LM Dispatch: A Quarterly Newsletter from the Library of Michigan Sept 2015

September, 2015

1. Make the Library of Michigan Part of Your New School Year

Randy Riley, State Librarian

by Randy Riley

The Library of Michigan (LM) is prepped for the start of another school year with programs and services that can help everyone who works with students, teachers and parents. The Michigan eLibrary continues to contain content especially useful to teachers and students in Pre-K through High School and beyond. MeL’s Kids http://mel.org/kids and Teens http://mel.org/teens Gateways contain subscription eResources and screened website content that teachers can use in their classrooms and students can use for their projects, reports and assignments. October 1, 2015 is the beginning of a new contract cycle for MeL’s subscription content and some of those eResources (aka databases) are leaving but, we are pleased to announce the addition of Research in Context from Gale. It's a resource designed for middle school students and Britannica School from Britannica Digital Learning. This resource will be MeL’s first encyclopedia with content for pre-K students to adults.

On Saturday, September 12, our reference librarians welcomed students to the Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in History program. This session looked at the 2016 National History Day theme with a special Michigan focus.

Each year Michigan sends students to Washington for the National History Day competition and we want our students to win. With that in mind, LM has decided to host school and team groups for idea exploration and research days. The Library is able to host research groups weekdays from 10 – 5 and Second Saturdays from 10 – 4. Should your library or school group want to participate, please email us at librarian@michigan.gov or call (517) 373-1300 for sign-up and details. We want to plan the day with groups based on size and unique research training requests. Collections available include: Michigan, Michigan Documents, Periodicals, Newspapers, Census, Rare Books, Federal Documents, Reference, Maps, Main and the vast vertical clipping file.

Finally, taking us into the fall season, LM's Michigan Reads! program kicked off at Beagle Elementary School in Grand Ledge on September 15th when Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller started a 2-month statewide tour. Kits are shipping to public libraries, K-2 classrooms and Head Start and Great Start Readiness programs across the state. Launched in 2004 by the LM in partnership with the Michigan Center for the Book, Michigan Reads! promotes the value and benefits of reading early and often to preschoolers, encourages family bonding through reading, and endeavors to increase awareness and usage of Michigan's libraries.

Welcome back to another year of learning and exploring. Take advantage of what LM has to offer!

2. Summer Reading Statistics

2015 CSLP Summer Reading

by Karren Reish

Calling all Summer Reading staff! It is time for your summer reading statistics and your feedback on the Summer Reading program materials. Your data and information are a great help in planning the program. The participation data helps support funding for the manuals, as we use Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to purchase the manuals for you. The feedback on the manuals and ideas about future programs help us represent you at the annual collaborative meeting. That meeting is where the program materials are discussed and voted on. If you want more information on the meeting, there is a report on the LM Summer Reading page.

So please take a few minutes to do the survey and let us know what you think. There will be a prize for one respondent for each program level so make sure you are in the running. The survey links are below and will close September 30.

    Children's Program Survey

    Teen Program Survey

    Adult Program Survey

3. From Michigan to Masiphumelele


by Emily Meloche

In 2013, Chelsea District Library Director Bill Harmer toured the library in Masiphumelele - a shanty community outside of Cape Town, South Africa - as part of his attendance in the Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting. Inspired by the library’s dynamism, he began to develop a librarian exchange: a program where our libraries could share ideas and experiences. 

It took time to develop the program, but two years later, I was greeted at the Cape Town Airport by the staff of the Masi Library, also there to send off Vidie Lutuli, the librarian from Masiphumelele, who spent her month in Chelsea. 

The warm welcome stretched throughout my four weeks in Masiphumelele, as the staff trained me and had me behind the desk that very next day. The library certainly has a different feel than CDL - smaller, fewer resources, and serving a much more impoverished public - but our two libraries clearly share the passion of connecting our patrons with the information they need.  Resources that Americans take for granted - like pens, paper, and Internet access - were often scarce, and it was amazing to see how far the library manages to stretch what it has without making it feel like they’re working with a deficit.

