Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter - March 2019

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Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter  -  March 2019

In this Issue:

New Early Literacy Resource Coming to MeL

Teacher and students

by Randy Riley, State Librarian, LM

Literacy begins early in every child’s development and is reinforced throughout their entire life. Having easy access to books in print and online plays a major role in this development. In the most recent Michigan eLibrary (MeL) Request for Proposal (RFP) process we were unable to find an early literacy eResource that met our budget, content, and technology requirements. We reserved funds to ensure that we were able to go back out to bid this year to find an eResource that better meets the needs of schools and libraries statewide. To support the work associated with early literacy, the Library of Michigan (LM) has started an additional RFP process to support the development of literacy for early readers. Specifically, we plan to add full-text/full book content for early readers. Bids for literacy resources were due February 25.

We received six proposals. The technical scoring by staff begins in early March. Webinar presentations and product trials for the library community are available in April. We anticipate a contract award notice by the end of May and a resources access start date is expected July 1. When it is time for the trials, we'll cast a wide net looking for feedback from a variety of stakeholders including library staff, school media specialists, teachers, and colleagues within the Michigan Department of Education.

Look for notifications, updates, and opportunities to help with the selection process in the upcoming weeks. The process for identifying new MeL content works because of the involvement of libraries and librarians from across the state. The purchase of MeL eResources makes sense only if your communities actually use the resources. As always, your help is greatly appreciated.

Youth Services Programming: Lessons Learned at Caro Area District Library Part 1

Little girl imaging space travel

by Randi Dalton, Children's Director, Caro Area District Library

In the eight years I’ve worked in youth services, I’ve loaded my arsenal with some pretty nifty tools. I’ve also encountered my fair share of backfired children’s programs that are the stuff of nightmares. As I enter into the new year, I’ve made a list of tried-and-true “rules” that I’ve learned to stick by no matter what.

  1. Passive programming is the real MVP. Nothing makes me giddier than passive programming. I can create a one hour kids program with elaborate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities and creative art projects involving everything from glitter to ModPodge, and I’ve seen the masses line up at the door. But there’s something about making passive programming activities available in your teen/children’s room all day long that produces actual magic. Passive programming stimulates creativity in children whose parents would not or could not otherwise make a special trip to the library for a typical program. It also gives the after-school crowd something to do besides…well, I don’t need to elaborate how imperative it is to keep the after-school crowd busy. My favorite passive program is a designated craft cart. Our Creation Cart is a permanent staple in our children’s room and I will most likely never remove it. On any given day, you can walk into my children’s room and see everyone from preschoolers to teenagers to grandparents cutting out shapes from construction paper, making jewelry out of pipe cleaners, and fashioning hats out of paper plates and toiler paper rolls. Did you recently put together a program but no one showed up? A craft cart is also an excellent way to get rid of all the unused craft supplies you thought you had wasted. We bought our craft cart on Amazon.
  2. Network, network, network. When I first started working for the Caro Area District Library, my director Erin and I came up with a great idea for an after-school tutoring program. From 3:30-5:00 p.m., registered kids from Caro schools could come to the library where we would offer tutoring, STEM activities, and an after-school snack. My director and I were only able to pull this off by reaching out to the community and calling upon the teachers in the area (both retired and currently employed) to help. We called our program Curiosity Club and our first year, our registration book filled up within 48 hours. Our second year, we filled up in less than 24 hours. We are going four years strong now and Curiosity Club is by far our most successful and talked about program to date. Our wait list is often longer than the actual list of registrants and opening day of registration in September, our phones almost always ring off the hook with eager parents. We could not have done any of this without our educator friends who have so graciously volunteered each and every year. Librarians pride ourselves on being able to multi-task, but more times than not, it’s a good idea to ask for help and build a dependable team.

Check out the May issue for Part 2 of Randi Dalton's article.

The Michigan Political Historical Society Makes a Gift to LM

Michigan Political History Society

by Tim Gleisner, Special Collections Manager, LM

On February 4, the Michigan Political Historical Society (MPHS) held a reception at the LM. The reason for this event was the donation of the MPHS Kevin A. Kelly Memorial Library to the LM. This donation of materials includes books, oral histories, press releases, and other materials documenting the political culture and history of the State of Michigan.

