How Things Get Done in MLA

At first I wanted to title this post “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” referencing the catchy little School House Rocks cartoon jingle that fellow Gen Xers watched on Saturday mornings. But I thought the title would be a little confusing at first glance.  But everytime I think about how things get done within MLA my mind starts humming “I’m just a bill. Yes I’m only a bill. And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.”  The reason is that just like how a bill becomes a law, there is a process for how things get done in MLA.

All of the information I am about to share (and much more) is available on MLAnet for members under Organizational Information.  However when we are at the annual meeting we often aren’t thinking of MLAnet and what is on it, because we are surrounded by good people with good ideas and we want to act immediately.  So one of the thoughts I hear often from newbies and veterans alike is “MLA should be doing X and why aren’t we doing it?” or “How can we do X?”

The Association’s Structure chart gives you picture of how the various entities (Sections, Committees, Task Forces, etc) are organized to report to the Board of the directors.  So if you wanted to do X you would approach your

Well take that good idea and take to your representative. For example if you are a member of a Section, then you would take your idea to your Section Chair who would take it to Section Council who will then take it to the Board

MLA created and overview of the association and it can be found by members at

Of course that doesn’t stop you from talking to a Board Member and giving us your opinion but involvement within  the association gives you more opportunities and people who can put forth your ideas.

Carla Funk has a very good and helpful sideshow explaining the whole process to new leaders (new chairs of Sections, Committees and Task Forces) which I think all members can benefit from watching. (members only)

So now that you know how MLA works, use that information and get involved.