Interest Group Procedures

Starting an Interest Group

The Board of Directors will approve new interest groups when the application demonstrates the following:

  • At least 10 MLA members plan to participate;

  • The group’s purpose is consistent with MLA’s mission and values;

  • The group’s planned activities further MLA’s mission and the group’s purpose;

  • The group has a communication strategy that encourages participation of its members; and

  • The group intends to use a communication strategy that limits participation to MLA members.

Applications to start a new interest group may be submitted at any time. Download the application form here.


For fostering member engagement MLA Interest Groups should have a specified purpose and format. Established groups may be supported with existing tools such as listservs, informal face to face settings, space to meet at the annual conference, etc.

All meetings and events must be confirmed through the assigned MLA staff member by the group’s coordinator. Doing so will enable MLA staff to promote the event, answer question, and ensure that any financial arrangements are properly managed. Please note that interest groups do not have the authority to collect registration fees or enter into contracts for meeting space, catering, or any other arrangements. Interest groups must contact the MLA office to discuss any financial issues.

The group’s coordinator will also be responsible for facilitating and maintaining the integrity of the group, making sure members are registered members of MLA and that all other guidelines are followed.


MLA Interest Groups are open to all MLA members. Members may register for interest groups through the MLA website. The group’s coordinator will be provided with names of newly registered members at least weekly.

Continuing an Interest Group 

Existing interest groups will be renewed by the Board of Directors when at least 10 MLA members are registered as members of the interest group and the group’s annual report demonstrates the following:

  • Interest group members participate in the group’s communication channels and/or other activities;

  • Activities in the past year further the purpose of the group; and

  • Activities planned for the upcoming year are consistent with the group’s purpose.

Interest group coordinators are expected to submit annual reports by March 31. Interest groups that have existed less than six months are not expected to submit an annual report.

Discontinuing an Interest Group 

The Board may discontinue any interest group fails to meet the renewal requirements two consecutive years or fails to follow MLA policies or procedures. Members of an interest group will be notified before the Board considers discontinuing the group to provide an opportunity to address concerns.

If you are ready to establish a new interest group start here.


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