LM Dispatch Newsletter March 2017

March 2017

library of michigan dispatch newsletter

Michigan Notable Books

Randy Riley, State Librarian

by Randy Riley, State Librarian

Every year, the Library of Michigan (LM) selects 20 books written about Michigan or the Great Lakes or by a Michigan author as part of the Michigan Notable Books (MNB) program. Each book is selected because it in some way speaks to our state's rich cultural, historical, and literary heritage. The fact that year after year our Great Lakes State keeps generating dozens of top notch books on a range of topics proves that Michigan is home to some of the best writers in the country/world.

The LM is sponsoring the MNB Author Tour April through June. With support from our partner organization, the Michigan Humanities Council, we are placing 2017 MNB authors in 50 libraries across the state. See a complete list of tour stops. Authors are visiting libraries from Ishpeming to Morenci and Paw Paw to Petoskey. Attendees may rub shoulders with MNB authors at stops in public, school and academic libraries. All Michigan residents are within a 30 to 45 minute drive of a MNB tour stop. Go be part of the fun.

The MNB program was created as a vehicle to celebrate “Michigan books.” I encourage your library to host your own Michigan Books event this spring. Invite a local author to do a program at your library. You will be surprised how eager many of these authors are to have an opportunity to talk about their books and writing process. Make you own list of Michigan books you think your patrons should be reading. Have a teen writing contest to foster and nurture the next crop of Michigan authors. And… if you have never hosted a MNB author in your library think about applying next year. More information on the MNB program can be found at: www.michigan.gov/notablebooks.

Mark your calendars for April 1 when the LM and the Library of Michigan Foundation host the Night for Notables event where we officially recognize our 2017 books and authors. If you would like more information, please contact the Library of Michigan Foundation at (517) 373-4692 or email the LM at librarian@michigan.gov.

Find a MNB book and start reading…

Night for Notables at LM

LM Foundation

by Mary Cooperwasser, LM Foundation Executive Director

March is National Reading Month. The Library of Michigan Foundation celebrates with its yearly Night for Notables evening that showcases the LM's MNB program. The MNB program recognizes and honors recent publications by, about and for lovers of all things Michigan. This year, Night for Notables is on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at Lansing’s Library of Michigan and Historical Center. Night for Notables applauds the fine work of Michigan’s writing community. It is a chance for booklovers to share their joy of reading literature.

All of this is within the backdrop of the beautiful LM. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. guests will enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres, wine, and beers of Michigan. As an added treat, this year’s keynote speaker is Thomas Lynch, well known within Michigan’s vast writing community. Mr. Lynch is an America poet, essayist, and undertaker who has been described as a cross between Garrison Keillor and W.B. Yeats. 

For nearly 30 years, the Foundation has supported special and innovative programs, collections and services of the LM. Among many accomplishments, the Foundation helped build the Martha W. Griffith Rare Book Room, adds to collections of rare books, helps grow literacy programs for the young (such as the recently kicked-off 2017 Michigan Reads! program), and nurtures the yearly Notable Books program.

Together with a dedicated volunteer board, the Library Foundation works to raise private funds to enhance, provide and support the exceptional work of our state library - all for the cultural and literary benefit of our state's citizens. The Foundation also is a significant supporter of the Braille and Talking Books program for the visually and physically impaired, who without such resources would be unable to enjoy the pleasure of reading a good book.

As the Foundation’s very new Executive Director, I have come to learn about these efforts and so much more. Each day I uncover more ways that the Foundation and its thousands of generous donors support the work of the LM and, consequently, the many community and rural libraries and residents around the great state of Michigan.

Come join us for Night for Notables, a wonderful evening among friends! I hope to celebrate with you Michigan’s proud literary heritage and culture. Please see here for registration details.

Wi-Fi Whenever and Wherever

Wifi hotspot

by Tammy Turgeon, Director, Suburban Library Cooperative

Providing PCs and Wi-Fi in our library buildings has been a basic service that the member libraries of the Suburban Library Cooperative (SLC) have supported for many years. Now they are taking this service outside the physical library building and helping patrons stay connected everywhere.

