Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter January 2016

January, 2016

1. Library of Michigan Extends Hours and Services, Announces the 2016 Michigan Notable Books Program

Randy Riley, State Librarian

by Randy Riley

The Library of Michigan (LM) now is open every Saturday (excluding state holidays) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During open hours, library users may access the largest collection of Michigan resources anywhere, including an in-depth collection of Michigan specific periodicals, newspapers on microfilm, books, government documents, maps and audiovisual materials.

We are expanding services and upgrading equipment to answer an increased demand for access to the library’s unique collections and the knowledge and expertise of our staff. 

Staff is available on the second floor to assist with research questions and locating materials. 

The LM has acquired a suite of versatile digital microfilm scanners, new public computers with added features, and a centralized printing system that will enhance visitors' experience. 

The State Law Library remains available only during the Library’s weekday schedule, Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Also, after a hiatus of five years, the main library resumes circulating materials to patrons in January 2016 and will resume participating in MeLCat in early 2016.

In other good news the LM recently announced the list of 2016 Michigan Notable Books (MNB). For more than 10 years the Library has been proud to sponsor this program, doing our part to help build a culture of reading here in Michigan. Every year, the LM selects up to 20 of the most notable books, either written by a Michigan resident or about Michigan or the Great Lakes. The selected books are honored in the year after their publication or copyright date. Each selected title speaks to our state's rich cultural, historical, and literary heritage and proves without a doubt that some of the greatest stories are found in the Great Lakes State. View this year’s list here.

Applications to participate in the 2016 MNB Authors Tour in April, May and June are due to the LM on January 29th. If you have questions about the LM's new Saturday hours or the MNB program visit, email or call 517-373-1300.

2. Using Chromebases as OPACs

Wendy Hand, KPL

by Wendy Hand, Kalamazoo Public Library

Looking for a sharp, inexpensive and easy Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) solution? Look no further than a Chromebase with management software purchased through Michigan’s TRIG (Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant) Device Purchasing Program ( 

This grant offers a variety of hardware and software to schools and libraries at a substantial discount due to bulk purchasing. Last year, the Kalamazoo Public Library saw a savings of almost 30% on the Chromebase and management software combination, with a cost of under $300 per device. 

Ordering is fairly straight-forward and placed through the SPOT website ( Bid winning vendors and equipment are listed on the site. You simply go through the list of items, create purchase orders for what you want to buy, and upload them to SPOT. The purchasing window varies, but it is usually mid-April through August. If you have questions, your local Regional Educational Media Center (REMC) contact is an excellent resource. 

As to the OPACs, Kalamazoo Public Library had been using thin clients, but they were past their prime. We considered refreshing them until we discovered that enhancements to the catalog website didn’t display on the thin client browser. The need for replacement became much more pressing. While researching chromebooks, we stumbled on Chromebases and thought that would be an excellent OPAC solution, if they have the desired security capabilities. As it turns out, they do. Chromebases can be easily managed using the Chrome Management Console. The security settings allow the configuration of public sessions which delete user data, allow or block websites and can even create a Kiosk mode. The help files and Enterprise support are incredibly helpful and answered all of my questions.

Ordering, configuring and placing the new OPACs took less than a month. It was a quick, inexpensive and easy solution. I am very happy that we took a chance on TRIG and the Chromebases.

3. Every Child Ready to Read

Karren Reish

by Karren Reish

The LM is pleased to announce the launch of an intensive Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) program for public libraries in 2016-17. This program is based on American Library Association Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) materials. Teaching parents and other caregivers how to support the early literacy development of their children is the basis of the program. ECRR activities are talking, singing, reading, writing and playing. The program encourages librarians, parents and caregivers to use those elements in their interactions with young children. You can find more information about the program at

The program includes a free copy of the ECRR training materials for Michigan public libraries. Materials will be distributed in January 2016 to those who responded to the survey and requested materials. After January, libraries may continue to contact Karren Reish at to request materials.

