A Message for our Membership on Black Lives Matter

Greetings Membership,

The Missouri Library Association stands with library workers, with library users, and with members of the communities we serve and support who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and discrimination based solely on their race or ethnicity. The pervasive racism present in our nation denies its residents equal rights and equal access and as such is a barrier to the goals of this association and to everything that libraries stand for. 

Often, we hear that libraries should be neutral organizations, that taking a stand is not appropriate.  There is no neutral here.  Hatred, violence, prejudice, or exclusion of people because of their appearance is not a political argument; there are no sides to this debate.  Freedom from oppression is a human right.   Representation is important.

I am proud of Missouri Libraries as we serve our communities through these difficult times.  The anti-racist actions of the last few days are commendable. We are providing resources, creating booklists, providing safe spaces, and supporting those who depend on us. I urge all MO libraries to curate book lists and provide resources for those who wish to educate themselves.  Let us stand together and support those who need it most.

Cynthia Dudenhoffer
Missouri Library Association President, 2020
#blacklivesmatter #blackstoriesmatter

MLA 2020 Conference Proposals – DUE By June 1, 2020

This year your Missouri Library Association conference is focused on the future. We want you to envision what’s next for your library, engage your staff and empower your users.  We are committed to providing attendees the opportunity to make new connections, experience new ideas, and innovate together for better libraries.

Please use this form to submit your proposal for the 2020 Missouri Library Association Conference, MLA 20/20: Envision, Engage, Empower September 30 – October 2 in Springfield, MO. We are accepting submissions for pre-conference sessions, breakout sessions, poster sessions, and table talks.  ALL PROPOSALS ARE DUE BY JUNE 1, 2020.

This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with your fellow library folks in Missouri!  Others may find new and fascinating something that seems commonplace for you.  Showcase an event or program your library is doing, illustrate a problem your institution faced and how you solved it, do a genre presentation, talk about your favorite technology for particular library tasks, highlight the awesome leadership training program you attended…the possibilities are endless!

Your conference coordinators will distribute these proposals to MLA Communities of Interest (CIs) as appropriate for sponsorship or co-sponsorship. Based on physical space and available rooms at the conference site, the conference coordinators will recommend the slate of selected programs.

PLEASE NOTE: Presenters are required to register for the conference. Vendors who would like to present at conference must partner with a library/librarian and must register for the conference under the full conference, single day or single session guest presenter pass.

Questions? Send them to mla2020sgf@gmail.com

MLA Statement on Covid-2019

Greetings MLA Membership,

We are entering unprecedented and uncertain times. The health and safety of our members and our communities is a top priority of the Missouri Library Association, especially in light of the presidential guidelines released today. These new guidelines issued by the CDC and the President recommend no gatherings over 10 people and to close schools.

The Missouri Library Association commends the libraries and local officials who have made the very hard decision to close their doors to the public and at the same time, we encourage others to take action.

The Missouri Library Association serves as a leader and advocate for Missouri libraries, and we call on all libraries in Missouri to close their doors until Sunday, April 5th, and to ensure that staff are fairly compensated during this crisis.

Libraries must do their part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and protect our staff and communities. The Missouri Library Association will do our best to stay on top of this quickly evolving situation and to communicate regularly as conditions change. We are providing resource lists for remote work, as well as virtual services and programming to patrons, and are here to aid in any way we can to support Missouri library workers. We must all work together to protect the most vulnerable among us, and to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Good luck and stay safe as we navigate through these difficult times.

– Missouri Library Association Executive Board

Library Advocacy Day 2020

Library Advocacy Day is about a month away! Join fellow librarians across the state on Wednesday, March 11th to talk to your legislators about how important libraries are to their constituents! It’s a day of education and advocacy for you and your elected officials. We will start the day with an overview and tips on talking with your legislators. Then, in the afternoon, there will be time to set up appointments with your legislators.

Just like last year, we will have some talking points prepared for everyone who attends. That seemed to work really well, and attendees liked having them as a quick reference. For those of you who participated in our Virtual Advocacy Campaign last year, we will have the same opportunity this year. Look for more information on that this week.

Registration is $30.00 and includes lunch. Register here: https://molib.wildapricot.org/event-3636093. Be sure to start making your appointments! To find your legislators, visit https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please let me know. The Legislative Committee is happy to help!

Dan Brower
Legislative Committee Chair
Missouri Library Association

MLA Statement on HB2044

The Missouri Library Association is aware of and monitoring Missouri House Bill 2044 (known as the “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act”) and any other legislation that has an impact on libraries. The Missouri Library Association will always stand against censorship and for the freedom to read, and therefore opposes Missouri House Bill 2044.

The Missouri Library Association is committed to supporting all types of libraries. MLA exists to support the mission, vision, and values of those libraries, which connect their communities to vital resources. We support the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement. Public libraries exist to provide equitable access to information to all of its users, as it is key to having an informed populace. Public libraries already have procedures in place to assist patrons in protecting their own children while not infringing upon the rights of other patrons or restricting materials. Missouri Library Association will always oppose legislation that infringes on these rights.

