Technology improvements are underway at MLA. We have successfully migrated from the Lotus Notes email application to Outlook. This will provide much greater efficiency for staff. Our new email domain address is @milibraries.org and will match our new website domain when the revamped site launches this spring.
The old email address will continue to work for the time being, but we suggest you access our newly updated staff list via the Staff Directory, then update your contacts to ensure you can always reach us when you need us.
Tell me about yourself (e.g., where you currently work, how you got into librarianship, where you live, any fun or interesting tidbits about yourself)
I currently serve as the dean of the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education (FLITE) at Ferris State University. I live in Rockford, and appreciate that I get to go “up north” for work every day, especially as I pass over the Muskegon River (which I canoe/kayak with family and friends every summer). I also serve on the Kent District Library Board of Trustees, and will join the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services Board of Directors in 2014.
I’ve been a librarian since 1994, and became interested in the profession through an uncle who had a very successful career as a health sciences librarian. While I was in graduate school in 1993, the first major Web browser with a graphical user interface, NCSA Mosaic, was released. To me, Mosaic was a major harbinger of the flux and disruption that libraries have continued to experience since the early 1990s.
As an irrepressible devotee of the electric bass, I helped found two “open access librarian rock bands,” the Bearded Pigs, and Marc Fields and Bad Data.
Peter Drucker famously stated that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Great leaders possess dazzling social intelligence, a zest for change, and above all, vision that allows them to set their sights on the things that truly merit attention. Library directors are constantly managing their individual teams of trustees, staff, volunteers and others. It takes dedicated leadership to turn these groups into one cohesive team with a single vision for their library.
Are you looking for the skills that will take you to that next level of leadership? MLA Leadership Academy offers the kind of training not found in library school. Plus you will develop a cohort of colleagues that you can call on and count on for support as you navigate your way throughout your career. The six sessions cover everything from leadership fundamentals to successfully managing the politics inherent in every library position.
Jessica Trotter is Head of Public Services at the Capital Area District Libraries Downtown Lansing Branch. She graduated in 2001 from the University of Michigan School of Information in Archives. Before coming to CADL, she worked for the Houston Grand Opera as their Archivist and as a local history librarian at the Kent District Library Rockford Branch. Jessica is a genealogist and she studies and performs Middle Eastern dance with the Habibi Dancers in Lansing.
Describe yourself in three words: Creative, curious and reflective
What do you most like about working in libraries? What I like most is that moment when you are helping someone and they “get it.” I also like the fact that I get to do so many different things. There is an element of teaching that I enjoy, as well as creative elements and coming up with great books for people to read.
Why did you join MLA, and is it the same reason you are still a member? I originally joined when I was as a student at University of Michigan. I wanted to find out what was going on in the field in Michigan. That hasn’t changed. I am still a member because it helps me to connect with people and to know out what other libraries are doing.