MLA 2021 Virtual Conference Archives
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MLA 2021 Virtual Conference Archives

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Michigan Penal Fines and Libraries

Track: Lead

Michigan is the only state to have constitutionally mandated funding for libraries through penal fines. Penal fines account for 3% to 70% of public libraries' annual budgets, and this funding source is an important priority for the MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee. The collection and distribution of penal fines can be complicated to understand, join this session to learn more about the history of penal fines and the impact this unique funding source has on public libraries in various regions of the state. 


Catch Me When My Millage Falls: A Proposal to Reform the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A to Stabilize Property Tax Revenues

The main source of funding for the majority of Michigan libraries is from property taxes. Two state laws, the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A, have created budget constraints for libraries and municipalities by limiting tax revenues during times of economic growth, but have no floor on how much property valuations can fall for tax purposes during economic recessions. This has resulted in a significant loss of revenue, and the need for libraries and cities to have to go for “Headlee Override” millages or find other ways to address budget shortfalls. The Michigan Municipal League is leading a coalition of organizations in advocating for two simple fixes through a legislative change that would allow communities’ revenue to track with the state’s economy. Join us to learn more about the history and impact of Headlee and Proposal A, the plan to reform the law, and where libraries fit in!


So You Want to Be a Library Director? Part 1 & 2

The library director is an essential position. The director sets the tone for the organization, shapes its culture, influences its hiring decisions, and works with the governing body, staff and community to chart a mission, vision and goals for the library. It is an exciting and rewarding job, yet finding good candidates for open positions is becoming more and more challenging, as library workers shy away from moving into administration. Without good library directors, what happens to the future of libraries? Part 2, will help you prepare for your interview, introduce you to commonly asked questions from library director interviews, and help you figure out how to answer them. This session includes plenty of time for Q & A.


Remote Work Renaissance 

Well, we got through that pandemic, and some people still want to work remotely - now what? Let's spend some time exploring a number of best practices that employers are using to ensure remote work is mutually beneficial; from topics of efficiency to the technology being used, to the impact on culture, and considerations for library policies. The year 2020 prompted a renaissance in how and where work can be performed. Let's consider the lessons learned as we plan for the future.


No Pictures Please! First Amendment Audits: How Libraries can Prepare

Michigan libraries are the latest group to be in the viewfinder of "First Amendment Auditors" looking to garner attention and embarrass public officials on social media. These "audits" can be stressful and traumatic for staff and patrons who witness them. What should a library think about when considering policies and procedures related to First Amendment Audits? A practicing Library Law Attorney and a Law Librarian turned Library Law Consultant provide a "snapshot" history of First Amendment Audits and focus on how libraries can prepare for and mitigate an audit.

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