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MLA Advocacy - August 23, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

What is advocacy? The MLA Leadership Academy recently had a presentation from former state representative Barb Farrah who is now with our lobby firm GCSI. We try to emphasize the importance of connecting with local and state elected officials when we're educating our next generation of library leaders. Barb talked about the importance of building relationships early with newly elected officials. Don't wait until January. Once elections are over in November, invite those newly elected lawmakers to your library for a tour, coffee hour, or any community event. You can even host a candidate forum prior to the election as long as you invite all known candidates to participate. We need to practice advocacy every day in our libraries, in our communities and in our personal lives.

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Written by Kristin Shelley, 2018-2019 MLA President   

President's Update - August 9, 2018

MLA 2018-19 President Kristin Shelley

I am reading, for the third time, "My Beloved World" by Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in preparation for the One Book, One Community event in East Lansing at the end of August. Justice Sotomayor refers to books and libraries throughout her memoir as the place she sought out as a child, and again as a student at Princeton University, as a calming place, a place of refuge, and where she sought knowledge about the broader world and subjects.

Sotomayor writes after the death of her father when she was nine years old, and the period of her mother's devastating grief, "My solace and only distraction that summer was reading. The Parkchester Library was my haven." She again references libraries as a student at Princeton University. "Whenever I felt out of place or homesick, I took refuge at Firestone Library. Books had seen me through an earlier time of trouble, and their presence all around me was both a comfort and an answer to the question of why I had come here."

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Written by Gail Madziar, MLA Executive Director   

Executive Director's Desk - August 9, 2018

Gail Madziar headshot

As the final weeks of summer fly by, the MLA office is working on annual conference being held October 17-19 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

This year the MLA Annual Conference Work Group is focusing on how to recharge your batteries. The opening keynote with Brenda Viola helps you Go the Extra Mile (When You're Running on Empty). Even superstars have battle scars and need to re-charge their batteries. Learn the six secrets to getting your mojo back in this inspirational keynote.

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MLA Advocacy - July 26, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol DomeHealth Insurance News

Our insurance partner National Insurance Services (NIS) has completed our applications and contacted a number of health insurance companies for proposals for our MLA group health/Rx, dental and vision insurance consortium.

The deadline for responses from these companies is set for August 10. As soon as we have that information we will immediately make it available to you. Thanks for your patience.

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Written by Kristin Shelley, 2018-2019 MLA President   

President's Update - July 12, 2018

MLA 2018-19 President Kristin Shelley

Welcome to the new fiscal year for the Michigan Library Association (MLA). I am truly honored to serve as your 2018-19 MLA President. Fresh on the heels of the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, I am proud and inspired to be in a profession that is forward-looking and customer-service driven. So many great programs and initiatives are happening around the state in libraries. We are proactively serving the needs of our patrons from Tahquamenon Falls to Kalamazoo to East Lansing to Port Huron and all points in between. Through the services of the MLA staff, board and volunteers, we will continue to advocate, innovate and communicate for Michigan libraries.

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Written by Gail Madziar, MLA Executive Director   

Executive Director's Desk - July 12, 2018

Gail Madziar headshot

Are We Doing the Best We Can?

I am a fan of Brene Brown books and every one I read leaves me with something to think about. My summer reading included her bestseller Rising Strong; How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live. In her books Brene takes the time to explain how she does her research and how it often impacts her in unexpected ways. One takeaway was her conclusion that often people are doing the best they can. While we know that is not necessarily true in all cases, it is probably true more often than we are willing to acknowledge. We all have our own opinions about what is the right thing to do as well as the right way to do it.

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MLA Advocacy - June 28, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

State Aid to Libraries up for FY 2019

The FY 2019 State of Michigan budget went to the governor's desk with a $1 million boost in funding for libraries in the state aid to libraries line item. MLA credits our library champions in the Senate, Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) and Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart) for their unwavering support of libraries. Their work on behalf of Michigan libraries is the reason we are seeing another million dollar increase for the third time in three years. In MLA's conversations with the two senators, they have made it clear they would like to see libraries continue to move upward toward previous funding levels. This is great news as we work to gradually rebuild this funding source.

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