Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter May, 2019

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Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter  -  May, 2019

In this Issue:

Schedule a Library Visit with a Member of the LM Staff

Matt Pacer

By Randy Riley, State Librarian, LM

One of the best parts of my job as State Librarian is that I get to visit libraries across the state. As a result, I get to witness first hand all the great things public, academic, and school libraries are doing and how they impact their communities. I learn something new from every library I visit. Most importantly I get to talk to front line staff who continue to be the backbone of library service statewide. With the end to Michigan’s long winter, Library of Michigan (LM) staff will be on the road visiting even more libraries.

The Library Development and Special Collections units both make visiting libraries a priority. Every Library Development team member visits at least 10 libraries a year. They make themselves available to discuss any LM program or policy. Topics may range from data collection to library law to state aid payments. Having an "expert" available for a face to face conversation can be extremely helpful by creating an open dialogue around a challenging issue. Members of the Special Collections group now are offering to help public libraries evaluate and assess their own local history collections. Special Collections staff can provide valuable information concerning how to more efficiently coordinate your local history room and as a result make the collection more accessible to library users. Special Collections staff will help show that creating an effective local history collection is more than just collecting "stuff."

If you would like an LM staffer to visit your library, reach out to us. Library visits often put a face to a name of LM staffers who you work with on a regular basis. Developing these personal relationships help LM staff better understand the needs and challenges libraries are facing. Having the State Librarian or other LM staffers attend an event may help shine a brighter spotlight on your library’s role in the community. "Use" us if we can draw additional attention to your library. Visits to your library may more importantly offer you an opportunity to show off all the great things your library has accomplished and to ask direct questions of staff about an issue facing your library. By listening to Michigan’s library community, LM better understands the needs of libraries of all types and sizes.

You can reach LM staff here

Social Justice Story Time Is For All Communities

Social Justice Reading Group logo

By Emily Adams, Youth Services Specialist, East Lansing Public Library

Hosting a Social Justice story time is an amazing opportunity to engage your community. It gives families and their children an easy way to discuss difficult topics. East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) started our monthly Social Justice Reading Group in January 2017. Collaborating with two professors from Michigan State University, Dorinda Carter Andrews and Georgina Montgomery, we were able to bring the community of East Lansing a story time that deals with relevant social issues, and empowers this next generation to advocate for all people. Children’s early experiences shape what they imagine to be possible. 

We use picture books in our storytime to help the kids, ages 4 to 11 years old, understand groups of people who may not be like themselves. We love to partner with citizens around our local community who have experience with the topics we discuss. For example, we had two LBTQ+ teens read the books to our audience when we discussed the theme Diverse Families. After we read the books, we split the kids into discussion groups. There are no right or wrong answers. This also give the kids an opportunity to ask questions. After the discussion, we move on to a craft that ties into the theme. It’s a way to keep the discussion going. We hope the children bring home the art and discuss the events of the day even further. Throughout the whole 90 minute social justice program, we offer healthy snacks and drinks.

Here is my agenda:

  1. Opening announcement of theme and introduction of the volunteers.
  2. Volunteers or librarians read two or three books. The kids usually are munching on snacks.
  3. Break up into discussion groups.
  4. Art and more discussion.

We are very lucky at ELPL: our community very much wants to discuss weighty topics. Follow your community. If you need to start with topics like Kindness, Peace, and Recycling, then start there. If your community has a large Hispanic population, do a story time about being bilingual. If you are in a community that is very embracing, just go for it! They would love themes like LGBTQ+ Rights, Civil Protest, Environmental Justice, or Immigration. Remember, Social Justice Story time is about discussing tough ideas.

Looking for more resources to start your own story time? Please visit our website.

Five Things Public Libraries Should Know About Copyright*


By Clare Membiela, Library Law Consultant, LM

Copyright law has an impact on libraries’ use of social media, digitization, and even the basic provision of library services. Below is a basic introduction to five fundamental concepts of copyright that every library should  know.

5) Copyright Notices

  1. A) Public Copiers, Public Printers (including 3d printers), and Public Computers (including tablets and other devices) should each bear a copyright notice per 17 USC 108(f)(1). An example of this language is found at
  2. B) "notice warning concerning copyright restrictions" signage in areas where Libraries make copies for patrons (including Document delivery and ILL). The following, regulatory notice should be posted in the area where such copies are requested or ordered (see 17 USC 108, and 34 CFR 201.14):

4) "First Sale" doctrine (17 USC 106(3),109) This principle differentiates between ownership a creator has of a "work" and the ownership of a copy of the physical embodiment of the "work." For example. Stephen King owns the story and characters in his books, but the library owns their copies of individual novels (The "First Sale" doctrine forms the legal basis that enables libraries to purchase items and lend them out, as well as permit the rentals of movies and music).

