Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

Director’s Report

April and May 2022

State Budget/State Aid:

  • Currently the Governor and Legislators are working on the Budget for FY2022-23, which needs to be agreed upon by September 30, 2022. In the Governor’s budget, proposed State Aid is the same as last year as well as in the House version. The Senate version may have it increased by 1 million. MLA is working with all sides trying to get at least a $500,000 increase to State Aid.
  • Library of Michigan will finish sending out the first set of State Aid checks in June and the final payment will be sent later in the summer.

Cooperative Services:

  • MMLC was able to get just over the minimum number for the Employee Assistant Program (EAP). We are hoping to start it 7/1/22 with the member who have agreed to participate in the program
  • Through the MI-83 grant, part of the money went to MLA to promote libraries and how they are using the funds. Eric delivered to most of the member libraries promotional items create through MLA.

Michigan Cooperative Directors Association (MCDA):

  • MCDA Continuing Education (CE) committee presented a 3-hour Zingerman’s training on Great Service via zoom. We had over 200 people sign up for the program and the comments were very positive and people wanted more. We are thinking about possible doing Courageous Conversation through Zingerman’s.
  • MCDA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee is looking at hosting trainings in the fall.
  • Through MLA Intellectual Freedom (IF) committee, we are looking at possibly have some Trustee Training on First Amendment Challenges; more information coming.

Library of Michigan (LM):

  • LM Staff are now required to be working at least 2 days in their offices a week.
  • They have 2 new hires Heather Wood-Gramza as MeL Coordinator and Eric Kennedy as Law Reference Librarian.
  • The first financial management cohort has completed for libraries (through University of Georgia) and MMLC had two Directors complete the program: Kimberley White (Shiawassee District Library and Scott Duimstra (Capital Area District Libraries). Congrats to both directors.

Michigan Library Association (MLA): Debbie Mikula, Executive Director of MLA

  • Annual Conference in Port Huron on October 19-21 (500-600 expected), lots of vendors signing up.
  • MI Right to Read launched in May, with resources for supporting intellectual freedom and dealing with challenges, working on messaging center as guides including press, social media, PowerPoints, etc. It is anticipated that it will get more challenging before election in 2024; over 400 people have signed up for the associated coalition and everyone is invited to join (not just for MLA members)
  • MI Library IS Now marketing campaign for MI-83 grant. They have created TV and Social Media advertising which are currently running statewide.

Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS): Scott Garrison, Executive Director of MCLS

  • MCLS is working on a digital lending project. They are investing in a digital preservation hardware project (timing depending on grant / budgeting). They are investing $100,000 in getting Civil Rights materials digitized, and also have a commitment from BTAA to contribute $500,000 more;  MCLS members will have access as materials are created and all the materials will all be open access once the project is finished.

MMLC Administration:

  • Eric attended the two MCDA meetings; the April meeting was virtual but the May meeting was the first in-person meeting we have had since 2020. Afterwards we took Tammy Turgeon out for her last lunch as the Suburban Cooperative Director.
  • Irene and Eric attended the 6 meetings for Friends of Michigan Libraries (FOML), which included the Executive Committee meetings, Budget and Finance committee meetings and the Board meetings.
  • There were two LM updates meeting which Eric attended, the one in May they informed us that Kathy Webb has retired but will be a contract employee to help the LM staff to get through until they hire a new person.
  • Eric helped review the different sessions that will be going on at the MLA Annual Conference 22 in Port Huron. There are many great sessions to choose between and some wonderful speakers coming to the conference.
  • Eric is a member of the MCDA DEI committee, we try to meet everyone month to discuss Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) issues and we are looking at trying to host a workshop session for Libraries in the fall.
  • Irene and Eric attended the Call meetings with the Lapeer Library Directors. In May Goodland millage passed by a large margin. Congratulation Annette.
  • Eric attended the MLA Advocacy Hours and is also helping the MLA Intellectual Freedom (IF) committee as a support.
  • Eric Chairs the MCDA CE committee, which successfully hosted the Zingerman’s Customer Service Workshop in May.
  • Eric traveled to most of the members dropping off the MI-83 promotional material.
  • Eric attended the MLA Think Space conference at the Boyne Mountain Resort with the topic of DEI.
  • Eric attended both of ALA sessions, one called ‘Gearing Up for Digital Equity Act with Libraries’ and the other one ‘Small Rural & Tribal Libraries as Community Anchors’
  • Clare from LM had her Library Law Spotlight for Financial Policies. Irene & Eric attended.
  • Irene has continued working with members to finalize Summer programs. Over 375 programs are confirmed for the fiscal year. Planning has begun for the FY 2022-23 season.

Respectfully submitted,
Eric Palmer
MMLC Director