Call for VOlunteers 2021-2022

Take advantage of the opportunity to make a difference in the Michigan library community. Develop your leadership skills and grow your professional network by volunteering to serve on a committee or work group.

All MLA members are eligible to participate. Nonmembers interested in volunteering are welcome to join MLA by filling out the online membership application or by contacting us at (517) 394-2774 or [email protected].

Mark your calendars for the volunteer orientation schedule for Tuesday, June 15, 10:00 am -12:00 pm. All volunteers will receive notification of their volunteer placement and login credentials for the orientation by June 1, 2021.

Review available opportunities below and complete the online volunteer application by Friday, April 30, 2021.

You will be asked to select your top three volunteer choices and you will need to input your Google email address or email associated with a Google account, a brief bio (optional), prior volunteer experience with MLA or other organizations that serve libraries (required), a brief statement of what you would like to accomplish by participating (required) and a current headshot (required).

Please make sure you have a current photo available to upload to the signup form. Photos will be used for MLA's website and communications. Your photo should be high resolution, cropped to 500x500px and submitted as a .jpeg .jpg or .png. Please name your file using your first and last name. Ex: "First Name-Last Name.jpg"

By volunteering with MLA you agree to adhere to the volunteer agreement and responsibilities including adhering to MLA's Code of Conduct. Review the Volunteer Agreement.

You will need to log in to complete the volunteer sign up form. Retrieve your username or reset your password by visiting the links below and inputting your primary email address. This will be the email address where you receive MLA communications.

Standing Committees

Standing committees are typically one to two-year term volunteer opportunities that require a high level of commitment by their respective members.

Work Groups

Work groups are task-oriented, project-based opportunities that focus on a specific outcome and are closely aligned with volunteer skill sets and interests. The commitment for these work groups is a one-year term, June through July. The functional working time will vary by group and usually require less than a full year.

Volunteer

Learn More

View the recording of our April 15th MLA Connect Coffee Hour: Getting Involved with MLA to learn more about getting involved with your state association and hear from current MLA volunteers representing some of the various committees and work groups about their experience as a volunteer.

 


Conferences

MLA Annual Conference 

October 19-21, 2022, Tentatively planned in-person in Port Huron.

Description

The MLA Annual Conference is the largest library event in the state of Michigan and includes educational sessions, networking events, exhibit hall, awards recognition, fun interactive experiences, and keynote speakers that have included industry leaders, best-selling authors, storytellers, and experts.

This three-day conference is scheduled Wednesday through Friday, October 19-21, 2022 in Port Huron, Michigan. Everyone who works in or loves their library is invited to attend including directors, department heads, reference librarians, children and teen librarians, academic librarians, clerks, pages, trustees, and more. 

Meeting Schedule

Meetings are generally scheduled every other month on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 10:00am - 12:00pm and will be hosted on Zoom. A tentative schedule is listed below, but the schedule is subject to change if needed.*

There are currently 11 scheduled meetings.

  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Tuesday, August 10, 2021
  • October - No Meeting due to 2021 conference
  • 10:00 - 12:00am, Tuesday, November 9, 2021: Review Meeting with 2021 committee
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Tuesday, December 14, 2021
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Tuesday, February 8, 2022
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Tuesday, April 12, 2022
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Tuesday, June 14, 2022
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Tuesday, August 8, 2022
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Tuesday, September 13, 2022
  • Time TBD, Monday, October 11, 2022
  • Event Dates: Wednesday, October 19 - Friday, October 21, 2022
  • Post Event Meeting 2 weeks after event

MLA staff and the work group Chair and Vice Chair will meet 1-2 weeks ahead of each scheduled group meeting to set the meeting agenda.

*Additional meetings or rescheduling may be needed to accommodate the group members’ workloads.

Desired Qualifications

Willingness to bring new ideas to the table, ability to plan and meet deadlines, decision-making ability, vision and creativity, project management, and public speaking because you may be asked to assist with introductions and session management during the conference. Previous MLA volunteering experience is preferred but not required.

Communication will be hosted primarily on a shared Google Drive and via the work group e-list. Meetings will be hosted on Zoom. A google based email address is required.

Time Commitment 

Work group meetings will be held bi-monthly from 10:00 - 12:00pm on the second Tuesday of the month. Assigned duties beyond the work group meetings vary and may require extra time.

