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MLA Seeks 2018-2019 Board Member Nominations

The MLA Board of Directors is seeking candidates for the 2018-2019 Board Election. In April members will vote for a MLA President Elect, Treasurer, ALA Councilor and one member-at-large board position. The at-large position will serve for a three-year term beginning July 2018 and ending June 2021.

The nominations 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 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 28, 2017

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Libraries See Reduction in Penal Fines

Many libraries are reporting a significant reduction in their penal fines. MLA has initiated a survey to help gather data on the trend. Information obtained from the Michigan State Police indicates that the decrease in the library fine revenue is a product of fewer citations being written. Apparently the MSP has been looking into the situation. They report a reduction in the total number of police officers, so departments with the ability to dedicate officers to traffic enforcement is reduced. Additionally, MSP attributes the decline to their working heavily in the Secure Cities Partnership, which is mostly disadvantaged communities. They indicate they are there for a larger purpose of reducing violent crime, and increasing community engagement so they don't emphasize writing citations in these areas.

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Written by Gail Madziar, MLA Executive Director   

Executive Director's Desk - September 14, 2017

Gail Madziar Headshot

Sometimes you Should do Nothing

As executive director for the Michigan Library Association for almost five years I can tell you one thing for sure, this job is never boring. It's like people in Michigan say if you don't like the weather wait five minutes. It's very similar at MLA. New issues crop up daily or sometimes it's the same issue but from a different perspective. For instance, a short time 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. Now, this fall we're facing both those obstacles again. Sounds like same old same old. But this time we not only have new legislators to educate but we're more knowledgeable about the issue and the purpose behind it. Libraries are rarely the target, but we are often the collateral damage. So same issues but often a whole new way of handling and looking at them.

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Written by Steven K. Bowers, 2017-2018 MLA President   

President's Update - September 14, 2017

MLA 2017-18 President Steven Bowers

The end of summer is nigh and we've made it past the eclipse fever. My kids were ready to start school this month, even if they didn't want to let go of the laid-back schedule they enjoyed the past several weeks. At least we were able to fit in one last hurrah on the holiday weekend.

During orientation at our kids' school we had the opportunity as parents to volunteer for work in our children's classrooms. Since my wife, Sarah, teaches at the school, she didn't fill the form out. I guess she already has lots of opportunities to serve at the school. I signed up to be a class librarian for my daughter's classroom. Hope I didn't steal the opportunity from someone else that was eager to take on the role.

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Rep. Lee Chatfield Named 2017 MLA Legislator of the Year

Rep. Lee Chatfield and Pickford Community Library Manager Ann Marie Smith

State Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) was recognized as Michigan Library Association Legislator of the Year for his leadership in promoting libraries and supporting legislation advancing the library mission. Chatfield received his award at a community-wide celebration at the Pickford Community Library in Pickford, Mich. The library is a member of the Superior District Library. Read the press release here.

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MLA Advocacy - August 24, 2017

Interior image of the Michigan State Capitol Dome

Who needs advocacy?

An even more compelling question: Whose responsibility is advocacy? The simple answer to both questions is everyone. It gets a little more complicated when we try to sift down to our day to day lives, embrace the fact that we need to practice advocacy every day in our libraries, in our communities and in our personal lives and then try to determine how best to achieve it.

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Written by Gail Madziar, MLA Executive Director   

Executive Director's Desk - August 10, 2017

Gail Madziar Headshot

Escape the Ordinary with MLA and Your Colleagues

As we enjoy the final weeks of summer, the MLA office is focused on fall and annual conference being held October 18-20 at the Lansing Center. The MLA Annual Conference work group has put together a mix of education, networking and fun that will help you escape the ordinary. From escape rooms to keynote Manoush Zomorodi who is the host of the tech show about being human, you will be entertained and informed. Be sure to preregister for an escape room challenge. Space is limited. Our second key note Pat Wagner will focus on the skills needed to support library productivity and positive workplace relationships including ethics and service. Closing keynote is political commentator for Michigan Radio, NPR, Jack Lessenberry. Jack will be talking about fake news and how it impacts mainstream reporters and what librarians can do to help quell its impact in the community. In the spotlight this year is Nicole Cooke, PhD., Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director, The iSchool at Illinois. Her concentration includes human information behavior, particularly in an online context, along with diversity and social justice in librarianship. She is the author of the book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016).

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