Today I went to the Michigan Library Association (they’re getting a new website soon I swear!) planning meeting. It’s my first foray into conference planning beyond my home institution, and I was very pleased with the day overall. I met quite a few people from all over Michigan in both public and academic libraries. It was wonderful to meet a few people from Grand Valley State University – I always notice them publishing in places like College & Research Library News. Seems like a productive group and after today, I can say they are incredibly nice as well. 🙂 Plus, I befriended a librarian from the UP… can’t beat that!
What conference am I planning, you might ask? I am helping with the MLA’s Academic Libraries conference May 29-30 in 2014. Our workgroup is incredibly energetic, experienced and raring to go. We mapped out our program goals and specific outcomes this afternoon and will be dividing into sub-groups over the next few days to map out our programming, special events and marketing campaign. I think I’m going to be involved mostly on the programming side. How exciting!
I found connecting with MLA much more accessible (both geographically, economically and organizationally) than the behemoth that is ALA. Ultimately, I do have aspirations to get involved in a national context, but as an early career librarian, I found that just after one day, MLA is a good fit for me. I can dive right in, offer suggestions and feedback, sign up to plan and execute tasks, and feel generally needed. I think gaining some experience in this state level organization will give me more confidence if I ever dabble in national-level work groups.
So, get excited for my updates on the #MLA14AL (Michigan Library Association’s 2014 Academic Libraries Conference) in the coming months!