Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter, January 2015

Library of Michigan Dispatch, January 2015

1. Michigan eLibrary Core Resources Contract

Randy Riley, State Librarian

by Randy Riley

There is no arguing that the Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is one of the most popular and important services the Library of Michigan (LM) provides. The LM has committed to providing a collection of core resources in an effort to assist libraries of all types and sizes. Our current database contract expires soon, so staff is diligently working to gather feedback from librarians statewide about what should and shouldn’t be part of MeL's core resources. You can follow that process, and provide feedback, at

The LM currently is in the fourth year of our contract for subscription resources. The LM took the opportunity to use an extension year provided in the contract to allow for more time to gather input from librarians in the field. All LSTA-funded database subscriptions expire on September 30, 2015. The LM is scheduled to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for new subscription core content for MeL in late February 2015. The new contract begins October 1, 2015. The content under consideration in this process is funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

An advisory group of librarians from academic, school, public and special libraries, plus representatives from the Library Cooperative Directors Association, met in Lansing on January 6th to start the process of providing input and feedback. This information will assist us in writing the RFP's Statement of Work. Database trials and vendor demos are scheduled for mid-April through early May. Anyone from the library community may participate. By late May, LM staff will compile comments, conduct vendor negotiations and finalize MeL's new database content. Its new databases content will be announced in early June 2015.

2. Michigan Notable Books Author Tour - Applications Due Feb. 6

Michigan Notable Books

by Edwina Murphy

The 2015 Notable Book Program is off and running with a new selection of Michigan-specific books. Each year the list of selected books provides a rich venue around which libraries can build displays and programs. With the diversity of materials offered by the Michigan Notable Book Program (MNB) each year, there is truly something for every reader and region of Michigan. 

The authors are as diverse as their books and Michigan libraries have a chance to participate in the author tour. To learn more, visit  

Authors are assigned to libraries based on availability so please hop online and take a look at the tour application. Act fast! Applications are due February 6th.

For more information, contact Edwina Murphy at 517-373-4376 or

3. Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative: Empowering Advocates

Cooperative Directors Association

by Denise Hooks, Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Director

Each new year brings an opportunity for the Michigan library cooperative directors to think creatively about the year ahead and develop ways to benefit our members.  One initiative will be repeated this year in the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative (MMLC) and that is awarding mini-grants for travel to the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Legislative Day (NLLD).

Last year, seven board members and directors signed up for the intensive preparation and three day event. Advance training included both conference calls and an in-person session on the specific issues that would be a part of our advocacy agenda.

Meeting in Washington, D.C. for ALA Briefing Day, the group faced a rigorous agenda of presentations on issues and pending legislation, including: net neutrality, open access, school libraries, privacy/surveillance and workforce investment.

The next morning, our first stop was U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s meet and greet, followed by meetings with staffers of U.S. Reps. Candace Miller, Dave Camp, and Dan Kildee, and with U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. Returning to Michigan, each member of the MMLC group called the event an advocacy success!

4. Professional Development and the LM

Karren Reish

by Karren Reish

Did you know the LM sponsors workshops and conferences for librarians every year with partners such as the Michigan Library Association, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, Friends of Michigan Libraries and others? The current upcoming events are listed below. Registration for each of these will be promoted by the partner organizations when available. We look forward to seeing you there.

Strategic Thinking, Strategic Planning: How Trustees Can Plan for Success from the Friends of Michigan Libraries.

  • April 24th at the Rochester Hills Public Library
  • October 2 at the Petoskey Public Library

Spring Institute and Academic Libraries conferences from the Michigan Library Association

  • Spring Institute – March 26-27 in Ann Arbor
  • Academic Libraries – May 28-29 in Bay City

Making Connections: 2015 Statewide Materials Advisory Conference from the Kent District Library

  • September 21, 2015 at the Prince Conference Center in Grand Rapids

5. MeLCat Celebrates 10 Years of Service to Michigan Member Libraries

Celebrating 10 Years of MeLCat Sharing

by Deb Biggs Thomas

On January 10, 2015, MeLCat, the shared statewide catalog and inter-library loan component of the Michigan eLibrary (MeL), ( celebrated its 10th birthday.  The MeL Teams at the LM and the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) celebrated an online birthday party on January 9th. MCLS and LM staff remembered this milestone with an online slide presentation and commentary highlighting MeLCat stats, photos, testimonials, and fond memories. Participants shared how MeLCat has benefited their libraries over the past 10 years.

Since January 2005, MeLCat has:

  • grown from the 12 libraries that went live on launch day to more than 400 libraries using 23 different automation systems (plus nine non-automated libraries)
  • filled more than 7 million requests for Michigan residents
  • built a database with more than 47 million holdings
  • facilitated close to 60,000 visiting patron loans
  • implemented NCIP functionality for more than 65 libraries

If yours is a MeLCat library, feel free to use the graphic in this article on your library’s website. 

And, you can tweet too:  #MeLCat10

We would like to thank all of the more than 400 Michigan MeLCat libraries and their awesome staff members who filled more than 7 million requests for Michigan residents since 2005!

6. Redford Township District Library: A Case Study in Success

Redford Township District Library

by Lisa Hoenig

The Redford Township District Library (RTDL) won an 8-year supplemental millage of 1.4 mills at the end of 2014. In a township that has not recovered from the economic downturn and where property values have still not begun to rise, the decisive 2/3 majority win attracted a lot of positive attention.

The advocacy group Citizens Supporting Redford Township Library’s creative, eye-catching strategy included a marketing campaign featuring Molly, an Old English Sheepdog, who is a library bibliotherapy dog. She was covered in a local article about the campaign. RTDL also held a Declaration for the Right to Libraries signing ceremony as a stepping-stone to the millage campaign. I spoke about it in an American Library Association (ALA) webinar last summer. ALA president Courtney Young later mentioned RTDL, and our successful millage, in an update to ALA members about the Declaration. I would like to encourage other Michigan libraries to participate in a Declaration signing. We found it an easy-to-do program with a great message.

And lastly, Redford Township District Library was one of six lucky recipients (so far) of anonymous donations of $1,000 cash to organizations in Redford. I was thrilled to be interviewed on myFOXDetroit about the donation. I believe that all of our work promoting the library's value to the community got the donor's attention. What a nice windfall and a wonderful thing for someone to do to help a struggling community.

7. Notice Our New Name?

Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter

by Sonya Schryer Norris

Carolyn Sherrill of the Sterling Heights Public Library won State Librarian Randy Riley's competition to name the LM's re-booted newsletter. Thank you, Carolyn, and everyone else who submitted a suggestion.