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Happy Birthday to Us

Holy cow. A year has passed already?!? When a staff member mentioned to me that we were coming up on our first year anniversary, that was my reaction. It’s true that the older I get, the faster the years fly by, but even so, I look back to February 15, 2010 and wonder where the time went. A one year anniversary is an occasion to take stock and measure our progress.

Like most yardsticks, our one year measurement is marked with some progress, some wheel-spinning, and a whole lot of hard work.

None of us really knew how this adventure would turn out when we started. I am so impressed with the way that the staff members at our two locations have stepped up and worked to make our new organization a success. Nearly everyone on staff got some new assignments and many added to an already full work plate. It was stressful for all concerned. But everyone hung in. The result is that our first year had far more successes than setbacks.

We had to make some difficult decisions about consolidating operations and keeping or eliminating services. In every case, we looked at where we are now and where we want to be in the future and made a determination about whether the services we offer would move us ahead or not. In some cases, such as SCION, we had to shut down the service. In other cases, such as group licensing, we saw real gains as libraries in both states were able to increase subscriptions to e-resources through our service. After a year, I think we now have a good foundation for future growth.

I am also deeply appreciative of the way you, our members, have responded. I visited quite a few libraries this year and everywhere I went I heard that you were looking forward to working with us to keep libraries in Michigan and Indiana moving forward. Naturally, budgets and finances were almost always a part of those conversations. It can be difficult to think about the future and innovation when the present feels so threatening, but I talked to many determined librarians who are welcoming record numbers of users to their libraries and providing them with outstanding service. And we talked about the future and where we all need to be to remain valued parts of our communities. There can be no doubt: we live and work in a challenging environment. But based on my first year at MCLS, I am confident we are emerging stronger and better able to serve our users.

So it was a year of learning. It was also a year of accomplishment. Much remains to be done. Thank you for starting on this journey with us and sticking with us so far.