The highlight of the program is two years of training opportunities on a range of early literacy and ECRR topics. Our trainer is Sue Nescepa of Kid Lit Plus Consulting. The training program includes an introductory daylong workshop held in three locations in March:

  • Tuesday, March 29th – Southfield Public Library
  • Wednesday, March 30th – Kentwood Branch Library
  • Thursday, March 31st – Traverse City District Library

Cost for this workshop is $35. Register at Sue will also do several topical sessions at the Rural Libraries Conference in May on Mackinac Island. A second set of advanced workshops will be held in March 2017.  Finally, the program includes monthly continuing education. This includes a series of topical newsletters for library staff through 2017 and 10 one-hour webinars on specific early literacy topics.

We will evaluate the training and the impact of using the program in your community. Many community and education groups focus on early literacy. Head Start programs, Great Start Readiness programs, child care providers, and other social services are possible partners and ECRR can help libraries position themselves as the place for early literacy in communities.

Join us in this exciting opportunity with ECRR. If you have any questions, please contact Karren Reish at or 517-241-0021.

4. Christina Golm Is an ASCLA Emerging Leader

Christina Golm

by Sonya Schryer Norris

Michigan's Christina Golm has been named as the 2016 Emerging Leader for the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The Emerging Leaders program enables newer librarians from across the country to participate in workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA's structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. Christina currently is the director of the Newaygo District Library and the Patmos District Library.

Christina was selected based on her previous work with universal access, also called helping people with minor to major disabilities access information. Christina received her Masters of Library and Information Science with an emphasis in universal access at Wayne State University and is an Accessible Libraries For All (ALFA) Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant recipient. She also received a $5,500 Reinhardt technology grant to create a laptop lab for older adults at Henika District Library. She has a long-standing passion for assisting special populations library patrons, including those with disabilities.

As an emerging leader, Christina recently attended the ALA mid-winter conference in Boston where she learned more about her responsibilities over the next six months. She will work with a team to evaluate, remove and add content to the Public Library Association (PLA) website's Tools section. She will use her area of expertise to ensure that content teaches library staff how to help people with minor to major disabilities in libraries. In June she will be back at ALA - Orlando to do a session and poster presentation on her team's work on the PLA site.

Join us in congratulating Christina and wishing her luck as an emerging leader!

5. Lapeer District Library Summer Reading Program Brochure

Summer Reading Program brochure

by Melissa Malcolm, Lapeer District Library

The glossy refrigerator-worthy brochure advertising Lapeer County summer reading activities has been around since 2011. The brochure came into existence as Lapeer District Library’s (LDL) publication and included programs provided by our partner, the Family Literacy Center. 

When the brochure was proudly displayed at a meeting of the County Association of Lapeer Librarians (CALL) in September 2011, Kay Hurd from Almont proposed that the brochure be county-wide. Being a congenial and collaborative group (library directors from Almont, Dryden, Goodland, Lapeer, Ruth Hughes District and North Branch), we started working on a process for success with this new project. We used the same graphic designer at the same printing company so that a template was already in place. There still was room for descriptions of each program that we had  booked through the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative (MMLC), even with five more libraries using the same amount of space. 

The true advantage of this collaboration is that residents throughout the county are free to attend any program at any library. Though there is pre-registration for some programs, a library card is not required for attendance. Children who want to see Baffling Bill might have three times and locations to choose from, and can attend the performance that fits their schedule even if the library is not the one they would call home. Only limited space or age restrictions would prevent anyone from attending a performance.   

The give and take that occurs to get the brochure ready is extensive. Annually, the participants alternate the task of  gathering the information from all the libraries, and that library staffer sends it in a Word document to the talented graphic designer at Village Printing in Lapeer.  With files going back and forth by e-mail, and proof-reading done by each library for its section, the only additional tasks that LDL staff has are to make sure that the graphic designer has the art work provided by CSLP and to distribute the brochures.

Because LDL distributes the majority of the brochures printed, it accepts the design cost as part of its share of the printing cost. Pre-school and elementary-aged students in Imlay City Schools, Lapeer Community Schools and Lakeville Schools receive a brochure; middle and high schools receive some for distribution. All libraries have copies of the brochure available for patrons throughout the summer.

