by Randy Riley, State Librarian
Too often Michigan libraries do not get the credit they
deserve. Michigan is blessed with great libraries and library systems. In many
communities libraries’ incredible accomplishments go unnoticed or are taken for
granted. The recent American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Orlando gave me a chance to brag about
Michigan libraries when talking with vendors and other librarians. Hands down,
Michigan has some of the best libraries in the nation.
Again this year the Library of Michigan (LM) and the Library of
Michigan Foundation will be presenting the State Librarian’s Excellence Award
(SLEA) at the Michigan Library Association conference in October. This award
provides a small opportunity to shine the spotlight on great library service in
Michigan. With the support of the Library of Michigan Foundation we will
recognize a library (any type) that exemplifies excellent customer service.
The selected library receives a $2,000 cash prize and a “fancy” trophy to
display in a public area. Two additional Citations of Excellence will be
awarded with recipients each receiving a $1,000 award and trophy.
Library directors, trustees, library users, administrators
or parent agency representatives can nominate their library for the State
Librarian’s Excellence Award. Nominations should demonstrate how libraries:
provide superior service to the community in a cost effective manner; operate
with a can-do attitude; and deliver on promises. They should include specific examples
of outstanding service over the past year and outline how
the staff’s interaction with the community showcases a high level of customer
See here for a more detailed description of the SLEA criteria and a nomination form.
For more information, contact the Library of Michigan Foundation office at (517) 373-1297.
by Kay Schwartz, Director, Flint Public Library
The Flint Public Library (FPL) applied for
a StoryCorps @Your Library grant in 2015. The grant equipped and trained library staff and volunteers
to digitally capture stories for preservation in the Library of Congress. People in the community,
especially youth who worked on the project, had the chance to learn
interviewing, recording and editing skills.
More than 70 Flint residents shared their personal recollections
and viewpoints via StoryCorps. These
people talked about families migrating to Flint for the hope and promise of factory
jobs. They described the pain of watching
Flint change over the years through job displacement, unemployment and
crime. They also related family stories
of joy, of laughter, stories of unbelievable experiences and unshakable
people. StoryCorps underscored the
variety of human experience that is the bedrock of Flint’s history.
The Flint water crisis hit the news in the fall of 2015, just
about the time our grant was expiring. We applied for an extension, because we believed that people should have
the opportunity to share their perspectives on this historic crisis as it unfolded. StoryCorps granted our request, and now we
are inviting people to record their stories about how this crisis has impacted
them. Powerful stories are beginning to
emerge…stories of grief and pain and challenge. All of them feature an unmistakable air of authenticity that will not
fail to move people who listen to them years from now.
Anyone can hear what the people of Flint have had to
say. Visit www.soundcloud.com/flintpubliclibrary to play
edited recordings that we have posted. Note that the specific water crisis stories that were recorded in this
extended grant period will be posted later in the year.
We believe the Library is a democratic and accessible place
for community memory to be built. StoryCorps has been a wonderful way to accomplish that goal.
by Shannon White, Director, Statewide Library Services, LM
Have your own reading habits changed over the past decade as you
have adopted new technologies? Do we fully understand the impact of the use of
technology on a new generation that hasn't migrated from paper to electronic
reading? Today's scholars are studying the impact reading has on young learners, readers and comprehension in a digital only environment. What does this
mean for libraries, the organization best known for books, information and
We invite you to join us on September 30 to hear from two leading
researchers in the field as well as your colleagues as we present Reading Redefined: Deep Reading,
Learning, and the Impact of Digitization, a one-day symposium to
discuss the ways that reading is changing as our environment and interactions
become ever more digital.
Our two featured speakers are Maryanne Wolf, Ph.D.,
Director, Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University and
author Proust and the
Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain and Natalie
M. Phillips, the Co-Director of DHLC and Lead Faculty for Literary Neuroscience
and History of the Mind at MSU. The event also will feature breakout
sessions from K12, university and community college colleagues addressing
technology and today's students.
The event's venue is the Lansing
Community College West Campus. Registration is open.
This event is a collaborative program provided
by the LM, the Cooperative Directors Association, the Midwest
Collaborative of Library Services and the Michigan Library
Association. This project also is supported with federal funds from the
Institute of Museum and Library Services.
by Evette Atkin, Continuing Education Coordinator, LM
Are you a new library director or have you recently accepted a director position in Michigan for the first time? Registration is now open for the LM's annual New & Advanced Director workshops. In order for your library to be eligible for state aid, all new public library directors and all directors newly appointed in the state of Michigan must attend one or both of these workshops.
- New Director Workshop (September 15, 2016) – required for all new library directors within 12 months after appointment.
- Advanced Director Workshop (September 16, 2016) – required for all new Class IV-VI library directors within 24 months of appointment.
Library employees are welcome to attend voluntarily. Topics include Library Law, Human Resources, Community Engagement, Organizational Health and much more.
