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President's Update - July 9, 2015

This is an exciting year for the Michigan Library Association. I am honored to be your president. We have a thoughtful, productive board of directors bringing many important perspectives to the table in order to fulfill our mission of helping libraries and library professionals succeed.

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Written by Asante Cain, 2014-2015 MLA President   

President's Update - June 11, 2015

My year of service to you is almost done. Wow, this past year went quickly. As I look back at my work with MLA this year, the one word that comes to mind is perspective. People see the world and issues through their own lenses based on experience, philosophy and motives. There is nothing wrong with this fact of life. Sometimes in our profession we are overly averse to sharing differences of opinion that are needed to make change and to move forward. We should celebrate our differences. If we all saw things the same we would have a bland Michigan library landscape instead of the rich and innovate library culture that permeates our state.

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Written by Asante Cain, 2014-2015 MLA President   

President's Update - May 14, 2015

One of the most challenging tasks in communicating with others is how to effectively give negative and positive feedback. When giving feedback, feelings of embarrassment, not wanting to be confrontational and the vulnerability required to share your feelings can all be uncomfortable and roadblocks to this specific type of communication.

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Written by Asante Cain, 2014-2015 MLA President   

President's Update - April 9, 2015

"In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move." - Henry Rollins

This past winter has been a season of strategic planning for me. I participated in strategic planning at my home library this winter and for the Michigan Library Association in March. It is interesting see all the different ways strategic planning can be done. No matter how it's completed, it is great to get results that your organization can use as a focal point for guidance. It is reassuring in being able to refer back to a document to help navigate all the opportunities you have in front of you. A quality strategic plan gives organizational focus that can’t be duplicated.

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Written by Asante Cain, 2014-2015 MLA President   

President's Update - March 12, 2015

The Value of Volunteering

As library professionals volunteering is close to our hearts. When you work in a library so much of your work is helping people. As I’ve worked in libraries I’ve found that it makes me feel good to help people with things that I understand how to find, solve, or create. Frequently patrons are overjoyed when I’ve helped them solve an information need or brought them a useful program or service. When I volunteer I get the same feeling. It’s fun to help people and organizations.

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Written by Asante Cain, 2014-2015 MLA President   

President's Update - February 12, 2015

The old idiom, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” might be trite, but there is no arguing its logic. Lack of planning often yields lack luster results, but has any librarian ever said, “I can’t wait to launch this mediocre program. Our patrons won’t be able to care less about it!” Of course not, but without proper planning, they might as well.

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Written by Asante Cain, 2014-2015 MLA President   

President's Update - January 15, 2015

It is difficult, if not impossible, to enact a new program or service without incorporating some attribute of a previous related effort. It is easy to get inspiration from past successes as you go about a new project. If you know something has worked before why would you not do it again the same way? However, over time, what has worked before becomes stale, ineffective or uninteresting to you and your patrons. Look at your storytimes, circulation policies, adjunct structure, how you liason with other departments or simply how you shelve books. Are you doing things the same way you did them ten years ago? You may have lofty goals to do things better but how do you bridge that gap from where you are to where you want to be? Failure is the key.

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