I would be happy to e-mail our brochure to anyone who wants to see it. We are proud of it, and our graphic designer looks forward to working on it every spring. I can be reached at

6. MeL Michigana and the Sabin Collection

Matt Pacer

by Matt Pacer

Sometimes it can be a challenge helping your patron find historical information about Michigan. Where does one find historical information on early Michigan History? Or, where does one find land records? Even better, I want to research the Upper Peninsula; where should I start? All Michigan residents have access to resources that will help to facilitate these searches and more: MeL - Michigana and the Sabin Collection in MeL - Databases.

The Michigana portal contains selected websites and digitized collections on a variety of subjects. Go to and click Michigana on the top menu bar to visit the landing page. On the left-side is a menu listing all the subject categories, containing more librarian-vetted websites.

If your patrons need help with early Michigan History resources, one place to start is to show them how to access the Sabin Collection, otherwise known as Michigana: Sources in U.S. History Online, on the MeL – Databases page. This is a great collection of primary source material on Michigan territory during the French and British colonization as well as early statehood. Included with the primary documents are brief commentaries on the documents and the time in which they were written. It's also an excellent source to help with Michigan History curriculum development.

Federal land patents are useful tools for many research projects. You can find information about the patentee, widow, heirs, land description, etc. Additionally, there is information on land surveys and field notes. This is a great resource for patrons conducting local and family history research. In the Maps and Atlases category is a link to the Federal Land Patents website at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Researching the Upper Peninsula is both challenging and fun. The Upper Peninsula Regional Digitization Center is the best place to start. Your patrons can access many collections on a variety of topics. Many photos are included. While not focusing solely on the Upper Peninsula, the Great Lakes Maritime Database provides excellent historical information on ships that sailed the lakes. Some finding aids are available on their website for more information. LM staff are here to help you assist your patrons. Please contact us with your questions.

7. Service Animal Rule Changes

Seeing eye dog postage stamp

by Kim Koscielniak

Changes to Michigan laws on service animals took effect on January 18, 2016, bringing them more into line with federal laws and regulations. For libraries, the question often becomes, “What IS a service animal?” or, perhaps more desperately, “Do we REALLY have to let that alpaca sit in the Periodicals Section?”

Under 2015 PA 147, which amends MCL 752.61, a “service animal” is “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability.”

This definition is taken from 28 CFR 36.104. Michigan law also permits use of a trained miniature horse capable of performing certain tasks for the “benefit of a person with a disability.” A person with a disability is defined by federal law, see 42 USC 12103 and 28 CFR 36.104.

Library staff might be suspicious that a purse dog is indeed a service animal. The new laws prohibit inquiries about a patron’s disability, requiring documentation or ID card or requests that the animal demonstrate the service it provides. This can cause an uncomfortable situation when the patron claims the animal is an “emotional support animal,” which neither Michigan nor federal law truly address.  

Under 2015 PA 144, which amends MCL 752.502c, an animal may not be removed from a specific facility on the basis of fear or allergies. A public library may ask a person with a disability to remove a service animal if the animal is out of control or not housebroken. The animal must have a harness or leash unless the patron is unable to use them because of the disability, in which case the animals must respond to signals or voice controls.

The full text of the Michigan laws affected by these changes are at the Michigan Legislature or Michigan Department of Civil Rights websites. Links to federal laws and regulations may be found through the MeL Legal Gateway.

8. Michigan eLibrary (MeL) Offers Research and Classroom Products from Gale with Google Apps for Education to all Michigan residents and schools

Michigan eLibrary

by Dinah Ramirez, Gale Cengage and Deb Biggs Thomas, LM MeL Coordinator. First published in the MACUL spring newsletter.