Additional Duties

Work Group Member Responsibilities: Active participation to solicit sponsorships and create high-quality professional development programming; contribute talents and expertise in areas such as social media, exhibits, special events, and program development; collaboratively work with fellow work group members and MLA staff; contribute to ongoing and clear communication; accept assignments from the chair or MLA; act as an ambassador for MLA and attend/volunteer at the event.

Chair Responsibilities: Be familiar with MLA’s missions, goals and objectives for the conference; work with MLA staff to create meeting agendas; encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate; support vision and innovation; anticipate emerging trends and hot topics; assign duties to work group members as necessary; ensure the timeline set forth by MLA is adhered to.

Vice Chair Responsibilities: Record meeting notes and distribute information following group meetings; be familiar with MLA’s missions, goals and objectives for the conference; work with MLA staff to create meeting agendas; encourage productive communication.

The Vice Chair is strongly encouraged to act as Chair the following year. 


Spring Institute for Youth Services  

March 10-11, 2022, Tentatively planned in-person in Mt. Pleasant

Spring Institute is Michigan’s premier event focused specifically on children and teen library staff. Library directors, department heads, and other library staff interested in learning more about youth programming, trends, and discovering new ideas are also invited to attend. This conference brings together 200-300 attendees annually to share, learn, experience best practices, network, and have fun.

Join this work group to help plan valuable programming that includes national award-winning authors, illustrators, storytellers and industry leaders.

Meeting Schedule

Meetings are scheduled every other month on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 10:00am - 12:00pm and will be hosted on Zoom. A tentative schedule is listed below, but the schedule is subject to change if needed.*

There are 8 scheduled meetings.

  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Thursday, July 8, 2021
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Thursday, September 9, 2021
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Thursday, November 11, 2021
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Thursday, January 13, 2022
  • 10:00 - 12:00pm, Thursday, February 10, 2022
  • Time TBD, Monday, March 7, 2022
  • Event Dates: Thursday, March 10 - Friday, March 11
  • Post Event Meeting 2 weeks after event

MLA staff and the work group Chair and Vice Chair will meet briefly 1-2 weeks ahead of each scheduled group meeting to set the meeting agenda.

*Additional meetings or rescheduling may be needed to accommodate the group members’ workloads.

Desired Qualifications

Experience and interest in library youth services. Willingness to bring new ideas to the table, ability to plan and meet deadlines, decision-making ability, vision and creativity, project management, and public speaking because you may be asked to assist with introductions and session management during the conference.

Communication will be hosted primarily on a shared Google Drive and via the work group e-list. Meetings will be hosted on Zoom. A google based email address is required.

Time Commitment 

Work group meetings will be held bi-monthly from 10:00 - 12:00pm on the second Tuesday of the month. Assigned duties beyond the work group meetings vary and may require extra time.

Additional Duties

Work Group Member Responsibilities: Active participation to solicit sponsorships and create high-quality professional development programming; contribute talents and expertise in areas such as social media, exhibits, special events, and program development; collaboratively work with fellow work group members and MLA staff; contribute to ongoing and clear communication; accept assignments from the chair or MLA; act as an ambassador for MLA and attend/volunteer at the event.

Chair Responsibilities: Be familiar with MLA’s missions, goals, and objectives for the conference; work with MLA staff to create meeting agendas; encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate; support vision and innovation; anticipate emerging trends and hot topics; assign duties to work group members as necessary; ensure the timeline set forth by MLA is adhered to.

Vice Chair Responsibilities: Record meeting notes and distribute information following group meetings; be familiar with MLA’s missions, goals, and objectives for the conference; work with MLA staff to create meeting agendas; encourage productive communication.

The Vice Chair is strongly encouraged to act as Chair the following year.


Volunteer

Programs


Trustee Work Group

The new trustee work group will assist in planning and creating programming, events and resources to assist Trustees in their roles.

  • Desirable Skills: Experience as a trustee; project management; ability to plan and meet deadlines; decision-making ability; vision and creativity.

  • Chair Responsibilities: Be familiar with MLA’s missions, goals and objectives, preside over all meetings, Work with MLA staff to draft meeting agendas, encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate, assign duties to work group members as necessary, ensure the timeline set forth by MLA is adhered to, record and distribute meeting notes. In order to chair a workgroup, we request that you have previous volunteer experience with MLA.