The Chesterfield Township Library and the Clinton-Macomb Public Library are promoting a new service: mobile hotspots for their patrons to borrow. Many of the SLC’s other member libraries are getting ready to start too. Chesterfield started this service in March 2016 and has two units available for patrons to borrow and another one for library staff to use at outreach events. Clinton-Macomb started its service in February 2017 and has 15 units available for patrons. The mobile hotspots are checked out for seven days at Chesterfield and 14 days at Clinton-Macomb. If the hotspot is not returned, it is deactivated within 24-48 hours of the due date, depending on the library. The circulating mobile hotspots include the actual unit, a power adapter, a power cord and a case. The total replacement cost to the patron if the hotspot is lost or damaged is $120 - $125, depending on the library. A word of warning to your patrons, Internet content filtering is NOT provided through the hotspot and parents are responsible for monitoring what their children access. Both of these libraries provide instructions for the use of the device and Chesterfield has patrons sign a lending agreement.

Each mobile hotspot can provide wireless internet access for up to ten devices at a time. The mobile hotspots have unlimited data so you don’t have to worry about the first patron checking it out that month using all of your data. Mobile hotspots are sold by various vendors. Chesterfield uses T-Mobile and the cost for each device is $80 while service cost for the device is based on data speed ($10 for 2GB data speed/device/month up to $24.60 for 5GB data speed/device/month). T-Mobile also offers no cost devices with data costs for each device at $29.40 for unlimited high speed LTE/month/device. Clinton-Macomb uses Verizon and the devices were provided at no cost with a one year commitment. Unlimited data at 4G network speed costs $39.99/month/device.

The libraries have found that the devices are a big hit with their patrons and the only problem they’ve run into is that they could use more of them! There has been no theft and no damage. Patrons can use the mobile hotspots for school projects, job searches, accessing online media, and staying connected while on vacation. What a great way to keep our patrons connected whenever they need access and wherever they are!

If you’d like more information about these mobile hotspot programs, please contact Elizabeth Madson at the Chesterfield Township Library (emadson@chelibrary.org) and/or Terri Dedischew at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library (tdedischew@cmpl.org).  

Registration for Beginning Workshop Now Open

Evette Atkin

by Evette Atkin, Continuing Education Coordinator, LM

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 this year.

Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Michigan is the location for the 2017 event May 17 - May 19. 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 as well as make lodging reservations is April 16.

#MiLibSnap May 22-26, 2017


by Sonya Schryer Norris, Library Consultant, LM

The LM would like to announce the second all-state library advocacy campaign called Library Snapshot Day to take place May 22-26, 2017 with the hashtag #MiLibSnap. You can use it in all your social media venues.

You may remember #MiLibSnap from last year. This is a national initiative of library advocacy based on data. This year we have a slight twist. It's still about advocacy and it's still about data but we encourage you to take library numbers and compare them to figures of other activities in your community.

Does your community plant a lot of flowers or trees? Drink (or make) a lot of beer or wine? Attend a lot of sporting events? Gather numbers for how many and compare them to library data such as door counts or program attendance or circulation that show your library is engaged with your community. Need library numbers? The numbers you provide in your state aid report are a great place to start. If you're looking for a broader, state-wide library number, feel free to contact Library Data Coordinator Joe Hamlin at hamlinj2@michigan.gov. Need community numbers? Try State of Michigan websites, your local chamber of commerce, or local research agencies such as colleges, universities or extension offices.

Consider using action verbs in your posts such as: Serve, Answer, Engage, Link, Entertain, Teach, and Create. As you ready your comparisons, think about the distinct value that you provide better than anyone else in your community.

Consider how your library is:

  • An excellent return on investment
  • Supports strong economic development and impact
  • Provides great employment support
  • Delivers provable early literacy development
  • Serves your community with ongoing lifelong support for formal education and homework help
  • Provides affordable access to community resources
  • Serves the whole community equitably
  • Supports cultural vitality
  • Is a recognized and valued leisure activity for a majority of Michiganders

There are lots of free tools to help you with the graphics, from simple to sophisticated. Check out the list below for creating great visuals.

