Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

Director’s Report

June and July 2022

State Budget/State Aid:

  • The Governor has signed the budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23. State Aid will increase by $500,000 in large part due to the hard work of MLA. This allocation will push the percentage closer to the .50 per capita contained in the Michigan Constitution

Cooperative Services:

  • On June 28, 2022, MMLC Board voted to transform MMLC from a brick & mortar business to a virtual business. Irene and I have been working closing the office. We made available different items from the office to members, like display unit, art and other items that are no longer needed. We anticipate a few more electronic items will be available soon. We are planning on using the same phone number from the office and are working on porting the number from a landline to a VOIP service.

Michigan Cooperative Directors Association (MCDA):

  • The MI-83 Equipment portion of the grant should have shipped the remaining computers out to everyone by the end of July. Everyone who received equipment and/or Overdrive content will be receiving a survey(s) to be filled out by staff and patrons. Please fill them out, it is a major part of the Grant and needs to be reported back to the Government.
  • The Michigan Cooperative Director's Association is working alongside MLA to host a virtual trustee training event Navigating Material Challenges for Library Trustees’ on Thursday, August 11 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. As libraries in Michigan and around the country grapple with an unprecedented number of book bans and challenges, this event will help orient library trustees to their roles and responsibilities when it comes to material challenges.  Registration

Library of Michigan (LM):

  • United for Libraries virtual conference August 9-11. Library of Michigan is working on an online trustee training to be held in September. State librarian’s excellence award applications are currently open for nominations, and includes financial awards for winners. Tim Gleisner, Manager of Special Collections, is leaving Library of Michigan to begin an appointment as a Librarian in Texas. LM will post his position soon. Library of Michigan has several staff vacancies that they are hoping to fill.

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

  • The MLA Annual Conference is fun and exhausting as well, but so worth the time and energy it takes to bring over 500 library professionals together every year. There is excitement in the air and a general sense of being “back to normal” as we continue the planning to be in-person at the MLA 2022 Annual Conference in Port Huron October 19-21, 2022.  Our last in-person annual conference was in 2019 and while we have had resounding success on a virtual platform, there is nothing better than being with our colleagues again. Read more

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

  • We are happy to announce that Mary Ruthko has accepted the newly-created position of Marketing and Communication Coordinator at MCLS. Mary most recently worked as the Marketing Manager at the Bay County Library System headquartered in Bay City, Michigan. She brings to us a wealth of experience, and we look forward to working with her to strengthen our efforts around marketing and communication to better serve our members. Mary's first day at MCLS was July 11. Welcome, Mary!
  • If your staff development plan includes in-service days, MCLS can bring half-day or full-day training to your library. Our customized staff in-service training is created to apply to staff at multiple levels of the organization on a whole variety of topics.

MMLC Administration:

  • Irene and Eric attended the FOML Budget and Finance committee meetings and their Board Meeting.
  • Irene and Eric met virtually with many of the MMLC preferred performers in June, informing them of the changing that are being planned and requesting materials for the 2023 Season. We also hosted a virtual meeting with the MMLC Programming Team.
  • Eric is assisting the MLA IF committee with the Navigating Material Challenges for Library Trustees training on August 11 at 6pm. The training will be recorded if you are unable to attend.
  • Eric is participating in the MCDA DEI committee where we have a discussion on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Eric attended the monthly Library of Michigan updates meetings and reported back information to members.
  • MMLC Board had two special meeting in June, the first was cancelled due to the lack of a quorum. The second one at the end of June included the Board of Trustees declining to renew the Mott Foundation Building office lease agreement, approving a revised Plan of Service and several other policies.
  • Eric met with Jennifer Dean, the new director at UM Flint library. She is interested in renewing their membership in MMLC in the new fiscal year.
  • Eric is on the planning committee for the MLA Annual Conference October 19-21, 2022 in Port Huron. Several keynote speakers and numerous break-out sessions are planned for everyone to enjoy. This will be are first in-person conference since 2019 in Novi.
  • For 2023 Eric will be helping MLA in the Workshop and Webinar Workgroup. He attended the MLA Ambassador meeting.
  • Irene and Eric hosted the quarterly MMLC Regional meetings and will have another set of them in September.
  • Eric attended both of the MCDA meetings.
  • Irene and Eric hosted an Employee Assistance Program meeting, introducing directors from the participating libraries to the many options available to staff.
  • Eric attended a ZingTrain Courageous Conversation session, along with Kate Van Auken White Pine Library Cooperative director, to see if this something we can bring to everyone through MCDA.
  • Eric participated in the MCDA and Everyday Library training session about Challenging Materials.
  • Eric has visited Chippewa River District Library, Grace A Dow, Northwood and Bay County Library System either for a tour of new facilities or to drop off something.  Irene enjoyed visiting Shiawassee District Library – Owosso branch and Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library to rehome a few pieces of equipment from the MMLC office.

Respectfully submitted,
Eric Palmer
MMLC Director