a lot in the year as well. We’ve just had our first in-person annual conference since before the pandemic, and, overall, it was a great success. We’ve made progress on the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan. We’ve had events that highlight the organization’s dedication to Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Belonging. Also, as the past MLA Treasurer, I know that we are in a very good place financially to fulfill our mission and strategies for the coming years. All of this points to a healthy organization. 

But there’s still a cloud hanging over libraries with the increase in challenges to our materials and the news that the operating millage for Patmos Library was again not renewed due to the library not giving in to requests to take out LGBTQ+ materials in their collection. We need to stand with the Patmos Library and realize that there is work to be done by all of us. MLA has started the work. We’ve put ourselves forward as a “champion of access” and an organization that “actively advocates and educates in defense of intellectual freedom…”. These statements make me immensely proud to serve as the MLA President. The advocacy of these values is not of one political party against another. Instead, it focuses on the mission and values of what all libraries stand for, which is an individual’s right to access, explore, research, and become a well-informed citizen. Through this, they begin to see themselves in our libraries. We must hold these values high and, as the President of MLA, I’ll pledge to be a champion and advocate for our libraries and the laws, mission, and values they were built upon and ask that you join me. 

I look forward to working with the MLA staff, the MLA Board, and all of you to make MLA an organization where you’re proud to be a member.

Scott Duimstra



Scott Duimstra 
MLA President


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