Cynthia Dudenhoffer
President, Missouri Library Association.

National Library Legislative Day 2020 – Register Today!

Happy 2020, Missouri Librarians!

National Library Legislative Day has been announced and registration is open! On May 4th and 5th, 2020, librarians from across the country will meet in Washington, D.C. to speak with U.S. Representatives and Senators. Arrangements have been made at the Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center, just a few minutes from Capitol Hill.

The first day, at Georgetown, will involve briefing and training on issues and how to talk to your federal legislators. That afternoon, we will try to visit Senators Blunt and Hawley. On the 5th, we will meet with all of our Representatives.

It is a unique experience, and I would encourage you to consider it. Registration is very limited (capped at 400 attendees nationwide), so register early! Registration is $175 and includes breakfast and a reception on the evening of the 4th. Hotel information is also available at that link. ALA has reserved a block of rooms at $219 per night and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. You cannot sign up for the room block until you have registered for the event, though. There are other hotel options around Georgetown and DC. However, most lodging will be at least that much. Now that the cost is out of the way, find more information and register: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/nlld.

If you know a library supporter (trustee, friend, general supporter) who would like to attend for the first time, there are scholarships available to non-librarians here: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/NLLD/funding.

As we get our group together, I will send out more information. As always, let me know if you have any questions!

Dan Brower
Legislative Committee Chair
Missouri Library Association

Library Advocacy Day Registration is officially open today!

Missouri Librarians:

Registration for Library Advocacy Day is officially open today! This unique day gives you the opportunity to join fellow librarians from across the state to speak with and educate our state legislators about the fantastic things happening in Missouri libraries.

Save the date for Wednesday, March 11th, 2020. The day will last from 9:30am to 5:00pm in Jefferson City. Registration will be $30.00 and includes lunch.

Are you ready to share your story with legislators? Register here: https://molib.wildapricot.org/event-3636093

What is Library Advocacy Day?

Library Advocacy Day (LAD) is a day that the Missouri Library Association sets aside each year for library representatives to speak with their respective State Representatives and Senators to discuss the importance of all libraries. The day is open to library staff, trustees, and friends across the state of Missouri. The event occurs in Jefferson City, starting at the Interpretative Center in the Secretary of State’s office and continuing to the capitol building where face-to-face meetings occur.

The face-to-face meetings is where the magic happens. It is our opportunity to brag about how important libraries are in our communities. It is also our opportunity to advocate for continued library funding. If you are at a larger library, funding may not seem as important to you as it is for smaller libraries. However, larger libraries have a unique position in that you may be able to provide more extensive services to individuals in your communities who need our services the most. Those individuals are also important to our legislators. They need to improve job skills, continue their education, build early literacy skills in preparation for school, register to vote, become citizens, and contribute to the economy. Of course, this list goes on and on, but these results/goals are impactful to legislators.

Why Library Advocacy Day?

Through meetings with elected officials, we raise awareness of the importance of State Aid to Public Libraries and the services of the Missouri State Library.

By coming together in Jefferson City on Missouri Library Advocacy Day, we promote libraries in a visible way, and, by our numbers, show the importance of libraries state-wide. Face-to-face discussion is the most effective means of communication and is essential to the establishment of a solid working relationship.

Ongoing Library Advocacy

While this event is important, it is only one communication with your legislators. Your meeting with your legislator should make it easier to contact him/her during the session as issues arise and we ask for your support. Building long term relationships with your legislators is the key to effective communication. This event is a great opportunity to begin building relationships with your elected officials. If you would like help making those first contacts or tips on nurturing your new relationships with legislators, please contact me. The legislative committee is happy to help.

Dan Brower
Legislative Committee Chair
Missouri Library Association

Remember: Conference proposals are due May 31!

This year your Missouri Library Association conference is focused on being BOLD within our communities in UNCONVENTIONAL ways. We are committed to providing attendees the opportunity to make new connections, experience new ideas, and innovate together for better libraries.

Please use this form to submit your proposal for the 2019 Missouri Library Association Conference, “Unconventional: Bold Ideas for Better Libraries,” October 2 – 4 in Kansas City, MO. We are accepting submissions for pre-conference sessions, breakout sessions, poster sessions, and table talks. ALL PROPOSALS ARE DUE BY WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2019.

Your conference coordinators will distribute these proposals to MLA Communities of Interest (CIs) as appropriate for sponsorship or co-sponsorship. Based on physical space and available rooms at the conference site, the conference coordinators will recommend the slate of selected programs.

This is a great opportunity to share with your fellow library folks in Missouri! Others may find new and fascinating something that seems commonplace for you. Showcase an event or program your library is doing, illustrate a problem your institution faced and how you solved it, do a genre presentation, talk about your favorite technology for particular library tasks, highlight the awesome leadership training program you attended…the possibilities are endless!

PLEASE NOTE: Presenters are required to register for the conference. Vendors who would like to present at conference must partner with a library/librarian and must register for the conference under the full conference, single day or single session guest presenter pass.

Submit your proposals today here!

Questions? Send them to 2019mlakc@gmail.com.