Word cloud tools:

Infographic tools:

Data visualization tools:

We hope to see your posts and tweets May 22-26.

    You Say It How in Michigan?

    Stephanie Wambaugh

    by Stephanie Wambaugh, Outreach Coordinator, Braille and Talking Book Library

    Announcing the new "You Say It How in Michigan?" pronunciation guide developed by the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL). Located on the BTBL website (www.michigan.gov/howtosayit), this guide provides an alphabetical list of Michigan names and places alongside the phonetic spelling and an audio link for each entry. With more than 2,200 entries (and growing!), this guide is a one stop shop for getting Michigan name and place pronunciations right.

    This project was developed by BTBL librarians Betsie Branch and Stephanie Wambaugh, with the help of Adrienne Thelen, a student worker currently completing her Masters in Library and Information Science.

    “We recognized a need for an audio directory of Michigan name and places while working with our volunteers in the recording studio,” said the Recording Studio Librarian Betsie Branch, “but this directory actually ended up having a much wider impact than we ever anticipated.” 

    The local recording studio at BTBL records books about Michigan and the Great Lakes region that likely wouldn’t be added to the national collection, but are of particular interest to our patrons due to their Michigan related content. The pronunciation guide originally was created to help narrators both at BTBL and at recording studios nationwide in nailing Michigan pronunciations during audio book production. However, the new "You Say It How in Michigan?" guide recently received international coverage for our role in making Michigan name and place pronunciations more accessible to everyone. So whether you’ve lived here all your life, just moved here, or happen to be visiting or planning a vacation to this great state, this directory can help you with the correct pronunciation of Michigan’s many unique cities and places.

    The BTBL program is made possible through the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). This nationwide program provides books in audio and braille formats to patrons with qualifying visual and physical disabilities.

    This guide is a live document that is updated as new information becomes available. For suggestions, comments, or corrections, please contact the library at btbl@michigan.gov.

    Salem-South Lyon District Library Friends Group Wins Michigan Literacy Award

    SSLDL Friends Group

    by Janice Murphy, Librarian and Michigan Center for the Book Coordinator, LM

    The Michigan Center for the Book (MCFB) is proud to announce that the Salem-South Lyon District Library’s Friends group is the 2016 winner of the Michigan Literacy Award.  It actually was the activities of their young friends who raised thousands of dollars, and garnered support from the community, to build a "little free library" in a neighborhood park. To quote part of their submission: "This was a project designed, planned and completed by kids, for kids, and it isn’t uncommon now to see grandparents reading to children on benches nearby, or kids racing straight to the Little Free Library before darting over to the swings and slides."

    There were 18 submissions from both large and small libraries this year and choosing just one winner was tough. Libraries and their friends are doing wonderful things for their communities!

    The MCFB is an affiliate of the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book. Its mission is to promote literacy and stimulate public interest in the educational and cultural role of the book; promote authorship and writing; and interest in reading and libraries. Toward these ends, it sponsors the Michigan Literacy Award, offering monetary prizes to encourage activities. It also offers grants to libraries and friends groups for related projects.  The Center also helps promote Letters About Literature.  Students compete for prizes by writing a letter to an author, living or dead, telling them how the authors’ writings impacted the students’ lives. The Center also co-sponsors the Michigan Authors and Illustrators Database, a searchable record of Michigan authors present and past, and helps support the annual Michigan Notable Books program.

    To learn more about the MCFB, or learn how to become an affiliate of the Center, go to http://michigan.gov/mcfb or the Center’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MichiganCenterfortheBook

    MCLS Exceeds One Million Digital Loans with OverDrive

    David Votta

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

    For the second year in a row, the MCLS OverDrive group has exceeded a million digital loans. The group started in 2004. Since that time patrons with the MCLS Digital Libraries group have borrowed 5.4 million audiobooks and eBooks.

