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Written by Kristin Shelley, MLA President   

President's Update - June 13, 2019

MLA 2018-19 President Kristin Shelley

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" - Charles Dickens

It is hard to believe that another fiscal year is coming to an end for the Michigan Library Association. What a year it has been. Whew!

Here is a very quick look at the year in review:

We worked diligently on the Narcan bills throughout the fiscal year, and with any luck, they will be passed out of the legislature in June and then on to the Governor to sign. I testified on June 4, with Senator Wojno, to the House Government Relations Committee on SB 200, 282 and 283. These bills passed unanimously, again, through this committee and are now on their way to the full House for a vote. These bills hold libraries, library staff and their agents harmless if they choose to administer Narcan to someone who is overdosing.

The MLA 2018 Annual Conference was a great success in Novi at the Suburban Collection Showplace last October. There were nearly 600 attendees who engaged in sessions on leadership and teambuilding. We are back in Novi, at the Suburban Collection Showplace this year and expect another amazing conference. Registration is open!

We said goodbye and wished a happy retirement to MLA Executive Director, Gail Madziar. Gail leaves a great legacy at MLA. She worked on numerous legislation such as the tax capture laws and the Narcan bills, and she brought the organization into good financial standing. While Gail was not a librarian by trade, she definitely had a passion for all the great work that libraries do.

The Board of Directors hired the new Executive Director in April. We are thrilled to officially welcome Debbie Mikula on June 24. Debbie comes to MLA with years of experience in local, state and federal arts associations. Debbie and the MLA staff have already worked on an MCACA grant. She is excited to work for the libraries in Michigan.

Also, this fiscal year, Romy Fitschen was promoted from Director of Finance and Administration to Associate Executive Director. Please congratulate Romy when you see her for a very well-deserved promotion.

I am sure you have heard through the grapevine that MLA's President-elect, Michelle Boisvenue-Fox, has taken a job out of the state. A hearty congratulations to Michelle! What does this mean for the President position of MLA, you ask? The Board of Directors voted to extend my presidency for a second year, and Steven Bowers will be Past-President for an additional year. A huge thank you to Steven for his willingness to continue to serve MLA and Michigan libraries and thank you to the MLA Board for having the confidence in me to serve another term. 

MLA's tremendous successes this year would not have happened without the tremendous support of all of our members. Thank you to all of you for your support and dedication in helping make MLA a great organization. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, the MLA Board, Debbie, and the MLA staff at any time to share ideas, suggestions and concerns. We want to hear from you. Here's to a great fiscal year 2020 and many more successes.

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