3) "Fair Use" - as it applied to Public Libraries. See "Fair Use" is the doctrine that  the usage of copyrighted works without permission under certain circumstances.

2) "Educational Fair Use" -  17 USC 110 provides certain exemptions and “Fair Use” purposes for the use of copyrighted works in classroom and educational settings.  However, public libraries are not generally considered “Educational Institutions” for purposes of 12 USC 110.  Public libraries seeking to justify usage of works under 17 USC 110 should confer with their attorneys to ensure that the use is in compliance with  the  Statute. Educational purposes is one of the four factors to be considered when making a "Fair Use" evaluation under 17 USC 107, but it is NOT the only criteria. Just because the use is educational, may not mean it’s OK.

1) Online Images - Beware of taking images and graphics from the Internet for use in library promotion or website/social media. Photographs, images and art are covered by copyright and fines for infringement can be steep. Image publishers crawl the web looking for unauthorized use. "Fair Use" can be difficult to justify with images. Creative Commons or use of a stock image service is your best bet.

Additional resources:

*The research and resources above are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any Copyright issue or problem.

The 2019 Public Library Services Grants Are Here

Planted money

By Karren Reish, Library Grants Coordinator, LM

This third year of the Public Library Services grant program has already been exciting. Ninety-two libraries have received grants to do summer programming related to technology, children or teens, or literacy. We approved more than 90% of the applications received and awarded $153,554 in funding.

The funded programs make for a wide range of creative ideas from libraries throughout the state:

  • At the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton, teens can participate in an arts and ecology program on Rabbit Island;
  • Teens and tweens across the state will be able to learn coding with various types of robotics activities;
  • The Southfield Public Library offers a range of space science programming based on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
  • Several other virtual-reality programs.

The individual grantees are listed on the Public Library Services section of the Library of Michigan Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) page –

Thank you to everyone who applied, reviewed, and helped us work through this grant program. We look forward to learning what the participating libraries achieve this year. If you have not applied for this grant before, look at the guidelines and consider it for 2020. The 2020 application will be available January 2020. If you have any questions about LM grant programs, please contact Karren Reish at or 517-241-0021.


Save the Date for Rural Libraries Conference 2020

April 13-15, 2020, at the Grand Traverse Resort outside Traverse City
More information will be posted as the program develops

Youth Services Programming: Lessons Learned at Caro Area District Library Part 2

Boy playing with Legos

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

See here for Part 1 of Randi Dalton's article about children's programming.

Bring the library to them. If you build it, they will come. Or not. Sometimes they don’t come. Sometimes you need to pack up your picture books and your ukulele and a speaker capable of blaring Baby Shark off your phone and you need to go to them. Librarians are familiar with the phrase "Turning Outward," but it takes a little inventiveness sometimes to determine what that means for your community. For me, I have a vigorous following of radical preschoolers who come to my story time every Friday morning to sing, dance, and solve the world’s problems. They are my people. But one day, I was thinking about how to reach more people outside the Friday morning crew. We have so much fun on Fridays at 10 a.m., but I knew there were many who couldn’t make it Friday mornings. So I reached out to all the local child cares and asked them if they would be interested in outreach services from our library. I haven’t found one child care facility that has turned me down yet, and once a month, I pack my fun stuff and go to them. If we want libraries to be as impactful as they need to be in our communities, we have to stop thinking about a library as a brick and mortar building, and start thinking of it as a powerful ministry to our local community.

Keep it simple. One time, I wanted to put on an elaborate Yule Ball where kids and families could come into our community room (which would look just like the Yule Ball in Harry Potter) dressed in formal attire and drink wassail and maybe learn how to waltz. Another time, I wanted to throw a Game of Thrones party where people could cosplay and get their pictures taken on a life-size Iron Throne that I would naturally hand-make because I have all the time in the world to hand make an Iron Throne. These would both be examples of programs I’ve either attempted but no one showed up for, or programs I had to scrap all together because the vision was just too flowery. I am a big ideas person and sometimes my right brained ways can derail a perfectly easy program. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Take it easy. You will thank yourself later.

Give yourself some grace. Sometimes things just fall apart. Sometimes you work your fingers to the bone on a particular program or initiative and no one else seems to care. It’s important to give yourself some grace and remind yourself you are not the sum of your failures. We live in a culture obsessed with productivity and maintaining a busy, hectic lifestyle. I do not subscribe to any of that nonsense and I hope you don’t either. If a program doesn’t pan out the way you wanted, there will be another chance next month to put on a better one. 

Happy programming.