Contained within these materials are the Chuck Harmon Collection of Governor Romney’s Press Releases, and the oral history collection James Blanchard Living Library of Michigan Political History.

The Chuck Harmon collection of Press Releases contains all of the published communications of Gov. George Romney. Harmon was the Press Secretary to Romney in the 1960’s. It gives a glimpse into the workings of his administration and is a treasure trove for any researcher interested in this period of Michigan history.

There are also the oral histories of such Michigan political notables as former Gov. James Blanchard, former U.S. Congressman John Dingell, former U.S. Senator Carl Levin, former U.S. Congressman Joe Schwartz, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and many others. Interviews with these notable Michigan political figures are recorded.

The MPHS began in the early 1990’s for people interested in the history of Michigan politics. You can find more information on the MPHS at

To find specific titles in the collection, search our catalog at You can view these materials during the LM's open hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Hoyt Library of the Public Libraries of Saginaw Receives Generous Community Support from Consumers Energy Foundation

Hoyt Library Staff receive a check from Consumer's Energy

by Jennifer Harden, Head of Wicks Library/Marketing, Public Libraries of Saginaw

Saginaw’s Hoyt Library has served residents of the community over portions of three centuries, having opened in 1890. However, time has taken a toll and major external repairs are needed to restore the building and preserve its historical charm and character.

We have been meeting with community funders and as of today, have received community commitments of $1,625,495, which includes a recent generous contribution of $40,000 from the Consumers Energy Foundation. When combined with our internal $1.95 million, the campaign total now stands at $3,575,495, allowing renovations on the slate roof to occur in 2018. Other major contributors include: Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation; Boutell Memorial Fund, through Huntington Bank; Morley Family Foundation; Consumers Energy Foundation; Allen E. and Marie A. Nickless Memorial Foundation; Wickson Link Memorial Foundation; The Jury Foundation; Frank N. Andersen Foundation; William McNally Family Foundation; Alice E. Turner Memorial Trust; and the Yeo Family Foundation. We now are seeking donor partners to complete the other important elements of the project.

Major issues to be addressed are: full replacement of the original 1890 slate roof; replacement of copper gutters, downspouts and flashings; replacement of the roof’s drainage, ice melt systems and heat tape; repair of gray-white dolomite limestone; repair of red sandstone to correct erosion loss; repairs around windows and on chimneys.

A capital campaign is underway with a goal of raising $5 million in total. The first $1 million came from the Hoyt Trust cash reserves and an additional $950,000 from a committed fund balance for building repairs and improvements. We will raise the remaining $3.05 million from the private sector from area foundations, corporations and individuals.

The Consumers Energy Business Energy Efficiency Program awarded the Hoyt Library $122,231 to provide and install a Thermal Solutions Arctic Model 95% efficiency boiler through the Historic Buildings Initiative. Program rebates have had a tremendous impact on the Hoyt Library. Historic buildings present unique challenges when it comes to heating and cooling, and the costs to maintain comfortable temperatures have been crippling. We are grateful that Consumers Energy and others recognize the value of Hoyt Library and continue to support our contributions to the community!

Need to learn more about a library service?

Try the Library of Michigan's new Library Science Collection materials

available via MeLCat or Interlibrary Loan


Libraries Lift Off This Summer with a "Universe of Stories"

Universe of Stories

by Cathy Lancaster, Youth Services Coordinator, LM

Many libraries across Michigan are preparing to launch their summer reading clubs using the 2019 theme from the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), “A Universe of Stories.”  With clipart for all ages, from illustrator Leeza Hernandez and graphic artists Antonio Caparo and Larry Jones, the look is truly out of this world. Thanks to CSLP, a national organization made up of volunteer librarians, manuals full of programming ideas for all ages are published and libraries are starting to roll out schedules filled with summer learning fun. CSLP volunteers work hard to empower libraries to foster community and to create an inclusive literacy-based program. All public libraries in Michigan are members of CSLP, thanks to support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and have access to the manuals, artwork, PSAs, inclusion resources, incentives shop, and more.

