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.
Are you interested in sharing your experience with fellow library professionals? MLA has a variety of speaking opportunities available at upcoming work shops and conferences. More information will be posted as it becomes available, so check back often.
This year the MLA is honoring two outstanding elected officials with a special MLA Legislator of the Year recognition. This recognition is for leadership in promoting libraries and supporting legislation or amendments that advance our legislative goals.
State Representative Jim Stamas and Senator Geoff Hansen have worked tirelessly to advocate for increased funding for Michigan libraries to ensure libraries are available for Michigan residents in the future.
When one thinks of service to the library profession, one thinks of Larry Neal, MLA’s 2013 Librarian of the Year. His stand-out mentorship qualities, passionate advocacy and commitment to libraries of all types are among the reasons he was selected to receive this honor.
His contributions to the profession are broad. Larry participates in on the national level as the current president-elect of the Public Library Association. He was also recruited as a mentor for the ALA Emerging Leaders Program and Spectrum Scholarship. On the statewide level, He is a past president of MLA and former Legislative Committee chair, where he continues to serve as a committee member and whose contributions have propelled MLA’s advocacy efforts to great heights. Larry also helped design the LibraryCareers.org website, which Library Journal described as a jargon-free website that explains why the career would appeal to people with a variety of interests and skills, the kinds of libraries and positions they might fill and how to become a librarian.
Larry is a dedicated and conscientious library leader, able to bring people along to make an organization the best it can be. He is known for his intelligence, common sense and sense of humor. He has the ability to make complicated ideas easy to understand and holds firm to the belief that libraries are joyful places where all are welcome.
For over 30 years, the MLA Librarian of the Year Award has recognized a librarian’s outstanding contributions and accomplishments to the library community over a long period of time. Winners of this award provide innovative library service to his or her community and promote collaboration among libraries. The MLA Librarian of the Year shows evidence of personal and professional achievement as well as initiative and creativity. They are leaders who provide cutting edge ideas that inspire people. Only one award is given out each year.