Letter from Debbie

January 23, 2020

My, how time flies! Having just passed my six month anniversary at MLA, I was reflecting on what has given me the greatest satisfaction. Like all of you, some days the work feels calm and stable and other days…like we are spinning a dozen plates that have been set on fire.

Many of you won’t be surprised to learn that I like both kinds of days. When it is quiet, I can contemplate and reflect on the challenges you have shared with me on how you envision the library community changing. When it is busy/noisy and chaotic, I can feel the energy and passion for impactful changes. No easy task to keep those plates spinning, but I am helped and surrounded by many talented and passionate individuals and organizations, and without them, those plates would come crashing down.

Without hesitation, I feel the most satisfaction when I recognize that MLA can’t make change happen if we do it alone. We can’t be at our best unless we build a culture where everyone contributes and everyone gets credit. The “two heads are better than one” scenario enables us to get out of our silo and solve challenges together rather than individually. Our partners and collaborators – like the leaders at the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME), the State Librarian and the staff at the Library of Michigan, the 11 Co-op Directors, and so many others -- help us keep the plates in the air and help us unite all libraries here in Michigan. We are at their table and they are at ours, helping to make libraries stronger and more relevant by recognizing library excellence in contributing to the growth and strength of their communities and campuses.

It is in the molding and shaping of ideas with partners whom we trust, that we will accomplish more than we ever thought possible. So glad to be a part of “library land” here in Michigan and thank you to all for embracing collaboration and partnership -- sometimes the best ideas come from combined solutions from different perspectives.

Debbie Signatiure

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director

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