Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter July, 2018

July, 2018

library of michigan dispatch newsletter

In this Issue:

MeL Databases Announcement

Randy Riley, State Librarian

by Randy Riley, State Librarian

Recently the Library of Michigan (LM) announced the list of resources that will be included in the next Michigan eLibrary (MeL) contract starting October 1, 2018. The lengthy selection process started months ago with eight listening sessions held in all regions of the state. Suggestions and comments were gathered that helped shape the content of the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued in January. From the large number of vendors that replied, 11 were asked to provide trial access and product demonstrations webinars. More than 200 members of the library community evaluated database resources during the trial period and provided their thoughts to the LM. Final decisions were made using the librarian evaluations and by calculating the available budget.

Working with the feedback for Michigan libraries, the price quotes and the actual funds available we decided to move to a comprehensive suite of products from EBSCO. This package of databases fits within our allocated budget and provides several enhancements to our current product lineup. A full list of the new EBSCO resources can be found here.

We also will be adding “AtoZ Dababases” to the suite of MeL eResources. Still available through MeL are: 

  • Gale’s “Opposing Viewpoints in Context” (OVIC);
  • “Demographics Now: People and Business”;
  • “Encyclopedia Britannica School”;
  • World Book’s “Early World of Learning”;
  • “World Book Kids”; and
  • “Enciclopedia Estudiantil Halloazgos”

More detailed information about the MeL database announcements can be found here.

Providing a collection of databases to meet the needs of public (large and small), academic, special, and school libraries is challenging. Our intent continues to be to offer a well-rounded state library that provides services and support across the state to help make libraries stronger in their individual communities, whether it be in a city or township, on a campus, or in a K-12 school. If you have questions about the process please contact Liz Breed, MeL Coordinator, via email at or fill out our web comment form.

Thanks to the MeL Team at the LM and everyone from the library community who took time to wrestle this process to the ground. Your insights and comments are greatly appreciated.

Braille Enhanced Storywalks Offered at 32 Michigan Libraries for 2018

Stephanie Wambaugh

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

StoryWalks®, originally developed in Vermont, has gained momentum throughout public libraries around the nation. For the second year, an updated twist on this typical program has been made available thanks to collaboration between the Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL), the Michigan Department of Education-Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO), and the LM. This opportunity, called Braille Enhanced StoryWalks®, allows public libraries to offer an exciting new program that embraces accessibility and equal access to information communitywide by including braille on each StoryWalk® sign.

Are you interested in hosting this opportunity at your library or collaborating with a local park in the future? Here is our quick and simple explanation in four easy steps:

1)    Sign-Up: Book selections and a sign-up form are emailed to public libraries in early spring. The participating libraries are selected on a first come, first served basis, as limited supplies are available.

2)    Purchasing: Orders for books are placed thanks to funding available by the Institute for Museum and Library Service (IMLS). Individual libraries are responsible for signage costs.

3)    Brailling: The braille is printed on Braillable cut sheet labels, which act as stickers that attach to the regular laminated book pages (we help with this part so don’t worry).

4)    Hosting: The final Braille Enhanced StoryWalk® kit is assembled and mailed to participating libraries for display.

The final product is a fun, educational activity conceived as a way to inspire parents, teachers, and caregivers to take young children out of doors for physical activity, and to encourage conversations about embracing disability and accessibility in our communities. Consider hosting a Braille Enhanced StoryWalk® next year at your library location. More details on the upcoming program will be available in early 2019.  

NASA @ My Library Now Offered to Michigan Libraries

Cathy Lancaster

by Cathy Lancaster, Youth Services Coordinator, LM

The LM is pleased to announce we are one of four state library agencies to be selected for NASA @ My Library, a nationwide science-technology initiative. The LM will receive resources, training and support through the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education initiative designed to increase and enhance learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEM education. All public libraries in Michigan are invited to participate.

State Librarian Randy Riley said collaborating with NASA and its partners creates a unique opportunity “for public libraries across Michigan to access essential STEM resources, activities, and hands-on training.”

Riley said the end goal of NASA @ My Library is to get STEM training to communities that may not have access to many STEM resources, and that public libraries make for engaging project venues. The LM will circulate activity kits directly to public libraries for use in facilitating programming for all-ages and will offer training this Fall to public library staff.

The project is led by the National Center for Interactive learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, the Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science and the Education Development Center.  Additional support for this project comes from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and made possible in part by IMLS.

For more information about the program, view the upcoming training schedule, or to reserve a NASA @ My Library kit go to:

Introducing Carol Dawe, New Director at Lakeland Library Cooperative

Carol Dawe

by Carol Dawe, Director, Lakeland Library Cooperative

Since moving to Michigan in January, I am often asked what I do for a living.  I try to keep my answer simple.  I often say, “I’m a librarian’s librarian.” My name is Carol Dawe and I am the new director of the Lakeland Library Cooperative (LLC) in Grand Rapids. The LLC serves 42 public libraries in West Michigan, with a combined population of 1.2 million. Before coming to Lakeland, I worked as the director of the Library Integrated Network Consortium in the western suburbs of Chicago for more than 20 years.

