Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

Director’s Report

August and September 2023

State Budget/State Aid:

  • Public Library members should have received their email from Joe Hamlin at the Library of Michigan with information on completing your annual State Aid report. The State Aid reporting portal opened on Oct 1, 2023, and will close on February 1, 2024. I will be sending out emails reminding people to complete their State Aid report as Joe sends me the monthly emails updating who has completed the form, those who have started but not completed the form and those who haven’t started.

Cooperative Services:

  • MMLC has continued working with libraries to negotiate with Swank Movie License for another year. Irene will be invoicing the libraries who are participating in this program.
  • Irene should be invoicing all the public libraries soon for the second payment of State Aid.
  • MMLC has successfully renewed the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for another year. Irene will be invoicing the libraries who are participating in this program.

Cooperative Services:

  • The MMLC Board of Trustees approved the MMLC Budget for fiscal year 2023-24. We have included money to be used from the Fund Balance to cover a portion of the Innovation and Technology Grant at the same rate as last year. The application window will be October 3rd through August 1st.
  • The Board also approved the updated Plan of Service that accounted for the Gloria Coles Flint Public Library name change, and the withdrawal of Genesee District Library. In addition, they approve the MMLC Website Privacy Policy and Website Terms of Use Policy. These policies are now available on the mmlc.info website.

Michigan Cooperative Directors Association (MCDA):

  • Kate Pohjola Andrade from Woodlands led the group through SOAR strategic planning and will send out summary notes in which she synthesizes work from the meeting. The SOAR process is meant to set a tone for the year, focusing on what we are good at and moving forward: Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results.
  • It was also decided to put the Rural Conference on a future agenda, including discussion of a possible contribution from MCDA to support. Eric, Linda Adams (Northland Cooperative), and Kate Pohjola Andrade are on the planning committee for MLA and will ask what funding needs there are, if any. They will also ask if the Library of Michigan will be contributing to costs, using previously earmarked funds.

Library of Michigan (LM):

  • 2023/2024 Annual Report/State Aid Application Opens October 1, 2023, and remains open until February 1, 2024. WEBINARS (see below under “CE”) are scheduled to provide information on changes in this year’s report, and to assist libraries in completing their forms. Completing the form before February 1 is one of the requirements to receive State Aid to Libraries money.
  • Borrow a Digitization Kit! Due to high demand, the Library of Michigan assembled three additional kits for digitizing common formats. Kits circulate for two months at no cost; the kits include a laptop, scanner, and software.
  • New Beginning Workshop Program! LM will soon be debuting the newest version of Beginning Workshop on Niche starting Monday, October 2, 2023. Therefore, anyone who is in the midst of completing the current Beginning Workshop course in Niche has until September 30, 2023, to complete it before the existing course is taken down and replaced with the new one.

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

  • Get ready to celebrate Michigan Library Appreciation Month! This October we are celebrating Michigan libraries and library staff and highlighting all the way libraries serve their communities. Join us in participating in Michigan Library Appreciation Month and help us highlight just how much of an impact our libraries have made in the lives of Michiganders.
  • Join us October 18-20, in person in Kalamazoo for MLA 2023 Annual Conference: Connecting the Dots. The library community is stronger together – we want to see you in Kalamazoo this October 18-20! Join us at MLA 2023 Annual Conference for three days of education and fun events to help you connect with your Michigan library colleagues. You can still take advantage of great rates!
  • Think Space is an all-inclusive educational and networking experience including four full days of learning, two overnight hotel stays, meals, fun special events, and the opportunity to build deeper, lasting relationships with other directors and deans of libraries throughout Michigan. Join your colleagues for a time to THINK deeply in a safe SPACE. Registration opens this fall! One of the topics to be covered will be AI Artificial Intelligence.
  • The Call for Nominations for candidates for the 2023 Board of Directors is open! Do you know someone who would be a great addition to the MLA Board of Directors? Submit a nomination!

Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS): Scott Garrison, Executive Director of MCLSSave the Date and Submit a Nomination for the 2023 Michigan Library Awards at milibraries.org/michigan-library-awards

  • MCLS joined the Project ReShare community in 2019, and as of September 2023, MCLS and Project ReShare have decided it is in the best interests of both entities to part ways. MCLS is the single largest financial contributor to date to Project ReShare’s effort to create new resource sharing software that is currently in use at over 100 libraries.
  • TALK libraries: set up your subscription by Dec. 1 to continue service in 2024. MCLS is steadily working on TALK's transition from a fully IMLS grant-funded program to an MCLS subscription-based service. To facilitate setting up your account in our system, we need to know if you are planning to offer TALK to your patrons after the grant ends in July 2024.
  • A new product is available through MCLS: New York Times | All Access. As of Sept. 1, MCLS is authorized to license a new product from the NYT: New York Times | All Access. We will still provide New York Times: News Access, which provides institutional access to NYTimes.com and The New York Times News App. This includes global reporting, commentary, culture and much more, including audio and video, on both nytimes.com and the NYT news app for iOS and Android.

MMLC Administration:

  • Irene and Eric attended the FOML Executive Committee meeting, FOML Budget and Finance Committee and FOML Board Meeting
  • Eric attended the CALL meeting via Zoom.
  • Eric met with MMLC Vice-Chair Sandy Drake in early August to review the Annual Director’s Evaluation information. The MMLC Personnel Committee met in mid-August. Committee members reviewed Eric’s evaluation, agreed on compensation for Eric and Irene, and agreed to extend Eric’s contract for another year.
  • Eric attended the MCDA Strategic Planning in Albion.
  • Eric is part of the MLA Small and Rural Conference planning committee. We have had two meetings so far.
  • Eric attended both of LM monthly updates.
  • Irene and Eric attended the MMLC Board meeting at the Hoyt Branch of the Public Libraries of Saginaw.
  • Eric attended the MCDA DEI meeting, where we talked about Accessibility Audits.
  • Eric ended up attending the Public Libraries in Contentious Times virtually.
  • Eric attended the TLN Technology Forum on AI.

Respectfully submitted,
Eric Palmer
MMLC Director