by Randy Riley, State Librarian
It is difficult to open up a newspaper or
watch the nightly news without seeing stories about the water
crisis in Flint. The crisis has been discussed during presidential
debates, appeared as the top story on national news programs and blazed from numerous newspaper and magazine headlines. Recently, I realized just how big the story has become.
While visiting my daughter, who is studying
abroad at Kings College in London, we made a train trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
When shopping in one of the many great woolen shops a friendly salesperson took
an interest in where was I from in the States. When I replied "Michigan," he asked: “how could your state allow Flint’s water to be
poisoned?” So much for the Flint water crisis just being a local issue...
The entire state has responded in trying to
find ways to help the people of Flint. After touching
base with Kay Schwartz, director of the Flint Public Library, she mentioned
that they were being inundated with calls and emails from people wanting to help.
She expressed that the best avenue for finding a way to help Flint was to work
through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
Because the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has made it a priority to join the rest of state government in offering various forms of assistance, I asked myself what the Library of Michigan (LM) could do to contribute. I asked Michigan-based database and information providers ProQuest and
Gale-Cengage if they would like to join the LM in identifying ways to help Flint. I was delighted when both
responded promptly and affirmatively. These two companies know the importance of being a
“good” citizen of the state and jumped at the chance to help Flint.
A special fund has been established by the
Community Foundation of Greater Flint to address the needs of Flint’s children
and the potential long term effects of exposure to lead. I encourage
everyone who is interested in helping, like ProQuest and Gale, to make a donation at flintkids.org. Rest assured that your
gift will be used for critical interventions today and well into the future.
For more information visit: https://www.cfgf.org/cfgf/GoodWork/FlintArea/WaterCrisis/tabid/855/Default.aspx
by Larry Neal
Library Director, Clinton-Macomb Public Library
Immediate Past President, Public Library Association
In 2014, President Obama announced ConnectED,
a signature initiative focused on transforming teaching and learning through
digital connectivity and content with the belief that every child deserves the
chance to learn and thrive in an environment that is enriched by the latest
In 2015 the initiative was expanded, recognizing the need to strengthen learning
opportunities by improving access to the nation’s public libraries and digital
content through what has become known as the ConnectED Library Challenge.
Last April the Clinton-Macomb Public Library
(CMPL) received an invitation from the White House staff on Domestic Policy to
participate in a call, “to discuss your library’s commitment to ensure that all
children in your community can access library resources to further their
education.” The premise of the program was straightforward and highly aligned
with CMPL’s mission. To participate, the library board, elected officials and
school superintendents had to agree to:
- Support student learning and school success
through programming and other activities that develop students’ language,
reading and critical thinking abilities
- Provide digital resources such as ebooks and
online collections to learners
- Provide broadband access through public
computers and WiFi
- Give access by providing every student with a
Thanks to the relationships the library
has cultivated over the years with schools and local elected officials, it took just a couple of quick phone calls to get everyone on board. In fact, CMPL was the
first library in the country to sign up for the challenge and we were
invited to attend a White House-sponsored event in
CMPL serves 30,000 students in two school districts and parts of four others. Checkout
privileges of physical materials require a parent or guardian signature. Since
starting the program in September 2015, nearly 1,000 students have secured a
full-access library card.
CMPL is now collaborating
with its public library counterparts in Chesterfield Township, Harrison
Township and St. Clair Shores to partner with L’Anse Creuse Public Schools
which is served by all four libraries. Reducing complexity
and making policies as education-friendly as possible across libraries was the
first goal. At this point we are on
track to complete this first multi-library/school partnership by the end of the
2015-16 school year.
by Christine Schneider
Hi everyone! My name is
Christine Schneider and I am the new Michigan eLibrary (MeL) Education
Specialist. This is a newly created
position as of December 2015. My main focus is to work with K-12 educators and
media specialists on incorporating the outstanding quality and vetted online
resources that MeL offers to Michigan schools and residents at no cost.
Over the past eight years, I
have been a classroom teacher of grades 6 through 12 and even adults. Most
recently I taught math and English at Clawson High School. I also taught technology in elementary education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. I hold a master’s degree in Teaching from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a bachelors in Business Administration – General Management
from Davenport University. Outside of
work, I absolutely love raising my wonderful 11-year-old identical twin
daughters Trinity and Tiffany.
