I want to take a moment and welcome everyone to the MiALA 2017-2018 year! We had such a successful annual conference in May, and I’m excited to build on that momentum as we continue to grow MiALA. August 10-11 the incoming, outgoing, and standing board members, committee members, section chairs, and interest group chairs all met for a day and a half strategic retreat.
This was a great time to meet everyone face to face, and begin charting the course for what we would like to see accomplished over the next year. We also heard from Krysta McDonald, the immediate past-president of the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO), who spoke with us about how to navigate organization challenges, develop members to be leaders, and build a vision for MiALA. It was an excellent keynote, and I think we all really appreciated having her insight.
We also decided on a theme, or guiding vision, for this year. As a relative newcomer to Michigan (I’ve only been here three years), I really want to focus this next year on our members and who they are. In that vein, the theme for this is Engage, Diversify, Build
. We want to find new ways to engage
the members that we have, through programming, networking, and professional development opportunities. Many of our members talk about their personal relationships as the reason they got involved in MiALA. Making sure that we keep those personal relationships as the foundation of MiALA is critically important to our members across the state.
We want to diversify
our membership as well. This means making sure MiALA is reflective of who librarians are in our state, and the populations they serve. We need to create a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse organization. Additionally, we want to find new and innovative ways to reach out to librarians, library staff, and undergraduate and graduate students. Diversify
also targets members at all stages in their careers-from newly minted librarians to those who have been in the field for a number of years. All are valued and important members of MiALA, and we want to make sure that MiALA meets the needs of our membership. It also means that the many different types of libraries we have in this state-community colleges, private colleges, public universities- in urban and rural communities, from the UP to Detroit, are well represented in MiALA.
Lastly, we want to build
our membership and capitalize on the membership we already have. Our members are smart, engaged, and passionate. We want to build our membership across the state-from individual to institutional memberships, so we’ll be looking at ways to expand that over the next year.
If you have ideas, comments, suggestions, concerns, or just want to chat, my door (email?) is always open. I’m looking forward to this year!
MiALA President, 2017-2018