Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter September 2016

September, 2016

1. Model 21st Century School Library

State librarian Randy Riley with student at Carpenter Elementary

by Randy Riley, State Librarian

Congratulations to Jeannine Crissman and the Carpenter Elementary School as Michigan’s first Model 21st Century School Library.

Jeannine Crissman, the Technology and Library Specialist at Carpenter Elementary School, has been qualified as an Exemplary library in the Library of Michigan School Library 21st Century (SL 21) benchmarks program for some time. So when the Library of Michigan (LM) began a Model School Library program with SL 21 this year, she turned in a great application. Exhibiting the tools and vision of how technology can impact learning, Carpenter Elementary School Library is not only the state’s inaugural Model 21st Century School Library, but an example of what school libraries can do for students, especially at the elementary level.

Carpenter Elementary School is part of Lake Orion Community Schools in northeast Oakland County. The school library won the SL 21 honor for its coordinated technology curriculum; community collaboration, especially with the Orion Township Public Library; and Jeannine’s professional activities promoting school libraries statewide. Jeannine and Principal Adam Weldon stand out for their efforts to make the school library excel.

Successful students in our modern world are those who have a nuanced understanding of technology and information sources. The library program and staff at Carpenter Elementary are putting their students firmly on the road to success. By incorporating the library into classroom activities, Carpenter Elementary clearly has demonstrated the impact school libraries and team teaching can have on students. Carpenter Elementary School Library staff are available for consultation and visits from other educators who want to learn more about their successful program. Interested persons may contact Jeannine Crissman at or Karren Reish at  

If you want to know more about the SL 21 program and the annual selection of the Model SL 21 library, please visit

2. Michigan Rails Event 2016


by Edwina Murphy, Librarian, LM

October 8th 2016, 9 - 4:30 at the Library of Michigan

This fall the LM advances its series of transportation forums with the Rails Event 2016. In the realm of railroading, the locomotive nostalgia of yesteryear crosses tracks with futuristic train technology. Everyone has a railroad or interurban memory: a family chugging past their home or taking an adventurous rail excursion through snowy northern passes. People tell tales about taking the suburban from Howell to downtown Detroit or Chicago for a full day of shopping.

“Before trains, life moved at animal speed,” writer Michael Hodges mused. Whether it was the transportation of goods or people, everyone benefited from the technology. For many people, the engineering, gears and paint were beautiful and epitomized the Industrial Revolution. Trains symbolized independence, innovation, beauty and power. Rails lines competed with slick paint schemes and attractive logos and often stations were a means of promoting a city.

One speaker this year, Byron Babbish, will address this aesthetic appeal in two different sessions. A retired attorney and author of 32 books on Michigan railroading, Byron has photographed trains since his teen years. He will feature some of his photos and discuss the key elements of railroad photography and publishing.

Author Kevin P. Keefe will discuss his book Twelve Twenty-Five; The Life and Times of a Steam Locomotive, published this year by Michigan State University Press. 

Gary and Jenny McCampbell will describe their adventures in railroad preservation over the past six years. They are renovating three wooden rail cars: a 1902 sleeper car and a 1903 Railroad Post Office and Baggage Car, both made by Barney & Smith; and a 1927 Caboose built in Port Huron.

For a full lineup of guest speakers, topics and registration information, visit or our Facebook event page

3. Time Capsule in Progress at the Gateway to the U.P.

Time capsule

by Jolene Michaels, Director, Mackinaw Area Public Library

The Mackinaw Area Public Library, together with The Friends of the Mackinaw Area Public Library, have created a time capsule to be opened in 50 years. Anyone wanting to write note to the people of the future is welcome to stop in to the main branch. There is no specific subject or theme.

Can't visit the library in person? We will send you a note care and envelope or you can send us one. 

Letters or questions about the project can be sent to Jolene at Our address is 528 W Central Ave, PO Box 67, Mackinaw City, MI 49701. 

The time capsule is available to receive letters through December 2016. It then will be sealed up and stored away until January of 2067.

