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Letter from Debbie

Deborah E. Mikula headshot

If you've been watching our Facebook page this summer you know that MLA has been on the road around the state, enjoying behind the scene tours, and participating in thought-provoking conversations about where you, our members, feel we should head. With our leadership transition firmly established, I am inspired by the honest and open dialog that I am having at these visits. You’ve stated that you want MLA to be intentional about our future, to move the needle, to look outward at other industries, and bring a fresh, new perspective to our collective impact.

The world is changing quickly and we must stay current on trends and innovations, and explore unfamiliar/atypical partnerships that will keep libraries at the forefront of our communities. The word “hyper-local” was used by one leadership team I met with to describe a new vision for their library and I was taken with this term and hope to explore it with more of you in the coming months.

With all that said…MLA has a strategic plan to write!

A new three-year strategic plan will serve as a road map for MLA; it will carefully lay out how we execute our chosen strategy to achieve our mission. This plan will focus our energy, resources and time and include concrete, realistic and measurable goals as well as benchmarks and timelines. 

The new plan will guide us in expanding and improving how we deliver core services and help us envision a more culturally rich environment for the state through public, academic, school and special libraries. It will also present a coherent mission, vision and theory of change, which will become the platform for strong and effective strategic leadership, strategic thinking/decision making and fiduciary governance/management. Additionally, with your input and participation in this process, we will improve membership engagement - fostering collegiality and a creative exchange of ideas. Rest assured, we are paying close attention to national and worldwide trends, and with your help and input, we will develop a plan that puts libraries at the forefront of our communities well into the future.

We may be a year behind as our leadership transition took place, but we are moving forward with lightning pace to gather all the necessary input from our membership, board and strategic partners to envision a bright and productive future.

We have contracted with NEW (Nonprofit Enterprise at Work) in Ann Arbor to conduct a portion of the strategic planning process and they will be doing a membership survey, conducting strategic interviews and facilitating a mission/vision session at the MLA September board meeting. Once we've collected and analyzed all input, I will be drafting the plan document to be ready for the MLA board to review at the December 2019 meeting and a final document ready to distribute in January 2020.

Be watching for a membership survey in your inbox in the very near future, and when you are asked, we hope you will contribute your best thoughts and honest input to our mission and direction.

We are excited about our forward momentum. The sky is the limit.

Debbie Signatiure

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director

MLA on the Road

MLA on the Road

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