Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

Director’s Report

October and November 2020

State Budget/State Aid:
Co-op Directors received our first email from Joe Hamlin at Library of Michigan (LM) indicating who has completed, started and not-started their State Aid reports. As of Mid-November, we had only 1 Library who had completed their State Aid, 12 Libraries who had at least looked at their State Aid and 8 who had not looked at their State Aid reports yet. All State Aid reports need to be completed no later than February 1, 2021. This date may seem far away, but it is not and we all know that COVID will still be here during this time. Eric would suggest setting sometime to work on it now to get it out of the way, then it’ll be one less thing to worry about. If you need any help, please reach out to Joe and Kathy at LM or Eric and he will see what he can do to help.

Cooperative Services:

  • Eric worked with Findaway to bring the cooperative’s members a discount, however there were not many members who were interested. He didn’t go any further with Findaway but did leave it open to relook at it in the future.
  • We did have a few members that were interested in Tutor.com. Eric has reached out to TLN to see if we could join through their cooperative and received their discount. It appears that it is a possibility, but Eric need to speak with Tutor.com to verify everything. Also, TLN is working with another vendor Brainfuse (similar to Tutor.com) on a statewide discount.
  • Chippewa River District Library asked Eric to do a Board training which he did in the beginning of October. They had a couple new members, but it ended up with their entire Board on zoom. They asked several questions and he was able to answer them.
  • Shiawassee District Library asked Eric to help them with their Director’s search. He worked directly with their Personnel Committee. We had 10 applicants and we interviewed 5 of them. We then narrowed it down to two candidates, who the entire Board will interview in December. As of November 30, Steve Flayer has retired from SDL.
  • MMLC Board met to readjust the MMLC budget to reflect the higher than anticipated State Aid money. With the new Budget, the Board approved a new and improved Innovation & Technology Grant as well as a new Grant for COVID. Public library members are eligible to apply for the Innovation & Technology Grant; all members of the cooperative are eligible to apply for the COVID grant.


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

  • Shannon White from LM suggested after being contacted by Michigan Libraries, that the Cooperative Directors should collect Library Service Status for their members. Most of the Cooperative Directors have started collecting this information, including MMLC. If anyone changes their services because of COVID please contact me with the changes.
  • We have been working on a letter for the Board Trustee as well as an updated flyer giving information for about the Cooperatives and our services. We are hoping to send them out to the Directors and the Library Board President soon.



Library of Michigan (LM):

MSU Extension has graciously expanded space availability in the four Wellness courses for Michigan Library staff. Registration and in-depth course descriptions are available now.

  • January 11, 2pm EST    Maintaining Your Health During Challenging Times
  • February 8, 2pm EST    RELAX: Recognizing Anger Signals
  • March 8, 2pm EST    Mindfulness: Begin with a Breath
  • April 12, 2pm EST    Mindfulness: Kind Mind

All courses are FREE for all libraries through LM and LSTA.

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

Are you a newly appointed library director in need of support and information? Join us for Surviving and Thriving as a Library Director! More information at https://www.milibraries.org/surviving-and-thriving-as-a-library-director Feb-April with Maxine Bleiwis.

From Debbie and Bob about extending the MI OMA from Jan. 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021

Representative Sheppard informed me that they intend to use House Bill 6207 (introduced by Representative Luke Meerman) as the vehicle to extend the ability of public bodies to continue to meet remotely through March 31, 2021 due to COVID 

MMLC Administration:

  • We had our first Zoom Advisory Council meeting where all members had an opportunity to talk about what they are doing in their library and if they had any questions.
  • Eric and Irene have attended FOML Executive Committee, Budget Committees and Board meetings.
  • MCDA and partners meet by zoom every other week to stay in touch and hear what everyone is doing.
  • Eric set up and attended the CALL meeting with the Lapeer County Libraries.
  • MLA worked with Kate Van Auken from White Pine Cooperative and Eric to set up a roundtable discussion with Congressman Dale Kildee who represents Region 5.
  • Eric participated in MLA Virtual 2-day Conference. It was his first virtual conference and it went very well. He attended several sessions that will help him in the future.
  • Library of Michigan’s Clare Membiela hosted three webinars: one on Bylaws and two on Trustee Training. Eric attended all of the webinars.
  • Eric was at the meeting where Overdrive demonstrated SORA to MMLC and Northland’s members.
  • Eric also attended the webinar put on by Foster & Swift on the new rules of Open Meeting Act, which changed this fall.
  • Eric attended a webinar on Broadband Technology Today and Beyond. This was the first of a new series set for next year.
  • Irene, Perry Valle (VP of MMLC board) and Eric attended a Zoom meeting with our Auditors to begin the process of the annual audit for MMLC.


Respectfully submitted,
Eric Palmer
MMLC Director