If you would like to find out
more about the great resources MeL.org
has to offer or would like some professional development in your school, please send me an email at CSchneider.MeL@gmail.com. I look forward to
meeting and working with everyone.
by Evette Atkin
Hello all. I'm Evette Atkin and I have the honor of being the new Continuing Education
Coordinator here at the LM. I look forward to working with Michigan libraries to provide continuing education opportunities that ensure libraries remain vital parts of their communities.
I began my library career at the Michigan State University
Libraries, working in numerous areas over nine years ranging from
Database Management to Facilities and Interlibrary Loan. Upon earning my Master's of Library and Information Science, I was thrilled to
be offered the opportunity to join the staff at the Michigan Library
Consortium, now the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS). There, I
was the Coordinator of the Michigan Evergreen Project. I also developed, planned and
instructed programs and workshops, and provided support and training in various
areas of library services, for which I was named a 2008 Library Journal Mover
& Shaker. During my time at MCLS, I
also had the wonderful opportunity to instruct future librarians on the topic
of technology as an adjunct professor with Wayne State University’s Library
& Information Science graduate program.
After spending the past three years as the director of a Class V public library, I am excited to return to providing services to
libraries throughout the state and am eager to provide creative,
innovative and relevant continuing education opportunities for Michigan libraries.
by Carolyn Sparks
The Library of Michigan Foundation is
pleased to host the thirteenth annual "Night for Notables," a celebration
recognizing the 2016 Michigan Notable Books and their authors. Each honored author has helped to showcase
the state’s rich literary history and, through their compelling stories, has
spotlighted the diverse experiences of life in the Great Lakes State.
The books and their authors will be
recognized at an April 2nd gala at the LM.
This year’s gala features a trio of politically minded speakers. The three authors were given Michigan Notable
Book Awards in past years for their compelling biographies of vastly different
Michigan governors. Lawrence M. Glazer, author of “Wounded Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Michigan Governor John Swainson” (2010); Dave Dempsey,
author of “William Milliken: Michigan’s Compassionate Conservative” (2009); and
Thomas J. Noer, author of “Soapy: A Biography of G. Mennen Williams” (2006)
will discuss their views on what makes an effective governor and how governors
respond to crises. The panel moderator is John Truscott, a former spokesman for Governor John Engler, and
Kelly Rossman-McKinney who has worked in public relations both in government
and the private sector. The two are
partners in Truscott-Rossman, a bipartisan public relations firm.
The Night for Notables event provides a rare opportunity for guests to mix and mingle with authors who
have captured Michigan’s heritage while gaining wide public appeal.
Advanced registration is required. For reservations or more information, please call 517-373-1297 or visit: http://libraryofmichiganfoundation.org or http://michigan.gov/notablebooks.
Reception, Book Signing
Reception beginning at 4:30 p.m.
seating for program
Reception - Book Signing
Books are available for purchase.
General Admission Registration
Program - Forum Auditorium
Recognition of Authors and Awards Ceremony
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Reception - Hors d’oeuvres, Michigan beer and wine
Book Signing - 2016 Notable Authors in attendance and panel participants
by Denise Hooks
MMLC’s goals regularly have included support of the technology
needs of our members. In the past, many
cooperatives purchased mobile laptop labs and other equipment that circulated
among libraries. The practice provided
libraries with the opportunity to offer new services for patrons such as
bibliographic instruction and other classes on how to use emerging technologies
in a group setting. This effort predated
the computer lab environment that we have come to appreciate and rely on in our
While updating our last Technology Plan, MMLC library directors were asked to give
suggestions on what technology needs they might have for the future. 3D printing was at the top of the list. With the assistance of Chippewa River
District Library (CRDL), we tested 3D printing processes and, after
an evaluation period, library members agreed to participate in a longer
project. CRDL offered suggestions on 3D
printers and both Capital Area District Library and Bay County Library System
shared their equipment experience with MMLC to assist us in making an
Last month, MMLC’s
Advisory Council meeting was devoted to presentations and conversations about
how libraries might offer this service to patrons. Divided into seven regions, the groups met to
complete a planning worksheet that included questions such as: a schedule for printer use, transportation
among members, and supply replacement procedures.
