LM Dispatch January 2017

January 2017

1. Michigan Notable Books 2017 Announced

Randy Riley, State Librarian

by Randy Riley
State Librarian

The Library of Michigan (LM) recently announced its list of 2017 Michigan Notable Books (MNB). Their settings range from the most remote areas of the Upper Peninsula to the busiest urban settings of Detroit and everything in between. In their own unique ways, these books help shine the spotlight on Michigan’s people, places and events.

Since 2002 the annual MNB program has highlighted a new group of gifted writers and stories that document the history, natural beauty, characters and sizeable talents found in our great state.

The MNB list features 20 books, published during the previous calendar year, which are about, or set in, Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or written by a Michigan author. Selections include a variety of genres, both fiction and nonfiction, that appeal to many audiences and explore topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents. The 2017 list includes histories, memoirs, poetry and short story collections exploring current events, family dynamics, music, design and architecture and true crime.

On Saturday, April 1 the LM and the Library of Michigan Foundation will host a Night for Notables celebration of the 2017 MNB and their authors at the LM.

During April, May and June we also will sponsor a tour of 2017 MNB authors to 50 libraries across the state. If your library is interested in hosting an author this year, please fill out an application. Visit this year's complete list of MNB for details.

For more information or questions about the MNB program, contact the LM at 517-373-1300, or email librarian@michigan.gov.  The LM is part of the Michigan Department of Education.

2. Taking Advantage of the LM Continuing Education Grant Program for Programming Good

Hillary Berry

by Hillary A. Berry

Paw Paw District Library

The 2016 YALSA Symposium, held November 4-6 in Pittsburgh, PA, brought together over 500 teen services staff to learn, network, and share ideas. The theme, “Empowering Teens to Increase Your Library’s Impact,” threaded through each of the weekend’s breakout sessions and author panels. Attending the Symposium was possible with LM continuing education grant funding and has provided me with a plethora of new ideas. It has also reinforced my commitment to serving teen patrons in new and empowering ways.

Facilitating teen-led programs, following YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines, was heavily discussed in many of the sessions. Giving teen patrons a space to meet and allowing them to choose discussion and program topics empowers them to be confident in their interests and opinions and piques their interest in library activities. One of the most engaging sessions, “The Fast Track: Introducing Teens to Non-Traditional Career Paths,” discussed planning a vocational and tech school career fair for non-college bound students, as well as designing a monthly program introducing teens to professionals from a variety of careers. Inspired by this session, I’m planning to schedule career programs beginning this spring.

Since returning from the Symposium, I’ve partnered with my library’s children’s librarian to plan a month long, diverse reading program for patrons of all ages, I have set up new book displays, and a teen-led community engagement photography project. Connecting with and learning from librarians from across the country was invaluable and I’m excited to take what I’ve learned and use the resources shared to create better programming, collections, and services for the teens in my community.

3. Tuned into the Library of Michigan

Sonya Schryer Norris

by Sonya Schryer Norris
Library Consultant, LM

Can’t get enough news about the LM? Check us out on WGVU at 88.5/95.3 FM or online at www.wgvu.org. WGVU's continued mission is to provide educational, informative, and entertaining programs and events to the west Michigan community as a service of Grand Valley State University. 

On the first Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m., radio show host Shelley Irwin interviews an LM staff member or another Michigan library figure about current interests. Each “Tuned into the Library of Michigan” segment runs 10-15 minutes. A program, project or event is covered in a Q&A format. Shelley Irwin has conducted these interviews, especially designed to explore topics of interest to the general public, for eight years.

For example, Edwina Murphy comes on each winter to discuss the latest MNB winners, while Youth Librarian Cathy Lancaster talks up the annual one-state, one children's book program, Michigan Reads! Also, LM Foundation events such as the Night for Notables brings in Foundation Executive Director, Mary Cooperwasser. We talk about the upcoming Summer Reading theme and what you can expect to find at your local public library. Experts from the field include the ever-popular Michigan Activity Pass with Jim Flury, which allows you to check out a pass for hundreds of museums and other Michigan activities. And the Braille and Talking Book Library talks about the services available to you or a loved one who has lost their sight and could benefit from free audio books. These are just a few examples of the types of topics covered.