4. New LSTA Competitive Grant Program

Project funding

by Karren Reish, Library Grants Coordinator, LM

The LM is pleased to announce that the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grant program is back. The new grant program is designed to provide Michigan libraries the opportunity to develop innovative programs or services that have the potential to develop into sustainable regional or statewide programs, and represent strong partnerships between libraries, and community groups. In this first year, the LM will fund up to three pilot projects that meet these priorities. These projects may span one to three years in length and from a minimum of $50,000 per year up to $500,000 over three years. The maximum amount that will be awarded in any one year is $225,000.

The grant program priorities are:

  • Provide funding for innovative library services and programs
  • Create the opportunity to develop sustainable new regional or statewide programs and
  • Develop partnerships among libraries and/or between libraries and community agencies.

Libraries may propose a library program or service in any content area appropriate for library services, such as:

  • To develop an innovative service or program to meet a newly identified community need
  • To meet the increased community demand for a service or resource
  • To improve or develop new services to target populations, such as people from diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds; individuals with disabilities; and individuals with limited functional literacy, limited English proficiency or limited information literacy skills.

To learn more about the program, look for general information and an Application Information packet in the Grant Program section at You also may sign up for an informational webinar on Sept. 27th or October 19th. Libraries interested in applying must submit an Intent to File form by Oct. 31st.

Please contact Karren Reish at or 517-241-0021 with any questions.

5. Second Michigan Harwood Cohort Announced

Harwood Institute

by David Votta, Community Engagement Librarian, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS)

Fifty more Michigan library staff have been selected to undergo Harwood Public Innovator training.

We received competitive applications from nearly 70 individuals representing dozens of libraries. From that strong pool we awarded scholarships to 50 individuals from more than two dozen libraries. This cohort is a spectrum of library types, sizes, and geographic locations from across the state.

The group will attend a 1.5-day workshop with Harwood coaches, and then receive several months of follow-up training. The workshop is October 5-6, in Lansing. The follow-up training entails nine months of coaching calls from Harwood, and guidance and support from Harwood trained LM and MCLS staff.

The Harwood Public Innovators Workshop is designed to help individuals and organizations learn what it means to Turn Outward — to use the community, not the conference room, as a reference point for choices and action. A goal of this initiative is to help libraries strengthen their role as core community leaders and change-agents.

The training recipients are:

  • Adams-Pratt Oakland County Law Library
  • Airport Community Schools Libraries
  • Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library
  • Bad Axe Area District Library
  • Bedford Public Schools Libraries
  • Benzonia Public Library
  • Branch District Library
  • Caro Area District Library
  • Chesterfield Township Library
  • East Lansing Public Library
  • Ferris State University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Hastings Public Library
  • Howell Carnegie District Library
  • Jackson District Library
  • Lansing Community College
  • Lawrence Technological University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Milan Public Library
  • Monroe County Library System
  • Muskegon Area District Library
  • Pathfinder Community Library
  • Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
  • Portage District Library
  • Portage Lake District Library
  • Presque Isle District Library
  • Putnam District Library
  • Redford Township District Library
  • Salem-South Lyon District Library
  • Western Michigan University

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

6. Discovering Our Cultural Heritage Along US 23

A family poses for a photo along US 23

by Anne M. Belanger, Regional Outreach & Program Director, Presque Isle District Library

The 2nd Annual Lake Huron Discovery Tour is an opportunity for individuals to tour the U.S. 23 Heritage Route (the Sunrise Coast) in one October weekend. Not just visitors, but locals too can "discover" the plethora of events planned along the 200 mile route from Standish to Mackinaw City.

The theme this year includes Indigenous People’s Day: October 7-10, 2016.

To commemorate the indigenous people, the Presque Isle District Library’s Rogers City main branch will host the Clarke Historical Library (CHL)of Central Michigan University's "Native Treaties – Shared Rights" exhibit.

This CHL exhibit features extensive historical material regarding the Anishinabeg (first peoples). This collection is among the most comprehensive in the state. The exhibit was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.

