News - MLA
Thursday, February 22, 2024 12:00 AM

Note From Dillon

February 22, 2023

Dillon Geshel

For MLA, the beginning of a new year is an exciting time. As we settle into another year of work in service to member libraries, we reach out with our annual Call for Ambassadors. It’s an opportunity for the organization to remind our membership about the many volunteer opportunities available, re-engage with longtime volunteers, and welcome many new faces to our work groups and committees. As a membership organization, the work and success of MLA is only made possible by a committed membership base that steps up to help us achieve our goals. From conference planning to defending the freedom to read, mentoring new leaders and so much more, MLA ambassadors transform our priorities into real value for the membership through their commitment and hard work. And guess what? MLA is ready to find an ambassador role for every interested member. Everyone is welcome, and the more folks that step up, the stronger we are as an organization. 

My own volunteer path with MLA highlights a lot of the different opportunities available to members. As I’m writing and reflecting on that journey, it strikes me that simply saying yes has put me on a path of professional growth and organizational impact that I’m very proud of. Are you ready to say yes?  

In 2018, I volunteered for the first time with MLA, working at the registration booth at the Annual Conference. After experiencing the fast-paced nature of the registration booth work, and the joy of meeting so many new library professionals, I knew I wanted to continue to volunteer. I returned to the conference the following year to help with the registration booth, introduce speakers and share conference highlights in real-time on social media. 

By 2021, I was willing to throw my hat in the ring and run for the MLA board. I was selected for the ballot as a member-at-large candidate but didn’t garner enough votes to win a seat. That same year, after a board member ended their term early, I was asked to consider being appointed to the MLA board to finish that term. I said yes, and so much meaningful volunteer work followed.  

Over the last several years I’ve had the pleasure of serving in leadership roles on the Annual Conference Workgroup and the Intellectual Freedom Task Force. After learning so much as a first-time library director through MLA’s mentorship program, I’ve now participated twice as a mentor. Currently, I also serve as a member of the Advocacy and Legislative Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. 

I’ve continued to say yes to MLA because as an ambassador, I see the value of our work in real time. As a first-time library director, those first few volunteer opportunities with MLA helped me to meet future mentors who helped me develop new skills and confidence as a library leader. They also helped me learn more about MLA, the organization's priorities and services, and gave me the knowledge I needed to step into a role on the MLA board. Now, as an MLA board member, I see how our ambassadors provide direct, positive impact to the membership from a big-picture perspective.  

If you are ready to get more involved with the organization, MLA has a place for you among our many ambassadors. I hope you’ll consider how your time and expertise can help make MLA an even more impactful organization in 2024, and join us as an ambassador. 

Dillon Geshel signature

Dillon Geshel
MLA President
Director, Superiorland Library Cooperative


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