Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

Director’s Report

February and March 2024

State Budget/State Aid:

  • MLA, with their lobbyist, is trying to secure an additional 2 million dollars to the 2025 State Aid appropriation, however they are having limited success for their efforts. All MMLC libraries have received their first payment of State Aid. MMLC will be sending out the invoices to members for their first payment of 16(4) to the MMLC Trust account.

Cooperative Services:

  • Laura Warren-Gross from MCLS contacted me to set up training on Mel Resources. We are working with Bay County to schedule sessions on Mel Resources in the early part of May. It will be open to members of MMLC if they would like some extra training on Mel.
  • The program called EAP (Employee Assistant Program), which we started in the Cooperative a couple years ago, is ending in July. To participate in this program, we needed to have at least 175 employees and the most we had was 199. This year, some libraries have decided that their employees were not using the service as anticipated, and no longer wished to participate.

Michigan Cooperative Directors Association (MCDA): [Name Changing to Library Cooperatives of Michigan (LCM)]

  • The LCM Continuing Education committee is working on a series of workshops for libraries on marketing your library. We sent out a survey and will be picking the top 3-4 categories and finding someone to do the workshop available to all libraries.
  • The LCM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee is working on an Identity Wheel which can help libraries better understand people on your staff and in your community. It will be another tool to help libraries to improve their DEI.

Michigan Cooperative Directors Association (MCDA):

  • MMLC 2023-2024 Technology and Innovation Grants are now available to Public Libraries members. Public Library members are invited to fill out the application and submit it at their earliest convenience. If you have any questions, please email Irene and Eric.
  • Lewis & Knopf Auditors are currently finishing the Annual Audit for FY 2022-2023. The Annual Audit report will be presented to the MMLC Board of Trustees at the January 11th The meeting will be held at Community District Library – Corunna branch beginning at 5:30 p.m.
  • The next Advisory Council Meeting will be held on February 6, 2024, via zoom at 10 a.m.
  • Eric will be attending the MLA Think Space again this year. Future-Ready Libraries is the theme. Future-ready librarians peer beyond basic service to pursue innovation and iterative design. They honor the legacy of classic librarianship while embracing a contemporary vision. Fiscally responsible and infinitely responsive, future proof libraries do not rest on their hands or their laurels. They stake a claim on the shifting landscape of relevance and solve the right problems for their patrons. Topics covered will include:
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Deconstructing barriers to access
    • Building future focused spaces
    • Fostering resilient workplaces
    • Questioning the why behind our policies
    • Reimagining the library of the future

Michigan Cooperative Directors Association (MCDA):

  • The Cooperative Directors, MLA and Clare Membiela (LM Library Law Consultant) will be conducting a Trustee Training during the MLA Advocacy Hour on February 15, 2024, beginning at 6 p.m. It is hoped that this start time will allow more Board Members to attend. The session will be recorded as well.
  • Carol Dawe from Lakeland Library Cooperative reported that the Patmos Library passed a 3-year millage with a 63% approval rate.

Library of Michigan (LM): Randy Riley, State Librarian

  • At the last LM update, Clare spoke about the change in ADA requirement for websites. She has put some information on the LM notes page. Also, Kate at White Pine has sent out additional information which I have included as a separate attachment on this subject.
  • Also, as a reminder that Clare will be out until at least the end of May. If you have legal questions you need answered right away, it is suggested you contact your lawyer. If you have time, contact anyone at LM and they will try to help or leave the question for Clare until she comes back. Anne Seurynck and Mike Bloom from Foster Swift have offered some of their time to help answer libraries questions.

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

  • Voting for Candidates for the MLA Board of Directors for the upcoming year is currently open. Meet the candidates for the 2024 Election and plan to cast your vote April 1–22. Jenny Marr, Capital Area District Libraries Director is running for President. Anne Heidemann from Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is running for Member-at-large. Christopher Potts from Capital Area District Libraries is also on the ballot. Good luck to all who are running.
  • MLA is preparing to be a fully virtual office! Please update your records now with their new PO Box:

Michigan Library Association
PO Box 27337
Lansing, MI 48909

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

  • For more than 20 years, the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) has provided libraries access to eResource product discounts through the Group Purchasing Department. Because the landscape of eResources has evolved, we are renaming this department eLicensing and Collection Resources (eLCR) to better align with our work.
  • MCLS TALK subscriptions are priced using a simple model:

MCLS members: $50 per 10,000 service population
Non-members: $60 per 10,000 service population

TALK will alert a library when it is low on text messages. Libraries may purchase allotments of 1,500 messages for $20 each from MCLS. Contact us via our quote request form for discount pricing for larger library systems and groups.

