Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

Director’s Report

April and May 2020

State Budget/State Aid:

  • As of May 31, all of the first payments of State Aid have been paid to all of the Public Library. The Library of Michigan (LM) cannot start sending out the second payment to Libraries until at least July 1st
  • Due to COVID-19, the state is short in the budget by about 1.5 billion dollars at the current moment. The Governor is hoping to receive money from the Federal Government to help pay for the gap. However, if there is no Federal money, then the state will have to make major cuts and could cut the rest of the State Aid, which would have a huge impact on the MMLC Budget. Also, these cuts could affect the MMLC Budget for the next several years. One option the MMLC Board could take is to reduce the Grants MMLC provides to our members.


Cooperative Services:

  • MMLC has canceled 435 programs due to COVID-19 for March-August 2020 equaling $141,488 in lost revenue to performers
    • September, 2019 – March, 2020  115 programs held
    • May, 2020 – August, 2020           172 programs scheduled (only 19 currently scheduled as in-person events)
    • September, 2020                        15 programs scheduled as in-person events
    • October, 2020 – November, 2020 9 programs scheduled as in-person events
  • The 311 programs scheduled September, 2019 – November, 2020 equals $106,740.79 in revenue.


Michigan Cooperative Directors Association:
Michigan Cooperative Directors Association (MCDA):

  • Since the end of March, MCDA directors have been hosting a Zoom meeting weekly to discuss what is going on in the State.
  • In April, we created a document to help Libraries start to think about reopening of their libraries. We were having many libraries who didn’t know where to start. The Document Michigan Public Libraries: Re-opening Considerations after closures during the Covid-19 Pandemic is up on the MCDA website.
  • All of the Directors are adding information that we feel will help the libraries in their reopening.


Collaborating Partners – CDA, LM, MiALA, MLA, and MCLS:  

  • The workshop for June at CMU has been canceled due to COVID-19
  • We are looking at hosting a virtual zoom meeting in July. At the moment the dates will be Tuesday’s in July starting at 1pm
  • If Collaborating Partners do these sessions MMLC will be the host for the Registration.
  • The overall title for all of the sessions will be ‘CREATING INCLUSIVE LIBRARIES: GENDER AND SEXUALITY AWARENESS’

Look for more information to come


Library of Michigan (LM):  Randy Riley, State Librarian, made the report.

  • The Library of Michigan has been hosting Zoom meetings on Fridays which have been invaluable to me. In the meeting they go over what is going on in the state.
  • When there has been a change in the Executive Orders, usually on Thursday afternoon, LM will have the updates on their Friday meeting. Clare Membiela from Library of Michigan, and sometimes Anne Seurynck, Foster & Swift Library Law attorney, are there to explain what the EO means, but always recommend you speak with your attorney.
  • Randy, Shannon and their Team have done a great job at keeping everyone informed and up to date. They have created a Google Doc that has all the information from each meeting so anyone can go back and look things up. I have found myself using this document many times over the last several months


Michigan Library Association (MLA):  Debbie Mikula, Executive Director made the report

  • MLA has been hosting a weekly virtual coffee hour that has been very informative.
  • Topics included Advocacy, Emotional Health, Human Resources, Summer Reading Programs and Local Government and Budget.


Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS):  Scott Garrison, Executive Director, made the report for MCLS:

  • MCLS has been holding weekly Zoom meeting during the pandemic


MMLC Administration:

  • Worked with LDL Board on their search for a new Director; participated in phone interviews and Zoom interviews but in the end the Board couldn’t find the right candidate.
  • I hosted 3 zoom meetings for the Libraries Directors from Lapeer County.
  • Assisted Northwood University Library with their budget issues; after the Midland flood, they were having trouble with their databases, so I worked with them to resolve the issues.
  • ALA has had 5 different zoom meetings which I have attended on different subjects including, Friends of the Library, Covid-19 and Library Community Response, Looking Ahead, planning for Reopening, Working Together on Plan Policy and Legal issues (presenter was from East Lansing Public Library) and Well Being of Library Workers.
  • Library of Michigan has had 8 update meetings, which I have attended. They are planning to have these weekly update meetings until no one shows up.
  • Library of Michigan had a separate meeting called COVID Pandemic Policies for Libraries with Anne Seurynck and LM which I attended.
  • MLA has had 8 zoom meeting, most being called MLA Coffee Hour, but each one was on different topics and some of the topics included Library Policy, Library Employment, 503(c)(3), Emotional Health, Human Resources, Summer Reading and Local Government. All the above I have attended.
  • MCLS has a weekly meeting and I attended a couple of them, but I didn’t feel I was getting as much out of them so I did stop.
  • Almost weekly the Cooperative Directors have been having our own zoom meeting to catch up and pass on information. It was announced that Jim Pletz from TLN will be retiring at the end of October.
  • In May, I attended the FOML Executive, Budget and Board meetings via phone conference.
  • Attended a zoom meeting with the Collaborating Partners to discuss the July workshop.
  • I send out weekly email to all the directors with information trying to keep them informed on the meetings I have attended, as well as other information that I find that I feel will help them during the pandemic.


Respectfully submitted,

Eric Palmer

MMLC Director