Attendees will learn about numerous resources for public libraries. Registration is $30 for the New Director Workshop and $35 for the Advanced Director Workshop. Registration deadline (and also to cancel with a full refund) is 5 pm on Wednesday, September 7th. The location is the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing. For more information, visit http://michigan.gov/libraryce.
by Karen Smith, Head of Children's Services, Livonia Public Library
Libraries can do wonderful things when they have creative librarians,
talented videographers and help from community partners. In March 2016, the Livonia Public Library teamed up with
Livonia Television Channel 8 and Phoenix Freerunning Academy to create a Summer Reading Program video that showcases the
summer reading program itself, and by showing kids
how fun and knowledgeable librarians are, promotes library usage.
The idea originated with Children’s Librarian Julie Novak after learning
that Parkour was coming to the library for summer reading. Eric Zimmerman
and other athletes from Phoenix Freerunning Academy were happy to lend their
talents to the library. Using creative camera angles, an inspired script,
librarians and “bad stunt doubles,” Paul Sutherland and Nathan Rockwell from
Livonia Television, filmed and edited a Summer Reading commercial like
Once the video was posted to social media, the real fun began. The video was being shared not only by other Michigan
libraries, but also libraries on every continent except for Antarctica (and we
are still working on that).
Library Director, Toni LaPorte (you may have
seen her jump off the roof) could not be happier with how well the video has
promoted the library and its programs. “It’s incredible the people have shared it,” she said. In fact, the video has been viewed over 32,000
times on Facebook and has been featured on all of the local TV channels, on
WKAR's public radio program "Current State" as well as the “Late Late
Show with James Corden.”
Although you won’t find any librarians actually practicing Parkour in the
library, those at the Livonia Public Library pride themselves on
fabulous programming, excellent customer service and mutually beneficial collaborations
with community partners. View
the video on the library’s Facebook page.
by Stephanie Wambaugh, Outreach and Youth Librarian, Braille and Talking Book Library
The Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) collaborates with
public libraries across the state to educate all Michigan residents about the
free braille and audio book service available to those who have difficulty
reading standard print due to a visual or physical disability, or organic
reading disability. Through ongoing outreach efforts, any public library may
sign up to be a Demo Site. In short, Demo Sites receive information and
training regarding BTBL, a Digital Talking Book Player and book, and
applications for the service. Demo Sites are encouraged to promote and
distribute BTBL materials as best meets their needs.
Since 2014 when the Demo Site program officially started,
more than 55 public libraries of all sizes have joined the effort to promote BTBL
services. With a collection of books very similar to a public library’s, but
solely in braille and audio formats, we provide patrons thousands of books in
alternative formats with more added every day. The Braille and Talking Book
Library is a part of a nationwide network of libraries made possible by the
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS),
Library of Congress. In Michigan, the Regional Library in Lansing and
11 subregional locations throughout the state provide service and support to
our patrons. For more information, please visit our website at www.michigan.gov/btbl or contact
the Outreach Librarian, Stephanie Wambaugh, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Demo Site program provides an opportunity for public
libraries to help an often underserved library population connect with a free,
easy, and accessible resource. Please join in helping those who cannot use
standard print rediscover the joy of reading. Become a Demo Site today so “that
all may read”.
by Matt Pacer, Reference Librarian, LM
Summer is in full swing and if you are looking for a wonderful, yet educational experience, look no further than your LM. The LM is the State Library and has been in existence since territorial times. Our collections focus on all things Michigan, providing rich and varied resources to learn about many aspects of Michigan history and its place in American history.
What can you find when you visit us? Many things actually! We are the official repository for Michigan print and electronic government documents. Some of the earliest documents go back to 1805. These documents provide a historical perspective on the development of Michigan’s state government. Our Michigan Collection spans both historical and current Michigana. These materials are commercially or privately published. You can find books on county histories, cemetery transcriptions, Michigan architects, the Great Lakes, Michigan rivers, state parks, automobiles, and so much more. Our Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book Room has many types of items: maps, booklets, artists' books, journals, etc. The Rare Book Room is open by appointment only. Lastly, we have a huge collection of Michigan newspapers on microfilm. A fun game for the family is to look at the front page of your home town newspaper to see what made the news on the day of your birth. Our collections are all cataloged and you can search the catalog by visiting this website: www.answercat.org.
A trip to the library would not be complete unless you walk to the east side of the building past Carl (a very happy Michigan White Pine who likes to be photographed) to see the State of Michigan Museum and the Archives of Michigan. The museum has many displays, covering three floors and depicting Michigan history. The Archives of Michigan is a wonderful place for Michigan research whose collections complement ours. Michigan Library and Historical Center staff look forward to seeing you.
If you have any questions, call us at 517-373-1300 or email us at email@example.com.
by Anne M. Belanger, Regional Outreach &
Program Director, Presque Isle District Library
Rural libraries focus on building
partnerships locally and regionally. At
the Presque Isle District Library (PIDL), located in northeast Michigan of the Lower
Peninsula, we benefit from these collaborations and our community partners.