  • Member-at-Large Responsibilities: Active participation in creating high-quality professional development programming, contribute talents and expertise, collaboratively work with fellow work group members and MLA staff, attend regular work group meetings, ongoing and clear communication, accepting assignments from the chair or MLA, act as an ambassador for MLA, attend and assist staff onsite at the event.

  • Time Commitment: All volunteers are required to participate in a virtual volunteer development training. The first work group meeting will be scheduled in July 2021. Work group meetings are scheduled quarterly from July through June and range from 1 – 3 hours long each. Meetings may take place at the MLA office, at a member’s library, or virtually as determined by the group members. Assigned duties beyond the work group meetings vary and may require extra time.

Volunteer

Awards

Michigan Library Awards - MLA Annual Awards Committee

Reviews and updates award guidelines, encourages nominations, reviews nominees and selects the winners for our MLA professional recognition awards including the Librarian of the Year, Heart of a Champion, Rising Star, Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth and Legislator of the Year. The Awards Committee also works closely with the annual conference work group that is planning the annual awards gala.

  • Desirable Skills: Project management; ability to plan and meet deadlines; decision-making ability; vision and creativity.

  • Chair Responsibilities: Be familiar with MLA’s mission, goals and objectives; preside over all meetings; Work with MLA staff to draft meeting agendas; encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate; assign duties to work group members as necessary; ensure the timeline set forth by MLA is adhered to; record and distribute meeting notes. In order to chair a workgroup, we request that you have previous volunteer experience with MLA.

  • Member-at-Large Responsibilities: Active participation in promoting MLA Awards and soliciting nominations; contribute talents and expertise; collaboratively work with fellow work group members and MLA staff; attend regular work group meetings; ongoing and clear communication; accepting assignments from the chair or MLA; act as an ambassador for MLA; attend and assist staff onsite at the Michigan Library Awards Gala.

  • Time Commitment: All volunteers are required to participate in a virtual volunteer development training. The first work group meeting will be scheduled in July 2021.  Work group meetings are typically scheduled every other month from July through June and range from 1 – 3 hours long each. Meetings may take place at the MLA office, at a member’s library, or virtually as determined by the group members. Assigned duties beyond the work group meetings vary and may require extra time.

Mitten Award

The Mitten Award recognizes one children’s picture book published in the calendar year that captures the attention of Michigan librarians. The work group will meet online and in-person from June through February to read and review eligible nominations before selecting the winning and honor books.

  • Desirable Skills: Interest in or desire to read children’s literature in picture book format; ability to plan and meet deadlines; decision-making ability; clear communication.

  • Chair Responsibilities: Assemble and maintain a reading list based on ratings from selected sources; identify promotional opportunities with MLA staff to raise awareness of the award; distribute nominations to work group members; schedule meetings; develop meeting agendas; encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate; coordinate work group vote; notify MLA staff of the winning and honor books; present the award at Spring Institute.

  • Work Group Member Responsibilities: Active participation in reading and reviewing books on the reading list assembled by the chair; participate in meetings as scheduled; provide top title choices to work group chair as requested; participate in final vote to determine the winning and honor books; actively promote the award within your own library and related networks.

  • Time Commitment: All volunteers are required to attend a virtual MLA volunteer development training. The first work group meeting will be in July 2021 either in-person or virtually. Work group meetings are typically scheduled every other month from July through June and range from 1 – 3 hours long each. Meetings may take place at the MLA office, at a member’s library, or virtually as determined by the group members. Reading, reviewing and other assigned duties beyond the work group meetings vary and will require extra time.

YouPer (Young Person) Award

The YouPer Award recognizes one children’s chapter book published in the calendar year that captures the attention of Michigan librarians. The work group will meet online and in-person from June through February to read and review eligible nominations before selecting the winning and honor books.

  • Desirable Skills: Interest in or desire to read children’s literature in chapter book format; ability to plan and meet deadlines; decision-making ability; clear communication.

  • Chair Responsibilities: Assemble and maintain a reading list based on ratings from selected sources; identify promotional opportunities with MLA staff to raise awareness of the award; distribute nominations to work group members; schedule meetings; develop meeting agendas; encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate; coordinate work group vote; notify MLA staff of the winning and honor books; present the award at Spring Institute.