The state of Michigan has a rich history of library cooperatives dating back to the 1970’s. The 11 cooperatives vary in the services that they offer but we are all here to help your library succeed. Collectively we support interlibrary loan in various forms - shared automation systems, delivery, and support for our members participating in MeLCat. Cooperatives also take the lead working with other partners to schedule workshops, to form task forces on issues such as penal fine education, and to participate in pilot projects that have the potential to benefit libraries throughout the state. We are here to help. We work for you and we are happy to be a resource, a sounding board, and an advocate. 

As I travelled 2000 miles in about seven weeks this spring, visiting all 42 libraries, the other question that I was asked was: “Cub fan or White Sox fan?” And then, without waiting for an answer, the questioner almost always said, “Oh, just be a Tigers fan!” I am enjoying the honesty, friendliness and dedication of the Michigan library community and of Michiganders as well.

I am looking forward to working with the Lakeland member libraries, and my esteemed colleagues at the other Michigan cooperatives and at the Michigan Library Association (MLA), the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) and the LM along with other librarians, partners and stakeholders throughout this wonderful state. We are always stronger together.

Feel free to contact me at 616-559-5253 or

We Need Your Help to Find the Next Great Michigan Notable Book

Tim Gleisner

by Tim Gleisner, Special Collections Manager, LM

In the last Dispatch article, I told you that the Library of Michigan collects Michigan. Not only do we collect books on the state, but every year we choose the best Michigan books. Every year since 1991, a committee of LM staff, booksellers, librarians, and writers from across the state sit down once a month to debate and haggle as to the next set of Michigan Notable Books (MNB). For the final half of the year it is this committee of 13 people who will be reading numerous titles to determine which 20 truly exemplify the best of the best from Michigan this year.

So far there have been more than 180 titles requested from various authors and publishers. At this time, we have received multiple copies of nearly 90 titles. Each title focuses on Michigan topics, or has an author who has a connection to the Great Lakes State. With so much that is being published about Michigan it is hard to keep track of it all. Perhaps that next great Michigan title is lurking out there and it has fallen through the cracks? Staff and committee members are diligently keeping their eyes and ears open to any potential title that is out there - combing catalogs, bookstore aisles, and online sources for new candidates.

The problem is that there are only so many staff and committee members to go around. The MNB selection committee is only has 13 members. Yet there are 10 million people in our state, 83 counties, and numerous communities. So many local stories being published and too few eyes to find and read them.

That is where we need your help. If you happen on that next potential MNB, email and provide the author, title, and the publisher.

With your help we will find that next MNB.

Tech Corner: Gaining Staff Buy-In to a Library IT Project

Jarrod Wilson

by Jarrod Wilson, Head of I.T. Services, Kalamazoo Public Library

Last year, the Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL) moved away from its Share Point-based Intranet and developed its own system in house. Getting buy-in from staff was crucial to the success of this project. Any time you implement a new IT system, especially one that effects all areas of an organization, it helps to be armed with a few key items.

The first thing is to be aware that all good projects start with a mission statement and solid specifications. A concise mission statement can be a great gut check and  referenced to indicate understanding of the overall purpose of the project. Our mission statement for this project was: “The creation of an open source platform: 1.) that is easy to use, 2.) that fosters communication and collaboration between staff, and 3.) that is simple to manage”.  Along with the mission statement, thorough and concise specifications are the foundation of a successful project.

The next item required to secure buy-in is the element of Transparency. It is not possible to over communicate the intentions of a project. For an IT team, it’s very tempting to want to retire to your office and work the project until completion. This, hypothetically, allows for fast and easy delivery of the project.  All too often, this ends up to be a tragic mistake. It’s not always easy to show work in progress or unfinished modules, particularly to critical observers. However, without this process, IT teams often lose buy-in. It’s essential to build a sense of collaboration early and to expose the development process to outside teams. By forming smaller task forces and working groups, you can invite staff to be a part of the process. These participants then become ambassadors for the project when they are working within their own teams. This can build confidence that the project is being built WITH us not FOR us.

The last item is the importance of training and education. Outside teams’ first impression will determine their willingness to use the new system. This impacts acceptance of the new tool itself. Hands on training and well written documentation can ease the frustration during this critical phase. It’s also a time when relationships built on the previous transparency are crucial. Remember thoughtful planning, transparency and communication are the keys to getting the buy-in required to launch any large IT project.