The STEAM Ahead program at the Presque Isle District Library is a good
example of strong partnerships. (STEAM) Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts,
and Math is prolific throughout the country.
With funding from the Michigan
Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, the library introduced
elementary to middle school students at the Rogers City Area Schools to the
world of STEAM based projects.
Students worked in a creative
environment at the library making hands-on electronic gadgetry with Squishy
Circuits, Snap Circuits, and Little Bits componentry while developing their
critical thinking and creative skills. Students were guided by Don “Mr. Don” Dimick, PIDL Youth
Librarian. Students worked in teams and others were
comfortable running solo with their creation.
In the 2D animation session,
middle school students learned how to write out their story ideas and create a
storyboard prior to their animation project. This helped them to develop
We have started an animation club
due to the interest in making animated shorts. With the library’s recent acquisition of the Rogers
City Theater, students now have a place to meet, create animated shorts, and screen
them at the theater prior to feature presentations. The public can see the
talents of our local students, who in turn can celebrate their creativity
through STEAM Ahead.
STEAM Ahead© rolled
out in Rogers City in March 2016. The plan is to have a sustainable program
reaching students throughout Presque Isle County in this fall.
by Joseph Hamlin, Data Coordinator, LM
Outside the Lines (OTL): Libraries Reintroduced, is a
weeklong nationwide event created by Colorado library marketers and library
directors. It's designed to show the creativity and innovation occurring in libraries
across the country. Currently 111
organizations registered to participate in the nationwide program. Joining the fun is free and easy. Registrants
agree to host at least one campaign or event that meets the 7 OTL criteria.
- Gets people thinking – and talking – about
libraries in a different way.
- Showcases the library out in the community as
well as in the library.
- Highlights how your library is relevant to
- Represents your local community.
- Is active versus passive – gets people engaged.
- Is extraordinary and unexpected.
- Most importantly, is fun!
In Michigan we're launching a social media campaign
around OTL using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Its hashtag: #GetOTL. Our focus is the partnerships Michigan
libraries have formed within their communities and the innovative services and
events that resulted. We encourage all
Michigan libraries to share their success stories. Show us what’s working for you and checkout
what is happening in the state and across the nation. Please tag your posts with #GetOTL so your
content is easy to find and share.
Visit the OTL
website or search social media using #GetOTL for some examples of how libraries are
showing their communities what they have to offer and how libraries have
changed. You can follow OTL on Facebook @GetOutsideTheLines or on Twitter
by Jan Davidson, Member Engagement, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services
Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains by Nicholas Carr has
been selected as the title for “Libraries Read: 1 Book.” Join the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) at one of the
following discussions. It may even change your brain.
21, 2 pm Eastern. Twitter Chat. Use the hashtag #mclschat
2, 10 am to Noon Eastern. Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington,
3, 10 am to Noon Central. Lake County Public Library, Merrillville, IN
4, 2 pm to 4 pm Eastern. Indianapolis Public Library Service Center, Indianapolis,
5, 11 am to 1 pm Eastern. MCLS, Lansing, MI: This discussion will be
led by Michigan librarian extraordinaire Kevin King, Head, Branch and IT
Services Kalamazoo Public Library
29. Peter White Library, Marquette, MI: This discussion is part of
the Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation (UPRLC) meeting. Time to
be determined. Look for more information soon.
Read more and register for a discussion>>
by Rebecca Campbell, Community Relations Assistant, Delta Township District Library
This year, the Grand Ledge Area District
Library (GLADL) and the Delta Township District Library (DTDL) collaborated in the hugely
successful Battle of the Books. The Delta Township District Library has been
hosting this all-ages trivia competition for eight years. Teams are comprised
of four to five members and are quizzed on five pre-selected books while the
judges hand out scores for accuracy. This year’s winning team beat out 21 competitors to take home first place and a Barnes & Noble gift card.
Because of the proximity of our libraries
and the overlap of patrons, it is important to pool our resources and offer a
bigger and better opportunity for the community. The collaboration allows us to
advertise through more channels, as well as host pre-events jointly to spread
the word. Funding for the program also was shared; both libraries helped
provide prizes and advertising funds for the event.
“It was a great opportunity to partner
because many of our Battle participants are from Grand Ledge” said Becky
LeBoeuf, DTDL’s Youth Services Librarian and head of the Battle of the
Books. “Rather than having competing
programs, we could share resources and the program benefited from the extra
staffing, funds, and marketing.”
Lise Mitchell, Director of the Grand Ledge Area District
Library, added, "We love working with DTDL, and really appreciate
partnering with them for Battle of the Books. When we go out into the
community we want patrons to focus on reading and learning and by promoting a
unified front GLADL and DTDL show that libraries know how to collaborate and
deliver the best."
What’s next? We hope to continue to
work together to bring our communities closer and offer bigger and better
events and programs to patrons of all ages.
For information on Battle of the Books, as
well as any of our other great programs, please visit our websites at: http://www.dtdl.org/ and http://grandledge.lib.mi.us/