LM Dispatch Newsletter

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Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter  -  November 2020

In this Issue:

Clare Membiela Wins Above and Beyond Award

Clare Membiela, a red head with a mask

Randy Riley, State Librarian, LM

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) presented the annual Michigan Library Awards at the 2020 virtual conference this fall. Congratulations to everyone honored! (https://www.milibraries.org/michigan-library-awards). Michigan is blessed with some of the most talented library staff in the country. 

When notified that Clare Membiela, LM Library Law Consultant, would receive the "Above and Beyond" Award at this year’s award celebration, I was excited and pleased. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Clare has kept libraries updated with relevant information. She provides clear and straightforward explanations of Executive Orders, making herself available to library staff in need of further clarification. Her attention to detail, completeness, and a healthy sense of humor provides support to overwhelmed administrators. Maintaining a clear focus on safety of library employees and the public, Clare helps alleviate stress of both directors and staff. Her timely work provides state-wide library staff with answers to questions impacting libraries of all types. A selfless attitude and genuine desire to provide help to Michigan’s libraries has made her an irreplaceable part of the LM team. Few people are as deserving of this recognition than Clare. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to help Michigan’s libraries. Working with and beside her is a pleasure and a privilege. 

Unfortunately, challenges with COVID-19 are not over. With cases increasing across the state, libraries still face challenges in the coming months. LM staff is available every day to answer questions and help with information needs. Do not hesitate to reach out with your questions and concerns. Remember, we are in this together.

A Library Partnership with MSU Extension

MSU Extension logo

Beth Steuever, Director of Public Affairs, MSU Extension 

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension has been part of communities throughout the state for 100-plus years. The organization’s more than 600 employees have offices in each of the state’s 83 counties assisting residents with information needed to do their jobs better, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower their children to build successful futures.

“As the university’s largest outreach arm, MSU Extension has a long history of working with libraries to offer high-impact educational programs to audiences of all ages,” said Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension associate director. “Whether nutrition, physical activities classes for adults, or Michigan 4-H crafting classes, we have always enjoyed a healthy relationship with libraries.”

Historically, programs were conducted in-person, often in library community rooms, co-marketed by individual library systems and MSU Extension. Now the two entities are partnering to offer a plethora of statewide virtual programs that can benefit even more audiences.

MSU Extension educators are banding together to offer a series of workshops to help Michigan library workers deal with current stressors, many pandemic related. Each session—held on the second Monday of the month—translates evidence-based research into practical educational opportunities people can incorporate into their own lives.

  • January 11, 2021 - Session One: Maintaining Health During Challenging Times 
  • February 10 - Session Two: What is Anger? 
  • March 10 - Session Three: Mindful Breathing 
  • April 14 - Session Four: Kind Mind

Registration links will be sent out via regular library channels.

“Just a taste of what we have to offer Michigan residents virtually,” Cudney explained. “we have over 200 programs, and are creating new ones to fit the virtual format at a rapid pace.”

To learn more about virtual programs offered by MSU Extension, visit its  Remote Learning Resources. Visit extension.msu.edu to learn about the MSU Extension program and Michigan 4-H Youth Development.

Contact Sonya Schryer Norris at norriss2@michigan.gov for information about the partnership between MSU Extension and LM. 

Collaboration Between PDL & P-CSS Recognized by MAME

Kathy Lester and Barb Dinan by the library sign

Barb Dinan, Teen Services Librarian, Plymouth District Library (PDL) 

As a Teen Services Librarian at Plymouth District Library (PDL), it is a privilege to collaborate with educators at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (P-CCS) and to be honored with the Community Collaboration Award from the Michigan Association of Media In Education (MAME).

Partnerships between public libraries and schools benefit both institutions as well as the communities they serve.