Early on we realized that the District library needed to partner with regional organizations in northeast Michigan in order to draw tourism to the region. The District library and the Besser Museum of Northeast Michigan, located in Alpena, are featuring Native American exhibits that tell the story of the Anishinabeg. 

Part of the District library’s mission is to provide history, arts, and culture to our patrons and the general public. Working with the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce, parks & recreation, regional museums, libraries, and arts organizations, we draw from a pool of resources that provide exhibit space and marketing services.

7. Welcome to MeL Teachers: THE Destination for Integrating MeL into Michigan Classrooms and Curriculum

Michigan eLibrary

by Deb Renee Biggs, Library Consultant and MeL Coordinator, LM

MeL’s Education Specialist, Christine Schneider, has been hard at work this summer revamping the teacher portal ( on the MeL homepage.  Some may remember that the Michigan Online Resources for Educators (M.O.R.E.) formerly found in that location. Now, you will find a completely revamped and redesigned resource that offers eight centers designed to help Michigan educators understand and navigate MeL and the subscription databases that MeL provides.

These centers include:

1. Elementary Resources especially for PreK-5th grade and focusing on MeL Kids.  Here you will find handouts, slide decks and videos that can be used in the classroom to introduce students to MeL resources.

2. Secondary Resources especially for grades 6 through the first two years of college and focusing on MeL Teens. Find handouts, slide decks, videos and even supplemental material like graphic organizers and more.

3. Staff Resources for administrators, media specialists, teacher coaches and any teachers who want to present MeL resources at their schools.

4. MeL K-12 Spotlight which recognizes the great work teachers do on integrating MeL resources into their classroom/curriculum.

5. Michigan Educator Links for access to state education associations and online professional development.

6. Tips & Tricks to learn some MeL shortcuts or hidden features that can benefit teachers and students.

7. Test Preparation to learn how MeL resources can help prepare students for standardized tests starting in the 4th grade.

8. Technology Resources to keep updated on the latest MeL resources or recent changes within the resources, MeL Apps, linking directly to geo-authenticated resources, special webinars and trainings.

Although MeL Teachers is designed with the classroom in mind, librarians of all types can use this portal for school outreach and even with homeschool parent educators.  

Questions or comments can be directed to MeL’s Education Specialist, Christine Schneider,

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services .

8. Michigan Archaeology Day at the Michigan History Museum

Kids at Michigan Archaeology Day

by Diana Engle, Michigan Library and History Museum

Did you ever dream of being an archaeologist when you were a kid? Maybe you pictured yourself as that high-adventure archaeologist finding treasure and intrigue in the jungles of Latin America or the sands of the Middle East. Chances are that you never pictured yourself in…Michigan.

Yes, there ARE archaeologists doing work in Michigan and you have a chance to meet them and learn of their research and adventures at the Michigan History Museum's Michigan Archaeology Day. This year's event takes place Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Michigan History Museum is located across from the LM in the east wing of the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo Street in downtown Lansing. The event is a cooperative presentation of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's State Historic Preservation Office and the Department of Natural Resources Michigan History Center.

Archaeologists in Michigan explore both what is below ground and what is underwater, which makes for fascinating special presentations and pop-up exhibits about new discoveries. What really makes Michigan Archaeology Day the Michigan History Museum's most popular event, though, is the fun family activities that really get everyone "digging" history.

Outdoors, you can match your skills against those of prehistoric peoples - try hitting a deer target using a dart and an ancient spear-thrower called an atlatl, just like hunters did thousands of years ago. Indoors, make and decorate your own pottery and team up to solve hands-on history puzzles. Kids under 10 get to find out about archaeology first-hand by digging in a mock excavation box. And, if you've ever wondered just how prehistoric people made stone tools, you will be captivated by watching an expert flintknapper do just that.