  • Work Group Member Responsibilities: Active participation in reading and reviewing books on the reading list assembled by the chair; participate in meetings as scheduled; provide top title choices to work group chair as requested; participate in final vote to determine the winning and honor books; actively promote the award within your own library and related networks.

  • Time Commitment: All volunteers are required to attend a virtual MLA volunteer development training. The first work group meeting will be in July 2021 either in-person or virtually. Work group meetings are typically scheduled every other month from July through June and range from 1 – 3 hours long each. Meetings may take place at the MLA office, at a member’s library, or virtually as determined by the group members. Reading, reviewing and other assigned duties beyond the work group meetings vary and will require extra time.

Thumbs Up! Award

The Thumbs Up! Award recognizes excellence in the genre of teen literature published in the calendar year. The work group will meet online and in person from June through February to read and review eligible nominations. Following an online teen vote, the work group will reconvene to determine the winner and honor books.

  • Desirable Skills: Interest in or desire to read YA literature; ability to plan and meet deadlines; decision-making ability; clear communication.

  • Chair Responsibilities: Assemble and maintain a reading list based on ratings from selected sources; identify promotional opportunities with MLA staff to raise awareness of the award; distribute nominations to work group members; schedule meetings; develop meeting agendas; encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate; provide MLA staff with top ten list for teen vote; coordinate work group vote; notify MLA staff of the winning and honor books; present the award at Spring Institute.

  • Work Group Member Responsibilities: Active participation in reading and reviewing books on the reading list assembled by the chair; participate in meetings as scheduled; provide top title choices to work group chair as requested; participate in final vote to determine the winning and honor books; actively promote the award within your own library and related networks.

  • Time Commitment: All volunteers are required to attend a virtual MLA volunteer development training. The first work group meeting will be in July 2021 either in-person or virtually. Work group meetings are typically scheduled every other month from July through June and range from 1 – 3 hours long each. Meetings may take place at the MLA office, at a member’s library, or virtually as determined by the group members. Reading, reviewing and other assigned duties beyond the work group meetings vary and will require extra time.

Volunteer

Standing Committees

Advocacy and Legislative Committee

Two-year commitment July 1, 2021- June 30, 2023

Monitors legislative and policy issues impacting libraries and makes policy recommendations to the board. Informs and educates members about state legislation and policy issues. Contact legislators as needed to educate them about library concerns.

  • Desirable Skills: Strong oral and written communication; high interest in advocacy.

  • Chair Responsibilities: Be familiar with MLA’s missions, goals and objectives, preside over all meetings, encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate, lead and support vision and innovation, testify at house and senate hearings if needed, present reports to the MLA Board of Directors if requested. Communicates with legislators and other elected officials regularly. A Vice-chair will act as Chair in their absence and become chair the following year.

  • Committee Member Responsibilities: Active participation in discussions surrounding legislative issues impacting the Michigan library community, contribute knowledge from past experiences, work collectively with fellow committee members and MLA staff, participate in monthly meetings, ongoing and clear communication, accepting assignments from the chair or MLA, act as an advocate for MLA. Communicates with legislators and other elected officials regularly.

  • Time Commitment: This is a two-year term commitment, each term will be from July 1 to June 30. Meetings occur monthly on most first Mondays of the month for one hour. There will be no meeting in August and the September meeting will be held in person on September 9, in Lansing. Assigned duties beyond the committee meetings vary and may require extra time.

Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC)

Cultivates leadership potential within MLA membership to maintain strong and effective governance and solicits and evaluates nominations of candidates for service on the MLA Board of Directors. Members of the committee are appointed by the President within parameters set by the MLA bylaws and governance policies that dictate the make-up of this committee and subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.

  • Desirable Skills: Strong oral and written communication, demonstrated record of leadership, passionate about MLA and an interest in developing other members.

  • Committee Member Responsibilities: Active participation in discussions surrounding leadership development, inclusion and diversity, contribute knowledge from past experiences, work collectively with fellow committee members and MLA staff, participate in meetings, ongoing and clear communication, accepting assignments from the chair or MLA, act as an ambassador for MLA. Networks with other members for recruitment and development purposes.

  • Time Commitment: This is a two-year term commitment, each term will be from July 1 to June 30. Ongoing meetings will be set by the Chair. Assigned duties beyond the committee meetings vary and may require extra time.