Masiphumelele is an incredibly vibrant community, but one that contains more poverty than I’ve ever seen. Most people live in shacks, and the deeper you go into the community, the rougher these shacks are, situated impossibly close to each other. Fire and flood plague Masi, so people often lose what little they have. The library is a shining light, giving people access to books, computers, internet, and information. Their 37 public computers are almost always in full-use - and since 31 of those computers are set aside for productive uses (i.e. no social media), you’ve got a crowd of students studying, and adults updating resumes and applying for jobs. There are multiple children’s activities every day, and as soon as school lets out, the library is hopping with activity. It’s the place to be, and I’m so glad that I got to be a part of it, even for such a short time.

4. 2016 Mahoney Workshop – Public, School and Academic Libraries and Student Achievement


by Karren Reish

If this title sounds interesting to you, come join us at the Collaboration and Student Achievement: How School, Public and Academic Libraries Are Working Together workshop. 

The LM and partners are doing a one day workshop on Nov. 11th in Bay City as the preconference to the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) annual conference. We have a great group of speakers:

  • Allison Barney from the Nashville Public Libraries will speak about the Nashville Limitless Libraries program.
  • National award winner Ken Stewart from Blue Valley High School in Kansas will talk about libraries transforming communities.
  • Rhonda Huisman from Wichita State University will discuss libraries as place and college readiness.

The conference will include panel sessions and breakouts with school administrators, public librarians, and academic librarians from around the state.

The breakout session tracks are Information Literacy and College Readiness, Public Library Partnership Models, and The Online Teaching Environment: Collections and Collaborations. Our partners are MAME, the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS), the Michigan Library Association (MLA), the Michigan Academic Library Association (MI-ALA), the Library of Michigan Foundation, and the Cooperative Directors Association (CDA). Registration and the full agenda are available at www.mimame.org. The cost is $45. We look forward to seeing you there.

5. Secretary of State Partnership with Libraries Continues to Thrive

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and State Librarian Randy Riley

by Cathleen Simlar

Innovative partnerships are a buzzing trend in government circles and one of the most synchronized of these efforts is the successful, voluntary partnership between public libraries and the Michigan Secretary of State’s (SOS) office under the leadership of Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

Called Express SOS Connect, the partnership is now in its third year of providing a digital bridge connecting library patrons to timely SOS news, alerts and services.

While the partnership is a first for the Department of State, the idea is actually based upon an initiative Johnson launched during her days as Oakland County Clerk when local libraries provided patrons with brochures on county services. 

Today, Johnson is once again aligning these two public service institutions, but this time the partnership uses electronic media to deliver a no-cost, no-burden collaborative opportunity for participating libraries.  Its centerpiece is ExpressSOS.com, the online, no-wait SOS that offers Print N Go convenience where customers can renew tabs and print their own receipt as valid proof of registration.  Library patrons can access this service through public computers located inside neighborhood libraries. In just minutes, patrons can securely complete many common SOS transactions. Libraries are simply asked to provide a link to the online services on their websites and display a window cling and table tent to identify their location as an ExpressSOS.com access point.

The partnership also connects local communities to timely SOS news, such as upcoming election dates, by usuing the LM listserv Michlib-l to share messages for publication in library newsletters, websites and social media sites. Libraries are also offered opportunities to distribute SOS publications, such as Michigan’s Guide for Aging Drivers and Their Families.

This successful partnership has proven to be an easy, no nonsense marriage between libraries and one of the state’s busiest department thanks to a shared commitment to public service and the wonders of modern day technology.

For more information, please contact Cathleen Simlar at simlarc@michigan.gov.

6. United for Libraries

United for Libraries

by Shannon White

Michigan public libraries will have a new resource to help trustees and friends gain training and resources to support their libraries. On October 1 the LM unveils a statewide group membership from the American Library Association’s (ALA) United for Libraries division.

Public library Friends and Trustees throughout the state will receive login information to access the members only area of the United for Libraries resources and tools. The Friends and Foundations Zone area provides access to the newsletter, toolkits, digital publications, awards, webinars and training, and discounts.  Some of these resources include toolkits such as: Effective Meetings for Library Boards of Trustees and Starting a Friends Group or Revitalizing the One You Have. Also included is access to continuing education webinars covering topics such as Working Effectively with Your Library Trustees, Responding to a Budget Crisis and the full Trustee Academy.