Admission to Michigan Archaeology Day is free and gives you access to all museum exhibits, including the newest, Gichi-gamiigamig, which tell the story of Michigan's native peoples. For more information, visit

9. Applying for Cooperative Grants: A Quick How-To

Binders labeled applications and grants

by Natalie Bazan, Library Director, Hopkins District Library and Dorr Township Library

Have a great idea, a program you would just love to bring to your community or a new bit of technology you can’t live without? Why not seek a grant? To learn how, read on.

Granting agencies love nothing more than to see that you are working together with another group. That could be a local library, community organization, schools, government… the list is endless.  In fact we are working on one with our parks commission right now. Most grantors will see collaboration as a bigger bang for your buck since you are reaching out not only to your patrons but also to the other organizations followers. So lets look at how to do it without driving yourself crazy.

Surprisingly, writing grants is not hard. The application will ask for information and you provide it. Make sure to be unique and memorable. And most of all, make sure this is something you can do if granted the funds. 

When you are working with another organization things can be more difficult. You need to take into account the abilities of both teams. Is each team's goals aligned? What does each team get out of this collaboration? Be very clear when setting up a checklist of grant tasks that include writing, acceptance, administering, collecting stats, and reporting. 

Collaboration needn't be hard however you do need to be very clear on everyone’s roles before applying for the grant. There a many grants out there from landscaping to technology to programs which are perfect for a community partner.  The following are examples of groups we have partnered with and what we have done:

  • Hopkins Celebration Committee and Dorr Parks Dept., DTE Energy Foundation Tree Planting Grant – Earth Day celebration, planned reading in the park events, community service project for volunteers
  • West Michigan Art Glass – Allegan County Community Foundation Legacy Grant – Glass fused garden art and holiday art

10. Fall E-Rate Training for Libraries

Sonya Schryer Norris

by Sonya Schryer Norris, Library Consultant, LM

Three E-Rate workshops will be available to library staff this fall. The morning session is for beginners or those who would like a refresher on E-Rate basics, and runs from 8:30 – 11:30. The afternoon will covers: updates to the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC); updates for Funding Year 2017; and a Q/A. The afternoon session  is from 12:00 – 4:00. You are welcome to join us for lunch from 11:30 – 12:00 even if you attend just one of the sessions.

Locations for training are:

  • Monday, October 31 at Kent Intermediate School District, Grand Rapids
  • Tuesday, November 1 at Winding Brook, Shepherd Winding Brook will have an option to dial in from an IP address using ITV (must have a Polycom or equivalent device). 
  • Wednesday, November 2 at Genesee Intermediate School District, Flint

Registration is required

I will be present all three days and look forward to talking with library applicants about their E-Rate experiences and plans.

The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as the E-rate Program, helps ensure that schools and libraries can obtain high-speed internet access and telecommunications at affordable rates. Nearly $4 billion is available in the upcoming funding year. The FCC anticipates that this money will meet the program needs.

11. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to Expand Braille Service

Fingers reading braille

by Stephanie Wambaugh, Youth and Outreach Librarian, Braille and Talking Book Library

Thanks to U.S. Senate Bill 3207, passed by the House and Senate in July, service for Braille and Taking Book Library patrons will expand in the near future.

The bill, introduced by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), amends existing law to generalize the types of equipment that can legally be purchased, maintained, and replaced for library patrons through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). This essentially allows NLS to use future funding on refreshable electronic braille displays for patrons. Braille displays (sometimes also referred to as braille readers) allow users the ability to read braille from a device connected to a computer keyboard. This greatly speeds up braille access.

Prior to this bill, NLS was limited in how it provided braille materials to patrons. Typically, patrons received braille in print format from the library. These books are costly to produce and ship, and they are quite large for libraries and patrons to store. Braille files in electronic format now are available to NLS patrons. This option previously remained underutilized by patrons because braille displays are costly and many cannot afford this technology. Now, thanks top the Schumer bill, this will hopefully change.

We eagerly await more news on how NLS plans to move forward with this exciting opportunity for expanding ways people with disabilities can access to the information they desire, in the format they prefer. As the NLS slogan goes, "So That All May Read."