Lakeview High School has been selected as the Model School Library for 2018-2019

Karren Reish

by Karren Reish, Library Grants Coordinator, LM

We are excited to have our third Model School Library. In this 3rd year, we are spotlighting the High School Library at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek. Dr. Margaret Lincoln, the District Librarian, has demonstrated outstanding dedication to collaborative instruction with her colleagues at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, the school library community and community groups. The quality of these collaborations has brought the Lakeview High School Library the state’s Model 21st Century School Library (SL 21) award for 2018-2019 school year.

The school library, part of the Lakeview School District in Calhoun County, won the SL 21 honor for its focus on blended collaborative instruction. Dr. Lincoln has worked with district teachers to develop curriculum, with a special focus on courses about the history of the Holocaust. Reaching out to the school library community and community groups is a standard service of the Lakeview High School Library. A recent example is the collaborative project with the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center for Days of Remembrance 2018, a Holocaust remembrance event for the Battle Creek area community.

The Model SL 21 program recognizes particularly high-quality school libraries and library media specialists and promotes the development of similar initiatives in other schools. The program is based on the LM’s School Library 21st Century benchmarks, a measurement tool for school library program quality. The Lakeview High School Library holds Exemplary status in the SL 21 program through July 2020. Its designation as Michigan’s Model 21st School Library is for 2018-2019.

LM staff select the Model SL 21 Library after reviewing applications from school librarians across the state. Applicants provide information such as curriculum, co-teaching activities, community collaboration, and participation in educational associations.

Lakeview High School Library staff are available for consultation with and visits from other educators who want to learn more about the successful program. Interested persons may contact Margaret Lincoln at or Karren Reish at

For more information on the Model SL 21 library program, visit

Libraries Read: 1 Book 2018 from MCLS

Midwest Collaborative for Library Services

by Jan Davidson, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services

Libraries Read: 1 Book is an annual library community read project of MCLS focusing on professional development. Library staff from all types of libraries are encouraged to participate by voting on which book should be selected, then participating in the discussion, whether online or in-person. We will join together, across state lines and library types, to read and discuss the same book.

This year’s title, selected by your votes, is When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele. After totaling the Facebook poll votes and those emailed to us directly, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir was the winner, with 52 of the total 132 votes.

According to GoodReads, this book is, “a poetic and powerful memoir about what it means to be a Black woman in America—and the co-founding of a movement that demands justice for all in the land of the free.” Those who submitted the title for consideration felt it would be a fantastic point to bring this conversation into the libraries, and to help us better understand the communities that we serve.

What you can do to participate in Libraries Read: 1 Book 2018:

  • June/July: Read the book; Discuss the book at your own staff meetings; Offer to host and lead a discussion for other librarians at your location by sending an email to (discussion questions will be provided). 
  • July: Participate in a live Twitter chat about the book on Thursday, July 19 at 2pm Eastern (1pm Central). Use the hashtag #mclschat. More information about the Twitter chat can be found here
  • August: Participate in our live discussions on August 7, 6:30pm Eastern at Sun King Brewery in Fishers, IN or on August 16, 5:30pm Eastern at Lansing Brewing Company, Lansing, MI. Participation is free, but registration is required and very limited. Please register for Indiana discussion here or the Michigan discussion here to claim your spot!

 We look forward to reading and learning with you.

Introducing Liz Breed, the New Michigan eLibrary (MeL) Coordinator

Liz Breed

by Liz Breed, MeL Coordinator, LM

Hi, everyone. My name is Liz Breed and I am the new MeL Coordinator. While I am a Wayne State alum and have 15 years of experience in public libraries, my background also includes a bachelor’s degree in business administration and eight years of experience in marketing research. Prior to joining LM, I was the Assistant Director for Public Services at Jackson District Library. I also worked at Kent District Library as a Branch Manager and Assistant Director, and at Capital Area District Library serving in a variety of roles, including Marketing Director. Occasionally, I teach Marketing for the School of Information Science at Wayne State University.

As a member of the MeL Team I will be working closely with Sonya Schryer Norris, Kathy Kosinski, Randy Riley and staff from MCLS to support an upcoming redesign of the MeL site and development of MeL Support and Training resources. The MeL team has been gathering feedback from the library community for some time and one of the main requests is to offer more robust training resources and support for the databases. Our goal is to create this for you and make it available on the new site. Short training videos, PDFs, and support content will be developed and curated to increase the ease of finding and using training materials, as well as the databases.

Additionally, I’ll be assisting with database contract negotiations this year. My role also entails cultivating increased cohesion across all things MeL – MeLCat, MeL databases and MeL Training – with the goal being to increase awareness and support stronger connections. You will see me at conferences and workshops and also supporting LM through various social media channels.

I’m excited to be part of the MeL and LM teams, and as a life-long resident of Michigan, I look forward to visiting with library staff all over the state. If you have questions or want to talk about any facet of MeL, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me at or give me a ring at 517-373-4466.