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Written by Gail Madziar, MLA Executive Director   

Executive Director's Desk - October 11, 2018

Gail Madziar headshot

“Change is the key that unlocks the door to growth.” - unknown  

One of my favorite books is “Change is Good, You Go First” by Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein. It’s a simple little book that offers encouraging ways to view change. It talks about our fear and often reluctance to make a change. Well, we have lucky number seven news items in today’s update and each one represents change. While you could classify them as good or bad, you can also look at them all as an opportunity. An opportunity for growth and for the future of our association and our librarians. Another of my favorite quotes in the book is “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance a lot less.” That’s something librarians have embraced for more than 150 years as our libraries continuously evolve to meet the needs of their patrons and communities.

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MLA Seeks 2019-2020 Board Member Nominations

The MLA Board of Directors is seeking candidates for the 2019-2020 Board Election. In April members will vote for a MLA President-elect and three member-at-large board positions. The at-large positions will serve for a three-year term beginning July 2019 and ending June 2022.

The nomination process begins with an open call for nominations for these positions. All MLA members are invited to nominate a colleague or self-nominate. The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee will review all nominations and may also seek additional individuals to meet identified needs. All nominees must be members of MLA at the time that the slate is presented to the Board of Directors for approval.

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MLA Advocacy - September 27, 2018

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Lame Duck Session Officially Starts After Elections

We'll be watching closely for any legislation that could impact library funding. After the November elections Michigan's lame duck session could bring unexpected and unwelcome surprises.

In politics, a lame duck is an elected official whose successor has already been elected. That will encompass all of Michigan's political leadership from the Governor to both legislative chambers. This means lawmakers are free to make decisions with little fear of consequence. Lame duck politicians result from term limits, planned retirement, or electoral losses. We will be reminding these legislators of the importance of continued library support throughout this session.

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Written by Kristin Shelley, 2018-2019 MLA President   

President's Update - September 13, 2018

MLA 2018-19 President Kristin ShelleyI like banned books and I cannot lie. You other librarians can't deny--my apologies to Sir Mix-A-Lot. The truth is that I read banned books and have read them since I was a child. I tend to like the subject matter of most banned books. As a young girl, I devoured books like "Charlotte's Web," "James and the Giant Peach," "Harriet the Spy," "The Diary of a Young Girl," and the list goes on and on. As an adult I seek out books that have been banned-"Catcher in the Rye," "the Bluest Eye," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Great Gatsby," and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," just to name a few. I also give banned books as gifts! Some are absolute must reads.

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Written by Gail Madziar, MLA Executive Director   

Executive Director's Desk - September 13, 2018

Gail Madziar headshotDon't Let Overwork or Stress Derail Your Goals

Once again MLA will be facing a challenging fall as we defend our libraries' funding mechanisms and the right to freely communicate with and serve patrons. A couple of years ago we fought and won a hard and expensive battle against assault on the first amendment and the right to educate our patrons. We also successfully fought back an effort to move all millages to November. We continued to educate lawmakers about penal fines and state aid. This fall it is very likely that we will face many of those obstacles again. 

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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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