Here are ways that our partnership worked in our community:

  • When P-CCS middle schools added science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) facilities, media centers added maker spaces to their expanding responsibilities. Media specialists created lively spaces PDL staff visited to learn best practices for the library’s own maker collections and activities. 
  • P-CCS and PDL jointly received grants for after-school programs at the library.  
  • PDL hosts P-CCS STEM Academy workshops for youth with activities facilitated by teachers, led by students. PDL was able to offer the popular program with just a small increase in staff time and resources.  
  • Supporting student book clubs and reading groups with additional copies of popular books, PDL gets more use out of copies that circulate well during the summer, but languish on our shelves the rest of the year. Providing “outreach” to educators, with no fines, no fees, and an option for extended borrowing, they can request library materials on behalf of their students - especially important for students who face barriers to accessing the library building on their own. This increased circulation of teen materials.
  • PDL and P-CCS collaborated on professional development sessions to build and promote diverse collections.  
  • Class visits and student feedback provides valuable insights for library acquisitions
  • Regular contact with educators about planned changes to curriculum allows library staff extra time to prepare for the anticipated influx in demand from students. 

School/library collaborations resulted in increased awareness and use of the library by families who came to us for school-related reasons.  

For public librarians interested in collaborating with schools, contacting their schools’ media specialists is  essential. Media specialists, especially those with MLIS degrees, incorporate both perspectives - educator and librarian. They can be instrumental in identifying and exploring areas of mutual benefit.

Need online learning?

Try WebJunction and Other Continuing Education Opportunities

Donations to the LM's Collections

Highway Hi-Lites

Adam Oster, Community Engagement Librarian, LM

LM has one of the most comprehensive collections reflecting the history, culture, and literature of our state. Donations help enrich and grow the library’s content on Michigan and the Great Lakes region. A frequent question we hear is “What kind of donations are you looking for?” To answer that question, we recently added a "Make A Gift" section to our website listing examples of material we accept. Some of those examples include:

  • State of Michigan and local government published documents and publications.
  • Published (privately or commercially) films, videos and audio recordings of Michigan governments, businesses, and organizations.
  • Directories of Michigan localities and organizations.
  • Michigan maps and flat file items (e.g. posters).
  • Brochures and flyers.
  • Michigan Family History information.
  • Yearbooks.
  • Printed Fiction/Non-Fiction works (commercially or privately/self-published) by Michigan authors.

A donation received earlier this year was a set of Michigan State Highway Department “Highway Hi-Lites” vinyl records from 1963-64. Audio ads featuring then State Highway Commissioner John C. Mackie were sent to Michigan radio stations to emphasize the importance of traffic safety on Michigan roads. They provide a unique snapshot of travel history in Michigan during a time-period that included the expansion of interstate travel and personal vehicle ownership. Previously in a private collection, LM didn’t have copies until this donation.

Also included in the "Make A Gift" page is information about the LM Foundation. The Foundation provides a wide range of support for programs, collections, and services offered by LM, including collection material offered to us by donors. Please direct interested donors to "Make A Gift" at www.Michigan.gov/LibraryGift

Making eResources Cool Again

MeL Logo

Liz Breed, MeL Coordinator, LM and Sonya Schryer Norris, Library Consultant, LM 

Library paraprofessionals have always been cheerleaders for Michigan eLibrary (MeL). LM is going to help make eResources cool, too. How? 

We are focusing on "just-in-time, what’s in it for me” microlearning modules for adults. Delivering the knowledge of how to use the eResources in everyday language, with real-life examples, we’ll start with the basics: the differences between Google and the eResources, the tools in MeL, and how to use them, plus successful searching tips. Throughout the series of modules, we use patron interactions and everyday examples - such as resolving Pinterest fails, and where to get citations for a paper. We’ll showcase the top MeL eResources in ways that allow Michigan library staff to take away concrete knowledge of how to use MeL. 

Our module "cast" consists of Morgan, Ruby, their patrons Janelle, Alex, and Frank, and our narrator Carmen. Morgan and Ruby are modeled on the experiences of directors who provide in-depth, one-on-one staff training in a rapid turnover environment, and the paraprofessional staff who power Michigan’s libraries. They  provide outstanding customer service at the fictional Rosa Parks Public Library in suburban Michigan -  a library  where the learning culture is supportive, normalized, and celebrated. 

LM is here to help. Help with relieving the training burden of MeL eResources due to frequent staff turnover. Here to help staff manage information requests.

Library of Michigan Services you can use...

Expand your family history research with our online databases using your Library of Michigan Library Card. Apply for a card at www.Michigan.gov/LibraryCard