The LM Is Seeing Lots of Activity with Community Groups, Tours, and Interviews. Get In On the Action with a Visit to LM

Library of Michigan

By Tim Gleisner, Special Collections Manager, LM

The LM has been a busy place for the past few months. Between media interviews, school visits, and groups wanting to meet at the Library, it has been the place to be. With this activity, the Collections staff have been busily engaging with people of all ages and introducing them to the wonderful materials and space of the facility.

The LM is more and more becoming a community meeting place. Long-standing partners, such as the Greater Lansing Historical Society, meet here monthly. But now the Lansing African-American Genealogical Society and the I-496 Pave the Way Study Group have called LM home, as well. Groups like these are making LM a true community center.

Additionally, LM has hosted numerous school tours as of late. These groups have ranged from kindergartners to high schoolers. These groups have come from the Greater Lansing area, Mason County, and Swartz Creek. This activity prompted LM staff to rearrange things and build a youth space on the second floor. This area is in the early stages of development, but eventually will become a destination for the over 100,000 children who come to the Library and Historical Center of Michigan each year.

Finally, the LM Collections staff have been in the media. Numerous broadcast and newspaper interviews have kept the staff here very busy. As we continue to talk up the wonderful collections here at LM, more and more people are enjoying and exploring its nearly two-centuries-old collections.

Michigan's Library Cooperatives in Action

Modern library interior

By Kate Pohjola Andrade, Director, Woodlands Library Cooperative

Michigan’s 11 library cooperatives serve the wide and diverse geography and populations that make up our great state. Each cooperative has unique member libraries, features, and services, which sometimes makes explaining what cooperatives do somewhat complicated. I bet if you asked each cooperative director, you would get 11 different answers. When asked to elaborate, I often explain my role as a cooperative director is to be a librarian’s librarian. That answer seems to satisfy most people.

While acknowledging that our cooperatives are different, as a group, the Michigan Cooperative Directors Association recently sat down with David Votta from the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS), as facilitator. We looked at our collective strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and desired results. Results, not for our individual cooperatives, but for all our co-ops. One of the first things, and most important things, that came out of this day was our new vision statement: As a valued resource, the Michigan Cooperative Directors Association is a state-wide innovator, empowering Michigan libraries to achieve success.

We set plans in motion so that over the coming months, we can achieve the desired results from this exercise. We will be auditing and updating our website and calendar ( so that we can support the amazing wealth and variety of local, regional, and statewide events without duplicating services or scheduling things when other groups are holding workshops and training opportunities. We have tweaked our bi-monthly meeting agenda to allow more time to share and collaborate. One of the biggest things we are working on is creating an annual report of all the cooperatives, which includes taking the data we report to LM in our state aid reports and sharing it, along with an executive summary of the year. Our 11 cooperatives work very hard on behalf of not only our member libraries, but for all of Michigan’s libraries. Yes, each of our cooperatives is unique, but we are realizing that we all have many things in common, too. Your library cooperative director and the Michigan Cooperative Directors Association are both agile and flexible and looking to the future; our work impacts all of Michigan’s libraries, and we all want them to succeed no matter how success is defined.

MeL Unveils Curriculum Resources in the Educators Area

MeL Educator Portal

By Liz Breed, MeL Coordinator, LM

We’re excited to share a new support section available in the Educators area on! This section – Curriculum Resources – sorts the MeL eResources by grade and subject. Thanks to all of the teachers, media specialists, literacy coaches, technology directors, and administrators for sharing feedback that helped us create this additional support area.


It is now possible to look for eResources in two ways: 1.) by grade ranges, or 2.) by subject. Click into any subject and you’ll see navigation buttons for grade ranges across the top of the page. Click into any grade range and you’ll see a full list of the eResources for those students. New icons further aid navigation.

The gold mine comes after selecting the eResource in which you’re interested. Each eResource has its own page with support materials to help you customize the local experience for your users.

  • Instructions to add eResources to your own site
  • Buttons for each eResource
  • Two types of links: Direct URL and Geo-IP URL
  • And where available from the vendors, links to downloadable promotional materials which can range from PDFs of flyers and bookmarks to embeddable videos.

Re-focused Goal

For its entire life, we've invited users to visit This has included not only the library and education communities, but all 9-million+ residents of State of Michigan. While MeL is for use by anyone in Michigan, our core purpose is to support Michigan libraries. With the updated eResources and site and our new public library and K-12 engagement specialists, our re-focused goal is to support libraries and educators with a repository of tools so they can, in turn, facilitate a custom MeL experience tailored to their patrons’ and students’ needs.

Thanks again to those who offered feedback on this project. We are always on the lookout for comments or questions about MeL and invite you to reach out to share your thoughts. You can reach Liz Breed any time at


Today's Law Reference Question:

Must a criminal conviction be disclosed on a job application?
See Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction.

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.