The space theme was first selected at the CSLP annual meeting in 2016, to honor the Apollo 11 mission to the moon’s 50th anniversary in 2019.  Educational programming to meet the space theme is threaded through the manuals for each age, such as “Shoot for the Moon” and “A Sky Full of Stories,” to help libraries create a collaborative program across the age spans. Check out your local public library this summer to explore a universe of stories and activities!

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

Utilizing Community Mentors in Library Programming at Putnam District Library in Nashville, Michigan

Putnam District Library

by Savannah Shilton, Director, Putnam District Library

As a small, rural library, our budget can be limiting. Paying several presenters to bring their expertise to our library throughout the year is something our budget can’t afford, so we came up with an alternative: Community Mentors.

When it comes to finding Community Mentors, my first suggestion is to encourage your staff to have conversations with your patrons. Talk to them; get to know them. This makes them feel welcome in the library, which increases their support of the library. In turn you learn a lot about people, including their passions. It’s a win-win. This approach takes time, but eventually the library staff will know who to turn to in the community when they are looking to have a program revolving around a certain skill.

Another great way to leverage the vast amount of skills within your community is to share an article in the local newspaper. At Putnam, we share articles that highlight Community Mentor programs we offer, and encourage others to contact us if they are interested in sharing their passions.

One last very important tool in finding mentors is social media. For our library, Facebook has the largest reach compared to other forms of social media, so we maintain a fairly active page. We promote all of the library’s programs on Facebook, but especially those led by mentors. Mentors' family and friends are excited to see someone they know leading a program, so in turn they are more likely to share the event on their personal page. When individuals share our events on social media, it greatly increases our reach, and it also increases the likelihood of someone offering their skills to the library.

At first our library staff viewed using Community Mentors as a way to lessen the financial burden on our programming budget. But it has evolved into a way for our library to further strengthen our community by providing ways for individuals to become more connected and engaged. I highly encourage others to read our Community Report about why we saw the need for mentorship. To access the report, visit and click on Community Report. Feel free to contact me at with any questions.

Introducing Adam Oster, Community Engagement Librarian

Adam Oster

by Adam Oster, Community Engagement Librarian, LM

My name is Adam Oster and I am the new Community Engagement Librarian at the LM. My primary responsibilities include assisting patrons that visit the LM as well as increasing awareness of the library’s collections through exhibits, programs and social media outlets. Additionally, I will be traveling throughout Michigan showcasing the services offered by the LM to public libraries, historical organizations and government entities.

I am a life-long Michigan resident, first growing up in Zeeland and later living in Byron Center. I have a Bachelor of Arts in History from Grand Valley State University with a minor in Political Science and Secondary Education Certification. I also received a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University. I have more than 18 years of library experience between working at both public and academic libraries. For the last nine years I worked for Kent District Library (KDL) in Kent County, mainly serving as an Adult Librarian for KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch.

I love history and genealogy research. Numerous sides of my family have lived in Michigan for multiple generations and its exciting to be working at a repository of so much information. I am thrilled to be a member of the LM team and look forward to helping people at both the library and throughout the state. If you have questions or want to talk about a potential visit to your organization, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact me at or at 517-335-1469.

Beginning Workshop 2019 at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Michigan

Beginning Workshop 2018

by Evette Atkin, Continuing Education Coordinator, LM

Are you new to library work? Does your job require library certification? 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 is the location for the 2019 event May 15-17. If you are ready for an introduction to working in a public library please join us. To learn more about the workshop and register online, visit:

Registration is $149 and includes meals. This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Library of Michigan Foundation.

Need more about that legal problem?

When the Internet gives you a paragraph, and the library doors close at 5, you’re good to go with Michigan’s Circulating Law Collection.

For lawyers and lay folk alike at the State Law Library.

library of michigan foundation

Established in 1985, the Library of Michigan Foundation is a 501 c (3) nonprofit charity governed by an independent Board of Directors. The Foundation provides opportunities for charitable giving to support Library of Michigan programs, collections and services otherwise not provided through state or federal funding. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than $6 million in private and corporate donations for programs to boost adult literacy, youth and early childhood literacy, special services for the blind and physically handicapped, statewide support for libraries, librarians, library staff and trustees and construction of the Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book Room.