The developing goal around sections and special interest groups that I shared with you in February is now reality. In May 2016, the MLA Board of Directors established a new MLA strategic goal on communities (sections and SIGs), as follows:
Strengthen MLA’s member communities (Sections and SIGs) by
- analyzing and recommending changes in the areas of community architecture and roles;
- member leadership development;
- content and education; and
in order to:
- increase the relevance, effectiveness and value of MLA Sections and SIGs to members;
- empower MLA members at the grassroots level;
- better support MLA programs;
- maximize the value, use and visibility of member content;
- reduce administrative complexity; and
- attract more members.
MLA Sections and SIGs are the primary place for members to interact, support each other, and gather around topics of importance to the profession. To remain relevant and attractive, MLA needs to ensure that the structure and rules around Sections and SIGs are effective, that leadership succession planning is robust, and that the work of Section and SIGs is useful, visible, and recognized. Strengthening our sections and SIGs is an investment in our profession’s future.
Section Council contributed to the development of this goal. In addition, the Futures Task Force and the Strategic Priorities Task Force recommendations regarding Sections and SIGs were considered along with the current MLA Strategic Goal 1 (What MLA Does), which identified Sections and SIGs as an area to analyze.
The Communities Strategic Goal Task Force will lead this goal over the next two to three years, making recommendations for action that will lead to a stronger association and more opportunities for sections and SIGs to flourish. Look for a mid-year call for volunteers in the MLA-FOCUS soon.
We hope you will also keep talking within your section or SIG about what your group wants to accomplish and who you want to be. Ultimately, that is the most important thing—empowering our members at every level.