Written by Kristin Shelley, 2018-2019 MLA President   

President's Update - November 8, 2018

MLA 2018-19 President Kristin Shelley

On the heels of the 2018 Michigan Library Association (MLA) Annual Conference and the midterm elections, many Michigan library staff members and libraries are celebrating renewed knowledge, energy, connections, and most importantly, that their levies passed. Congratulations to all the libraries who passed their levies on November 6! Let yourselves and your patrons celebrate those victories.

As we look forward, with this renewed energy, to the holidays and to 2019, the MLA Board of Directors will be conducting the search for the new MLA director. This process is progressing as we talk with possible search firms and develop a workable timeline. Not surprisingly, search firms are excessively busy right now.

It is also a time that MLA is gearing up for the New Library Director Academy. If you are a newly appointed library director in need of support and information, then the MLA New Library Director Academy: Survive and Thrive as a Library Director, is for you. Don't walk, but run to the nearest computer to sign up at www.milibraries.org.

The deadline to register is January 18, 2019. This program begins on February 25, 2019. It will address the many issues confronting new directors. The program includes an in-person workshop; three webinars; an individual consulting session with Maxine Bleiweis; and wraps up with a networking event. Maxine has 40 years of public library directorship, and she instills confidence while explaining how to find success and learn from failure. Suggested reading and discussion of practical scenarios will help attendees develop leadership skills. Topics include:

  • Personnel
  • Managing boards and city managers
  • Spotting trends
  • Leveraging your community for support
  • Taking care of yourself
  • Community leadership and management style

While management books and courses can be helpful, this approach bridges the vast gulf between theory and practice to help participants thrive as a community leader and library director. The combination of small group support and expert guidance offers personalized situational learning and opportunities to discover a close cohort of new directors.

The cost for the entire program, including follow up sessions is: $875 for members/$975 non-members. The New Library Director Academy is a great venue to continue to get renewed and energized.

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