Each region agreed on the library that would
take the 3D printer, dedicated laptop and scanner that day. Those lucky libraries drove away with a brand
new 3D set-up. This exciting pilot will
run until 2017 as support systems are developed.
by Evette Atkin
Are you new to library work? Do you want to network with
colleagues facing the same challenges of figuring out all there is to working
in a public library but are not sure where to go? Then the LM's Beginning Workshop
is for you. Each spring the LM provides an opportunity for those new to library
work and seeking to be certified at Level 3 or 4 to come together for a
three-day learning event. This workshop provides a crash course in basic areas
of library work from intellectual freedom to weeding.
At this workshop, library colleagues from around the state
share their expertise in select sessions on issues of importance to today’s
public libraries. In addition to the day-time programs, we offer optional
activities in the evening to continue your learning experience in a less formal
setting with a bit more fun. A book-tasting party and tour of the Bellaire
Public Library are on tap.
Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire is the location
for the 2016 event May 18 - 20. If you have not had formal library coursework and are ready for an introduction to working in a public library
please join us. To learn more about the workshop and register online, visit: www.michigan.gov/beginningworkshop.
Registration is $140 and includes meals. This event is
sponsored by the Library
of Michigan Foundation and the LM. Deadline to register for the event and make lodging reservations is April 17.
by Dave Votta
On March 15 and 16, 2016, a cohort of more than 50 Michigan
library staff convened in East Lansing for a 1.5-day workshop led by
two certified coaches from the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. That
training will be followed up by nine months of coaching calls from the Harwood
Institute, and guidance and support from Harwood trained LM and MCLS staff.
The workshop and follow-up training are designed to help
individuals and organizations learn what it means to Turn Outward — to use the community, not the conference room, as
the reference point for choices and action.
The cohort was selected through a competitive application
process. The libraries represent a spectrum of library types, sizes and
geographic locations in Michigan, all with a common goal of engaging more deeply
in their communities.
Look for an announcement soon about a second cohort. Applications will be gathered beginning this spring with a fall start date.
The participating libraries are:
- Allegan District Library
- Bay County Public Library
- Bay de Noc Community College Library
- Clarkston Independence District Library
- Cromaine Library
- East Lansing Public Library
- Escanaba Public Library
- Fremont Area District Library
- Grand Ledge District Library
- Houghton Lake Public Library
- Hudson Carnegie District Library
- Ironwood Carnegie Library
- Lapeer District Library
- Loutit District Library
- Niles Public Library (In collaboration with the Niles History Center)
- North Adams Community Memorial Library
- Oakland University Kresge Library
- Orion Township Public Library
- Peter White Public Library
- Portage Lake District Library
- Public Libraries of Saginaw
- Roscommon Area District Library
- Salem-South Lyon District Library
- Saugatuck-Douglas District Library
- Southfield Public Library
- Superior District Library
- Superiorland Library Cooperative
- Tahquamenon Area Library
- University of Michigan-Dearborn Mardigian Library
- Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs and University Archives (Wayne State University)
- Wayne State University Purdy Kresge Library
- White Pigeon Township Library
- Ypsilanti District Library
This project is supported by the LM with
federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Michigan Humanities Council
The Michigan Humanities Council offers grant opportunities to public libraries and public schools across the state to host Prime Time programs. Prime Time is a free six-week program of reading, discussion and storytelling that targets families of non-active library users. The program features award-winning children’s literature to stimulate discussion about humanities themes and issues encountered in everyday life. Since 2008, more than 6,700 Michigan children and parents have participated in Prime Time.
Each week a storyteller reads up to three books, followed by facilitated discussion with a humanities scholar who engages participants with questions that promote critical thinking skills. At the end of each session, families keep the books that were read to create home libraries.
Programs typically serve up to 25 families comprised of parents and children ages 6-10 with separate pre-reading activities planned for children 5 and under. Programs are presented in English or as a bilingual Spanish/English program.
Prime Time is designed to be a fun and memorable experience. Each session begins with a free meal and participants learn about the valuable resources offered by libraries. Weekly door prizes ensure families are motivated to return each week.
Any public library system or public school library in Michigan is eligible to apply to host a six-week Prime Time series. Applications are being accepted until May 2, 2016. For questions or more information, please contact James Nelson, Program Manager, at 517-372-7770 or firstname.lastname@example.org