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President's Update - April 14, 2016

Happy National Library Week! This is the week that we celebrate our achievements and reflect on the many ways that libraries and library professionals support our communities. There is no doubt that this year’s theme, Libraries Transform, is true across Michigan and across the country.

There aren’t enough pixels in the universe for me to thank each of you who contributes to libraries and our communities. Instead, I am forced to highlight just a few people and accomplishments.

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President's Update - March 10, 2016

I recently participated in a fantastic workshop from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The conference focused on development and fundraising for academic leaders, but the messages can be applied broadly.

The importance of developing a message to communicate with supporters was repeatedly discussed. The presenter credited Penny Hunt, an experienced advancement professional, for a “five finger” approach to organizing a message:

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President's Update - February 11, 2016

Show of hands, please – who wants to ride a Zamboni? Last weekend two of my student workers and I got to do just that at a Northern Michigan University hockey game. In a few days, we’ll get to climb to the rafters of the Superior Dome, NMU’s 14-story athletic dome. People are sometimes surprised when I tell them that I’m convinced that adventures like this contribute to the success of our library.

To be fair, I don’t expect that riding a Zamboni or standing in the Superior Dome rafters will necessarily translate into immediate improvement of library service. At minimum, though, these adventures expand the library staff’s connection to campus and add no-cost opportunities for fun and morale.

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President's Update - January 14, 2016

Today’s topic is the value of professional associations, specifically the value of active participation in said associations. I’m reflecting on this topic for two reasons. First, a student and I are going to present on the topic in a few weeks as part of Northern Michigan University’s Student Leader Fellowship Program. Second, SB 571 highlights the need for Michigan Library Association as a place to bring together our voices.

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President's Update - December 10, 2015

Allow me, please, to share the silly highlight of my week -- a tiny dog wearing a tiny cowboy hat sitting on a miniature horse outside our library.

Like many academic libraries, Olson Library collaborates with a local therapy pet organization for an evening of smiles and wags to help students cope with the stress of final exams. This semester we had a special visitor, Dixie the mini-horse, who was perfectly comfortable with her friend Clara sitting on her back. Needless to say, Dixie, Clara and all the other therapy dogs were quite popular on campus.

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President's Update - November 12, 2015

This month I have a challenge for you and for me. I challenge each of us to reach out to someone at another library. You get bonus points if you reach out to someone at a different type of library. The goal is simply to start building a relationship. Have a conversation about your common goals and think about what you can do together.

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President's Update - October 8, 2015

The MLA Annual Conference is just around the corner. I am registered, I have my hotel reservation and I downloaded the conference mobile app (text MLA 57780). All ready then, right? Well, not so much.

Now comes the hard part – deciding which sessions to attend. Seriously, this is not going to be easy. Have you seen the schedule?

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