United for Libraries is offering webinars in November to learn more about all the resources that are being provided to Michigan trustees and friends through the statewide membership. Be sure to stay tuned to the listservs and email communications for the date and time of the webinar.

In the meantime take a look at the newsletter and flyer mailed to all Michigan public libraries in September for login instructions and the latest news from United for Libraries.

7. Share Your Experiences With a Presentation at the Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference

Grand Hotel

by Shannon White

The new year is quickly approaching and here at the LM we are looking ahead to our next trip across the Straits of Mackinac for the Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference. We are crossing our fingers that the later dates of May 4-6 are going to provide an easy ferry ride across blue water. We have heard from many of you that you can’t wait to return and we hope you will consider submitting a session proposal for the 2016 event. We know our Michigan library community is full of great ideas and we want to hear from you. This is a time to share both your successes and failures, as well as what you learned from the experiences with your colleagues from all over the state. We can create a greater success for our patrons by working together so let’s work to transform libraries in Michigan into the change agents, anchor institutions, go-to partners and wonderful libraries that we know we can be. The call for proposals is open through October 19. The online submission form can be found on the conference web page, www.michigan.gov/fyanconference This year’s theme is Transforming Libraries, Transforming Lives and we have a variety of conference tracks you may want to consider including:

  • Technology
  • Services to Specific Populations
  • Programming for Literacies
  • Community Engagement and Collaboration
  • Administration & Management
  • Everything Michigan

 As always, we love to hear suggestions from the field for what types of sessions you want to find in the conference program, so even if you don’t plan on submitting a session yourself, still take a moment to let us know what you want to learn at the conference. We will be posting news about the event in the next few months and hope to open our attendee registration in January. Be sure to visit the website to keep up with current updates and news.

8. Community Engagement Project Coming Soon


by Shannon White

The ALA’s initiative Libraries Transforming Communities helps libraries develop new methods to engage their own communities. In 2013, MCLS began using the Harwood process to facilitate a greater engagement in the Michigan library community. After more than a dozen community conversations a Michigan library community narrative was created from the aspirations mentioned in these discussions. Themes that rose to the top were the aspiration that the libraries in Michigan want to provide:

  • Meaningful contributions to their local communities
  • Be at the table when important decisions are made
  • Be a fully-utilized partner and resource in community projects

To help the Michigan library community do these very things we are partnering with MCLS to bring together a cohort of Michigan library staff to attend a customized Harwood Institute Public Innovator Lab program in 2016. The special program will provide library staff with training and coaching over several months in order to enable libraries to develop skills and use new tools allowing them to create stronger relationships and deeper engagement with community members and partner agencies. Library staff will have the opportunity to apply to be a member of the cohort and receive the training and a stipend to help defray program costs. Look for application information in late October and announcements of the cohort members in January of 2016. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about how you can be a change agent in your community using the Harwood Institute’s methods. You can find stories from the original ALA cohort and their experiences on the Libraries Transforming Communities Blog.

9. Governing Michigan Relaunch Coming Soon

Bernadette Bartlett

by Bernadette Bartlett

Governing Michigan is getting a facelift. Governing Michigan (www.governingmichigan.org) is the public website for access to born-digital and digitized state government information preserved by the LM. We have been using the "out of the box" template for the website with only minor creative embellishments, but will be working with Courtland Consulting to customize the Governing Michigan interface in late 2015. 

You may already have noticed some changes as the plan for the new site requires some behind-the-scenes modifications undertaken this past summer. First established as a single collection of all types of Michigan documents, we later separated out a Michigan Legal Collection to improve access to those frequently used materials. Recently we streamlined the legal collection into smaller divisions reflecting Michigan constitutional law; legislative and statutory materials; administrative law; and caselaw, court rules and procedures.

We continue to develop new collections, either specific to state government information or other topics of interest to researchers focusing on the Mitten State. The two most recent are LM History and Michigan Regional, Local and Tribal Government collections. Currently these newer collections are small, but we are adding new material every day and encourage you to check the site often.

The new design also will give us opportunities to highlight other sources of electronic state government information. One example is the Michigan Government Web Collection, a series of snapshots of state government websites captured since 2006 that allow users to navigate state government websites as they appeared during a specific time period.

Please contact us if you have any questions about Governing Michigan and stay tuned for the relaunch.