As a Google for Education Partner, Gale’s digital research and classroom products available through use the most current and popular Google tools to support students as they develop key study and organizational skills. By integrating Google Apps for Education, a free suite of tools that includes Gmail, Classroom, Drive, Docs, and more—Gale supports teachers/media specialists looking to extend the reach of their resources outside of the library and helps educators improve student engagement, encourage collaboration, and foster critical thinking. Best of all, these innovative features are available from anywhere and on any device to all Michigan educators, students, and residents:

  • Seamless User login: After the standard auto-authentication into the resource, users can log into Opposing Viewpoints In Context, Research In Context, Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), Kids InfoBits or InfoTrac resources using their Google Account credentials.
  • Integrated Google tools: Once logged in, users can easily share and download articles—including their highlights and notes—using Google Apps for Education tools like Drive and Docs.
  • Google Classroom integration: Teachers and students can seamlessly assign or turn in content from Gale Resources to Google Classroom via Google's new Classroom share button.

The Michigan eLibrary is very strong in PreK-12 content. Using Google Apps for Education now integrated into our Gale eResources, teachers and media specialists are better able to incorporate MeL’s vetted, reliable content into the classroom improving the research and learning experience. For those who would like a step-by-step introduction, webinars will be available. Please check the MeL Gale Product Web Trainings site ( for the schedule.

9. Submit an Article to LM Dispatch

Sonya Schryer Norris

by Sonya Schryer Norris

Do you have good news to share from your library? How about a staff member whose work is an example others could benefit from hearing about? Would you like to sing the praises of a collaborative effort? The Dispatch is the place to do it.

In our recent user survey, the most suggested topics that readers wanted to see more of were:

  • Coordinated efforts undertaken between libraries
  • How libraries can work together
  • What other libraries are doing
  • Unsung library hero stories

The Dispatch has more than 3,600 readers -- that's about 1,000 more subscribers than Michlib-l. It's a great place to get noticed and your fellow libraries want to hear your success stories.

Over-all, the most popular types of Dispatch articles from the reader survey were:

  1. Information about statewide programs my library can take advantage of
  2. What the LM can do for my library
  3. How the LM can help me help my patrons
  4. How LM can save me money/where to get money/where money comes from
  5. The State Librarian's feature article

And we'll be including plenty of those over the upcoming year. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey - and thank you in advance to those of you who already have article ideas percolating.

Please contact Sonya Schryer Norris with article ideas at or 517-373-4457.

10. Orion Township Library Receives 2015 Library of Congress Literacy Award

Center for the Book

The Orion Township Public Library in metro Detroit is winner of the 2015 Library of Congress Literacy Award for helping children learn to read, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) recently announced.

“An emphasis on third-grade literacy is part of an MDE and State Board of Education effort to become a Top 10 education state within 10 years,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “So it is important to recognize outstanding efforts in this area.”

At a recent Orion Township Library board of directors meeting, the Michigan Center for the Book (MCB), in conjunction with the National Center for the Book, presented the first-ever such award in Michigan to Debra Refior, the library’s head of Youth Services, and her team. Refior wrote the winning application.

The library won $500 and a child-friendly tablet device.

The award was open to any public library or friends of a public library group serving elementary school children in Michigan.

MCB Coordinator Edwina Murphy explained, “We wanted to provide the winning library with the tools to help meet the needs of children now. Logically, that would include classic books and electronic content.”

The Orion Township library was selected by peer libraries and MCB affiliates. It edged out other applicants for having consistently excellent programming, a partnership with local schools, and pairing of innovation with technology. A librarian liaison is assigned to each school in its district, and they help to fulfill requests from teachers and students during the school year.

The library’s array of programs includes Literacy Night, and Battle of the Books. The facility strives to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere with a dedicated early literacy area and a children’s iPad bar.

The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book was established by law in 1977 to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries, as well as the scholarly study of books. Since its founding, the Center has established affiliate centers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The MCB is one of 80 Center for the Book reading promotion partners in the USA and abroad. MCB’s board of directors is composed of affiliate library members from around the state. Each year the organization provides grants to libraries, takes part in book festivals, and supports Letters about Literature, a school-age writing contest.

“Developing a culture of reading in the state hinges on getting children reading at an early age” said State Librarian and Michigan Notable Book Coordinator Randy Riley. “Public libraries throughout the state are fundamental players in the promotion of reading.”

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