So join us! We’d love to have you as a regular listener. And if the time frame is inconvenient for you please note that the interviews are all archived at www.wgvu.org and can be found by typing “Tuned into the Library of Michigan” in the homepage search box. 

4. A New Mobile Lab for Woodlands Library Cooperative

Kate Pohjola Andrade

by Kate Pohjola Andrade
Director, Woodlands Library Cooperative

Woodlands Library Cooperative was ready to upgrade its mobile laptop lab. The old lab was well-used and loved, but the computers were very heavy and painfully slow, which made the thought of upgrading them to Windows 10 unappealing. At the same time, the idea of buying brand new computers for a lab can be a bit scary, especially if you’re not super tech savvy, but the Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRIG) program made the process incredibly easy. 

We surveyed our cooperative’s members on how they use the mobile lab and learned that they use the computers for programming and training for staffers and patrons. More than one of our member librarians recommended that we consider solid state drives, because they offer more speed to users.

We decided on the Lenovo L560. Our new lab (10 student units and one for a trainer) came pre-loaded with Windows 10 Professional, and has both 16GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. We spent $584 for each laptop. Had we purchased these machines in the retail market, each would have cost around $1084. $11,924 or $6,424?  Why yes, we’ll gladly take the $5500 in savings, thank you.

The TRIG process has a few hoops, but they’re relatively easy. You must generate a purchase order and submit it online to order the equipment. Once the order is submitted, a vendor ships out the equipment. Honestly, the worst part was waiting for the shiny new computers to arrive.

I don’t anticipate it taking very long before the new mobile lab is up and running for Woodlands members to use. I just wish we had done this upgrade when the TRIG program was first announced.

5. Michigan Reads!: Bubble Gum Bubble Gum

Cathy Lancaster

by Cathy Lancaster
Youth Librarian, LM

The LM's Michigan Reads! program is hosted at public libraries, schools, and select early childhood providers throughout the state during “March is Reading Month.”

The program is designed to promote the importance of reading aloud to young children and the development of early literacy skills. 

For 2017, the LM has selected Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith. 

A tour around the state with author Lisa Wheeler will be held throughout March, along with storytimes and additional programming on the local level. 

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum is a tongue-twisting read-aloud that will have audiences wondering what happens when Toad gets stuck in bubble gum melting in the road… Children will enjoy watching Toad and friends in this sticky, rhyming adventure and be surprised to see what happens when they work together to get out of the mess.

Michigan’s public libraries, public schools and select early childhood programs will receive a free copy of the book and the online programming guide adds supplemental activities, resources and learning templates to the programs. To access the online programming guide and additional information, please go to www.michigan.gov/michiganreads.

On a special note the LM thanks Hachette Book Group for running a unique re-print of Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum, as it was taken out of print in 2015. Public libraries and school libraries offering Michigan Reads! programming are encouraged to shape it around the featured author, Lisa Wheeler, and her great variety of books. She has more than 30 children’s books. Support for the Michigan Reads! program is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Consumers Energy Foundation and the Library of Michigan Foundation.

6. Attracting Millennials to The Library

Amanda Harrison Keighley

by Amanda Harrison Keighley
Rochester Hills Public Library

The Rochester Hills Public Library (RHPL) is working to attract younger millennials through targeted programming, strategic partnerships and digital content.

A recent Pew Research study found more than 50 percent of millennials used a public library in the past year. Yet traditional library programming largely focuses on youth and senior citizens.

At RHPL, we believe it is important to serve all the members of our community; offering programs specifically designed for this demographic reinforces that commitment.

When planning these programs, we strive to stay up to date with current trends. For example, we hosted a nostalgic 90’s style recess night, a circus skills workshop fully equipped with a trapeze and tight rope, and a monthly adult coloring club.

Our greatest success with trendy programming came when Pokémon GO was popular. Our staff hosted walks that attracted more than 100 players each week, and gave away prizes to everyone who signed up for a library card. The walks were one of many valuable tools we used to raise awareness of the library’s services. 