MMLC Administration:

  • Eric attended SLAAIT AI for State Libraries: The State Libraries and AI Technologies Working Group is a joint project of 14 state libraries to understand the opportunities, challenges, and risks associated with AI and the library sector.
  • Irene and Eric attended each of the FOML Executive meetings, FOML Budget and Finance Committee meetings and FOML Board meetings.
  • Eric attended the LCM CE meeting where we are working on a survey on Marketing for libraries.
  • Eric zoomed in to listen to Emily Drabinski, ALA President, talking with libraries and UM students.
  • Eric participated in the MLA Trustee Training on Material Challenges.
  • Irene and Eric hosted the Advisory Council meeting with special speaker Nick Tanzi speaking on AI.
  • Eric attended both LCM meetings with March meeting including LM, MLA and MCLS.
  • Eric participated in the MLA Think Space Check-in.
  • Eric attended both UM/LM Cohort.
  • Irene attended virtually the Library of Michigan Trustees 102 Webinar.
  • Irene and Eric went to Mott Community College Library for FOML.
  • Irene and Eric attended the SDL Durand branch Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
  • Eric hosted the monthly CALL meetings via zoom.
  • Eric, with several other Cooperative Directors, met with Michelle Bradley from LM.
  • Eric attended the CRDL Board Meeting to show support in a Book Challenge.
  • Eric had his first meeting with Jenny Marr, Executive Director at CADL.
  • Eric attended the MLA Connect Advocacy Hour: ‘How to Really know your community; Minning Data without Reinventing the Wheel’ by Kate Pohjola Andrade Director at Woodland Library Cooperative.
  • Irene attended the 4 virtual Millage Webinars conducted by Library of Michigan.
  • Eric participated in the LCM Marketing and Website meeting.
  • Eric attended both LCM DEI meetings.
  • Eric participated in the MCLS Strategic Planning Listening Tour.

Special Events:
PLA Conference 2024 Columbus, OH

When I arrived on Tuesday afternoon, there were predictions of server storms and the evening program at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library had to be cancelled. I was able to make it to the Convention Center to register before the rain came pelting down.

  • They had a great speaker for opening the conference, Shola Richards who is the CEO and Founder of Go Together Global and author of the best-seller Making Work Work and Go Together. He is a powerful speaker and did a great job starting the conference.
  • Like going to any conference, they have so many different sessions it was hard to choose one. I finally landed on Your State Library: A Resource for All. Erin Kelsey, who works at the State Library of Ohio, Tami Masenhimer, Washington State Library and Tiffany Hayes South Carolina State Library, each spoke about the similarities between their states and their differences. I found it interesting how libraries are financed differently in every state.
  • Another session I attended was Challenging Times: Unite Against Book Bans and ALA‘s Policy Corp. It was another panel talking about Book banning and how ALA Policy Corp can and does help.
  • I also attended Fostering Inclusive Organization Culture: Effectively Design Your Staff Training Day hosted by the LA County Library, which is a very large organization. They talked about how they used virtual staff-focus training. I understand why it worked for them; I’m not sure it would work for our members.
  • I attended the session called Serving the Stonewall Generation: LGBTIQ+ Older Adults. The speaker talked about libraries serving LGBTIQ+ teens and young adults, but there is a lack of services for the elderly, even though they can be a large part of the community. The speaker reintroduced Guidlines for Library Services with 60+ Audiences, highlighting the LGBTIQ+ information.
  • The next session I attended was Path to Belonging: Creating EDISJ in Small, Rural Libraries, this was one of those sessions where the title was better than the presentation.
  • The last day I attended Pivoting to Meet New Censorship Tactics, this was conducted by ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. They brought us up to date with what is going on around the country. It was very interesting and informative.
  • My last session was Choose Your Own Adventure: Intellectual Freedom Edition, Sam Helmick was the presenter, and she was great. She had fun doing the presentation and people enjoyed her talk about navigating the challenges libraries are dealing with.
  • I also had fun in the evening, attending the MLA get together at a local bar. It was very nice to meet up with other Librarians throughout the state. I was able to catch up with Scott Duimstra who was the executive director at CADL.
  • On Thursday I attended the Author Lunch with Rainbow Rowell, who is a #1 NYT Bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and the Simon Snow Trilogy, to name a few. She was a very dramatic speaker with great stories.
  • I also attended the All-Conference Happy Hour sponsored by Overdrive.
  • I did go to the Exhibit Hall, which was very large and overwhelming. I walked around, saw exhibits by OCLC, Overdrive, ProQuest, publishers etc.

Before I left for PLA, I had asked everyone if there was specific information I should investigate. I didn’t get a very good response. I am considering changing the way MMLC handles PLA conference attendance. It might be better to offer a grant to send someone else, perhaps from a smaller library, to attend and have them present information to MMLC members. Since the next PLA isn’t until 2026, we have some time to work this out.

Respectfully submitted,
Eric Palmer
MMLC Director