    MCLS Digital Libraries is a shared, growing collection of digital materials including downloadable eBooks and audiobooks. All content is available to patrons of the 24 participating libraries at ebooks.mcls.org. There, users may download OverDrive content either in-library or remotely. Materials are checked out for a limited period of time, downloaded to the patron's computer or digital media device, and automatically returned when the loan period expires. Membership in the MCLS Digital Libraries group now is closed to new participants.

    OverDrive is a leading distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital content. The company hosts nearly two million premium titles from publishers such as Random House, HarperCollins, and Harlequin. OverDrive's online distribution services are used by more than 28,000 libraries, schools, and colleges worldwide.

    In the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, 49 libraries and library consortia made more than 1 million digital loans in 2016. That is up from 32 systems surpassing one million in 2015.

    Alpena County Public Library Receives a Grant

    Fletcher Reading Room

    by Jessica Luther, Library Development Coordinator, Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library and Marlo Broad, Special Collections and Thunder Bay Research Center

    Recognized for its role in preserving and sharing the history of the Alpena community and greater northeast Michigan, the Alpena County Public Library recently received a Community Impact grant award from the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan. This grant has enabled the purchase of a photo scanner with the capability of digitizing the extensive collection of historically relevant photo negatives housed in its archives. The photo scanner also allows the department staff to scan and preserve photographs and photograph negatives which are brought in by families wishing to add to the existing collection. Among these photos are hundreds of glass plate negatives of local families and homes dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Additionally there are more than 1,000 large format negatives from the AuSable family who assisted in the building of the Five Channels Dam on the Au Sable River in the early 1900s. Once digitized, these photos will be uploaded into the Northeast Michigan Oral History and Historic Photograph Database, an ongoing project developed through a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and available through the Library’s website and in-house.

    The Library’s Special Collections Department has become a destination for researchers, historians, authors, journalists, local business owners, and genealogy buffs. Winner of the Historical Society of Michigan’s State History Award for institutions, staff members promote the library’s unique holdings and their relevance to local, state, and national history through tours, scholarly discussions, community programming and outreach as well as provide on-site assistance. More information on the collection and access to the many resources can be found on our website

    Performance Measurement Using Project Outcome

    Evette Atkin

    by Evette Atkin, Continuing Education Coordinator, LM

    Have you heard about the Public Library Association’s performance measurement initiative, Project Outcome?  

    Project Outcome is a free toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the true impact of essential library services and programs by providing simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Project Outcome also provides libraries with the resources and training support needed to apply their results and confidently advocate for their library’s future.

    This spring, the LM offers a day long Project Outcome training in four different locations throughout the state.

    • April 17 – University Center, Mt. Pleasant
    • April 27 – Redford Township District Library, Redford
    • April 28 – Portage District Library, Portage
    • May 3 – Peter White Public Library, Marquette

    For more information or to register for this intensive, full-day program, click this link.

    While many public libraries collect data about their services and programs, what is often lacking are the data to support what good they are providing their communities, such as programs serving childhood literacy, digital and technological training, and workforce development. With Project Outcome, patron attendance and anecdotal success stories are no longer the only way libraries can demonstrate their effectiveness. Developed by library leaders, researchers, and data analysts, Project Outcome is designed to give libraries simple tools and supportive resources to help turn better data into better libraries. 

    Measuring outcomes helps libraries answer the question, “What good did we do?” An outcome is a specific benefit that results from a library service or program. Outcomes can be quantitative or qualitative, and often are expressed as changes that individuals perceive in themselves. Project Outcome helps libraries measure four key patron outcomes—knowledge, confidence, application, and awareness—in seven key library service areas:

    • Civic/Community Engagement
    • Digital Learning
    • Economic Development
    • Education/Lifelong Learning
    • Early Childhood Literacy
    • Job Skills
    • Summer Reading

    The Project Outcome toolkit provides libraries with free access to quick and simple patron surveys, an easy-to-use Survey Portal to collect their outcomes, ready-made reports and visually interactive Data Dashboards for analyzing the data, and various resources to help move libraries from implementing surveys to taking action using the results. Libraries are encouraged to use their data to support and promote future action – from allocating resources more efficiently, to advocating new resources more effectively, to providing support for future library funding, branch activity reports, and strategic planning.