Local partnerships have been crucial in building our rapport with millennials. One such partnership is with our local brewery, where we host a monthly book club. The brewery helps advertise the club and hosting it off site makes the club feel less formal.

The most successful partnership has been with Oakland University (OU). We recently worked with the college to grant all of its students access to library cards, regardless of their residency.  

The relationship has allowed us to give interviews on the university’s local radio station and newspaper, promote our programs in their student center and launch a new program with their professors. OU’s Facebook page even promoted the library to its 40,000 followers.

Facebook has been a central part of our efforts to reach millennials. The platform allows us to communicate with them directly, giving our followers a more authentic experience. We use live sharing, campaigns and participate in trends like the mannequin challenge.     

It’s essential we recognize millennials as the future of our library and we hope these initiatives will create the next generation of lifelong library users.   

7. MeL and Statewide Services Surveys

Karren Reish

by Karren Reish
LSTA Coordinator, LM

As part of the evaluation of LM’s Five Year Plan for the use of Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) funds, the Library did a series of surveys this fall. Working with EPIC MRA, a Michigan survey research firm, we did a random phone survey of Michigan residents, an online survey of library patrons and an online survey of library staff. The surveys asked a range of questions, depending on the audience for the particular survey.

We wanted to learn about library usage, collections, MeL databases, MeLCat, the continuing education opportunities for library staff, and other topics. The Michigan library community participation was excellent, as usual. We received responses to both the patron and the library staff surveys from around the state. The response help us plan how the state uses LSTA funds to support libraries.

The response are a good snapshot of how people in Michigan use their libraries and LSTA services. In a random phone survey, 73 percent of respondents use a library regularly and 64 percent visit their local public library. One of the top reasons for going to the library is to get research assistance. Social media (13 percent) is beginning to catch up to library newsletters (18 percent) for how respondents hear about library programs and resources. But conversations with staff members is where another 12 percent of respondents hear about the library.

The library patron survey results showed big support for MeLCat, mostly for recreational reading, and respondents expect to receive materials in under a week’s time.

Survey results are available at www.michigan.gov/lsta. There are additional cross tab reports that show detail for regions. To review these reports, please contact Karren Reish at reishk@michigan.gov or 517-241-0021.

8. Your LM

Matt Pacer

by Matt Pacer
Reference Librarian, LM

Happy New Year everyone! The LM is excited about the upcoming programs slated for the first part of 2017. On February 11th from 1-3 p.m., give a try to Beginning Fly Tying: A Hands on Workshop. Painted Trout staff will teach the basics of tying your own flies. This is a great way to get rid of the winter blues and imagine yourself on one of Michigan’s rivers. Then on April 8th, please join us for a great presentation by William Rapai and Maureen Dunphy on Water and Islands in Michigan. Please visit our website to learn more about future events.

The LM is pleased to be able to help our neighboring public library, the Capital Area District Libraries, during its downtown branch renovation. Ms. Cassie, the Children’s Librarian will hold children’s storytime at the LM. The first storytime is January 12 from 10:15 – 11:15. The storytimes are each Thursday through March 2nd.  Storytimes include engaging stories and activities to help children up to age 6 build early literacy skills.

In other news, the LM continually processes new items for our collections. Most of these new items are single donations or purchases. It is always a challenge to get the word out on all the new resources that are available to researchers. Searching our catalog is the best way to see what we have. Go to answercat.org and scroll to the bottom of the page. You will see a button called “Check for New Books.” There are several options to choose from such as Michigan, Law, or documents. Click on your choice and browse the new items. There is always something new to discover in our growing collections. 

Some new items of interest may be Bloomfield Hills, Home of Cranbrook by Christine Blackwell, The Charm Bracelet, by Viola Shipman, and Willow Run by Randy Hotton. Many books published in the past are newly acquired by us. Two titles that cover local and family history are Rogers City: A History of the Nautical City: Volume II by Charlie Bunton and Grand Lake’s Vintage Resorts by Janet Young.

For more information about our collections or services, please contact us at 517-373-1300 or librarian@michigan.gov.