From Your President
Joan Birnie - Broken Bow Public Library
In the Winter 2005 NLAQ, I wrote my first column as NLA President. In that column, I expressed my hope that, as a leader of this organization, I could be as "together" as the NLA Presidents who preceded me. Of course, I realize the jury will be deliberating for years on whether or not I achieved that goal. However, as I look back over the past year, the word "together" actually has taken on an entirely different meaning. I now see "together" as the way the officers, board, committees, sections, round tables, and membership unite to enrich and strengthen the Nebraska Library Association.
The incredible individuals who make this association what it is work together on so many levels year-in and year-out. they willingly give of their time, travel costs, energy, and creativity and do most of this so subtly it is often overlooked or taken for granted. And, it has been my observation that even those who are compensated for their positions wouldn't want to start figuring their hourly salaries.
One of those positions is NLA Executive Director and it was with regret that the NLA board recently accepted Maggie Harding's resignation effective at the end of her contract year, December 2006. everyone who has been fortunate enough to work with Maggie has been given an opportunity to watch dedication, professionalism, and passion for libraries and library staffs, at their best. Maggie has been Executive Director for eleven years and she will leave some large shoes to fill (figuratively speaking of course.) On behalf of all the NLA members, thank you Maggie!
The rest of this calendar year is filled with many examples of what can be done when NLA members work together. I encourage you to take time out of your week to check the NLA website www.nebraskalibraries.org so you stay aware of all the continuing education opportunities; what is being done to recruit and educate library personnel; and how to get involved with various Sections, Round Tables, and committees. Also, go to www.papillion.ne.us/~nla-nema2006 and carefully review this NLAQ issue, so you are up-to-date on the incredible variety of programs, speakers, and special events offered at this year's NLA/NEMA conference - "Libraries ... Vital, Vibrant, Visionary."
As I close my last column as NLA President, I want to say thank you to the amazing members of this year's NLA Board. It has truly been my pleasure working with each and every one of you and I appreciate the patience and understanding you've extended while I found my way (or attempted to) this past year. The collective knowledge, expertise, and dedication of this year's board are what will come to my mind when I think of "together."
It has been my privilege and honor to serve as your president.
K. Joan Birnie