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Randy Dykhuis shares MCLS Annual Meeting highlights

Step out. Take a risk. Dare to make a difference. Keynote speakers Maxine Bleiweis and Barbara Dewey urged attendees at this year’s Annual Meeting to become better innovators. They spoke from their experience as library directors: Bleiweis at The Westport Library in Connecticut and Dewey at Penn State University. Both highlighted the ways that they improved library service for their communities and provided helpful tips for those looking to create meaningful innovation in their libraries.

State librarians Jake Speer and Randy Riley brought attendees up-to-date about changes and activities in their respective states. Speer highlighted SRCS, Indiana’s recently deployed statewide remote circulation and resource sharing system, as well as ongoing programs such as INSPIRE and Evergreen. Riley spoke about the Library of Michigan’s efforts to help librarians become more engaged with their communities and described other services available from the Library of Michigan. Both spoke about linked data projects in their states that will make library resources easier to discover on the open web and help increase awareness of emerging linked data frameworks, such as Library of Congress’s BIBFRAME.

At the business meeting, attendees unanimously approved several amendments to the MCLS bylaws. These were necessary to bring the bylaws into compliance with the recently revised Michigan Nonprofit Act. Board chair Lise Mitchell gave the annual report. She thanked retiring Board members Audrey Bondar and Patty Stringfellow. She also welcomed new Board members: Stacey Kern, Alison Greenleaf, and Edra Waterman. Scott Garrison and Brad Eden were re-elected to the Board. Randy Dykhuis, Executive Director, spoke about programs and services during FY2016.

During the final session of the day, Board members facilitated small group conversations. Each group was asked several questions about ways that MCLS can help libraries become more relevant in their communities and assist them with developing effective advocates. The groups also discussed library education and the steps that MCLS can take to ensure all library staff can meet the demands of their communities. Throughout 2017, the Board will consider the discussion groups’ ideas, along with survey data and responses from past community conversations, to keep MCLS moving in the right direction.