Professional Development and Networking Committee (PDNC)

Rolling Two Year Commitment (July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023)

PDNC members anticipate emerging trends and hot topics, and work with MLA staff as a think tank for ideas and insight to help identify the kinds of training our members will need to excel in the libraries of the future as well as today. Members are expected to attend a variety of professional development opportunities provided and help MLA staff identify strengths and weaknesses as well as propose possible webinar and workshop topics and speakers.

Meeting Schedule

Meetings are generally scheduled quarterly on the 3rd Monday of the month from 10:00 - 12:00pm and will be hosted on Zoom. Assigned duties beyond the committee meetings vary and may require extra time. A tentative schedule is listed below, but the schedule is subject to change if needed.*

There are currently 4 scheduled meetings.

  • 10:00 - 12:00, Monday, August 16, 2021 - Develop 2022 webinar and workshop plans and schedule
  • 10:00 - 12:00, Monday, November 15, 2021 - Finalize 2022 workshop plans and schedule
  • 10:00 - 12:00, Monday, February 21, 2022 - Brainstorm ideas for 2022 networking events
  • 10:00 - 12:00, Monday, May 16, 2022 - Review Spring events and determine 2023 goals

*Additional meetings or rescheduling may be needed to accommodate the group members’ workloads.

Desired Qualifications

Vision, innovation, leadership abilities. Committee members are expected to come to meetings with ideas, suggestions, and contribute fully to the conversation. Previous MLA volunteer experience preferred but not required.

Be prepared to offer suggestions and attainable ideas for MLA programming. 

Communication will be hosted primarily on a shared Google Drive and via the work group e-list. Meetings will be hosted on Zoom. A google based email address is required.

Time Commitment 

Meetings are generally scheduled quarterly on the 3rd Monday of the month from 10:00 - 12:00pm and will be hosted on Zoom. Assigned duties beyond the committee meetings vary and may require extra time. 

Additional Duties

Committee Member Responsibilities: Active participation in discussions surrounding professional development and the future of the library community, contribute knowledge from past experiences, collaboratively work with fellow committee members and MLA staff, attend quarterly meetings, participate in ongoing and clear communication, accept assignments from the chair or MLA, and act as an ambassador for MLA.

Chair Responsibilities: Be familiar with MLA’s mission and goals; work with MLA staff to create meeting agendas; encourage productive communication and opportunities to participate; support vision and innovation; anticipate emerging trends and hot topics; assign duties to work group members as necessary; help ensure the timeline set forth by MLA is adhered to.

Vice Chair Responsibilities: Record meeting notes and distribute information following group meetings; be familiar with MLA’s mission and goals; work with MLA staff to create meeting agendas; encourage productive communication.  A Vice-chair will act as Chair in their absence.

The Vice Chair is strongly encouraged to act as Chair the following year.

 

Volunteer

Volunteer Responsibilities/Agreement

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased that you have offered to volunteer. Your interest to serve MLA demonstrates your desire to advance the library profession in our state.

Please realize that your commitment to volunteering is essential in running MLA, including its conferences, workshops, networking, advocacy efforts, awards and other activities efficiently and effectively. The purpose of this agreement is to provide you with information about some important policies which are applicable to volunteers. By signing this agreement you consent to follow the policies set by the MLA Board of Directors.

As a volunteer, I have the right to the following:

  • Respectful treatment by fellow committee members and MLA staff

  • Appropriate recognition for my contribution to MLA

  • Prompt minutes from meetings

As a volunteer, I am responsible for the following:

  • Active participation in creating high-quality professional development for library professionals

  • Contribution of talents and expertise to professional development program planning

  • Working collaboratively with fellow work group members

  • Attending regular work group meetings either in person or via conference call

  • Working within the scope of the assigned budget

  • Ongoing and regular communication with work group chair and MLA staff

  • Accepting assignments from the chair and following through with them to completion

  • Requesting additional help when necessary

  • Serving without compensation and payment of workshop/conference registration fees

  • Attending your work group’s program and encouraging others to do the same

  • Acting as an ambassador for MLA to the greater library community

  • Respectful treatment of fellow members, MLA staff and adhere to the MLA Code of Conduct

  • Maintain my MLA membership during my volunteer term

I will do my best to attend and be prepared for team meetings as well as following through on deadlines and commitments.

 

 


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