Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

Director’s Report

February and March 2021

State Budget/State Aid:
--Randy Riley, State Librarian reported that it is looking good for the 2022 state budget. It appears the budget will remain the same as last year, which is better than the early predictions of being in the hole by billions.

Cooperative Services:
--Eric worked with the Tutor.com and the has helped three-member libraries with their roll out of this new service.
--MMLC worked with The Library Network on the Statewide Amazon Prime Business Account. Ten members have signed up for the Statewide Amazon Prime Business Accounts. Other members interested in joining should contact Eric soon.
--MMLC Overdrive group meeting was arranged after Anne Heidemann from Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Libraries had a meeting with Daiva from Overdrive. The group talked about magazines that the Tribal Libraries generously purchased for the group and Cost per Circ (CPC). It was decided that the group would pay for the CPC instead of taking advantage of Holly’s generosity.

Michigan Cooperative Directors Association:
Michigan Cooperative Directors Association (MCDA):
--MMLC staff and the director of Woodlands Library Cooperative met virtually to discuss holding a workshop on implementing the new Uniform Chart of Accounts. The Michigan Cooperative Directors’ Association will be hosting this workshop. The Workshop will be April 21 at 1pm called ‘Easy Breezy Chart of Accounts’. Registration is open now and the program will help libraries with implementing the new Uniform Chart of Accounts. Irene and Janet Cornell, Lakeland Library Cooperative’s Finance & HR Assistant will be presenting at this virtual workshop. There will be a strong emphasis on using QuickBooks.
--Woodlands Library Cooperative has distributed 220 Labor Law Posters throughout the state.
--Lakeland Library Cooperative is at the validation stage of their Bibliocommons Bibliocore implementation.
--White Pine Cooperative reported that Unionville has a new library that was funded with windmill revenues and another library was given an $80,000.00 donation for solar panels.

Library of Michigan (LM): Randy Riley, State Librarian
--There is a lot of funding options with the American Rescue Plan Act; it is anticipated the guidelines and restriction for the CARES act will remain in place
--Shannon White reminded us about encouraging libraries to submit receipts for the CARES ACT.
--Shannon recommended https://wwwshlb.org for more information about broadband options.

Michigan Library Association (MLA): Debbie Mikula, Executive Director of MLA
--Eric is serving on the MLA 2021 Annual Conference committee. The committee has made the decision to hold the event virtually for a second year. The theme of the conference will be ‘Connecting to the Future’ and will be held on October 14 and 15.
--Virtual Advocacy Day: Sign up and get involved! April 20th! https://www.milibraries.org/advocacy-day
--MLA Board elections are currently happening. They have a strong candidate for President Elect and 6 qualified candidates for 3 other positions.
--Unless your county or city issues a State of Emergency, then you’ll need to follow the new rules for Open Meetings Act.
--There has been a lot of call to action on legislation limiting number of election dates which could impact millage initiatives.
--Debbie Mikula mentioned MLA is partnering with the Michigan Citizen Redistricting Committee. Thirteen people were chosen to serve on the committee. They will be hosting 10 public meetings. They are asking people to draw (redistricting) maps. She is hopeful libraries will be involved in the process by helping distribute information.

MCLS by Scott Garrison, Executive Director of MCLS:
--MCLS is in partnership with the Wellbeing Lab and working with a Wellbeing Cohort in Midland, Michigan.
--MCLC Board authorized funds to invest in the Open Access initiative, in cooperation with Wiley, for new content that will be free to access.
--They are also hoping to announce the addition of a public library in the Project Reshare Initiative.

MMLC Administration:
--MMLC’s zoom hosted the Lapeer County Libraries (CALL) four times over the last two months. This gave Eric the opportunity to see how their libraries are doing during this difficult time.
--Eric and Irene attended Friends of Michigan Libraries (FOML) as their fiscal agent in their Executive Committee meetings, Budget and Finance Committee meetings as well as their Board Meetings. Eric also participated in FOML’s Program Planning Committee meetings.
--Eric has been attending several virtual meetings on the issue of Broadband expanding in Michigan. Meetings were hosted by Connecting Michigan Communities, School, Health, Libraries Broadband Coalition (www.SHLB.org ) and others. With the new stimulus package there is over 7 Billion dollars coming for Broadband in the US. Everyone is waiting for the FCC to determine the rules for the money, but a good portion might be going through the E-rate program. The FCC should be sending out the rules soon. Also, working its way through congress is President Biden’s proposed Infrastructure and Job Plans that includes 100 billion for Broadband.
--Eric met with Rochelle at Northwood University to help them with writing and updating job descriptions.
--The Advisory Council met virtually in February, where everyone had a chance to talk about what has going on at their libraries. I believe it helped to hear what other libraries are doing in the Cooperative, and to know we are all working through many of the same issues.
--Eric attended the Millage Law for Libraries put on by Library of Michigan with Clare Membiela.
--Eric has also attended several of the ALA meetings on Leveraging Partnerships, Proactive Advocacy and Sustainable Development.
--Eric attended the Spring Institute for Youth Service as a member of the Annual Conference committee to see what we can bring to the MLA annual conference in October.
--Irene continues to work with MMLC libraries and other libraries across the state to book programs. For this summer, most libraries are once again planning only virtual events. Long-time preferred performers Acting Up Theatre announced in March that they have decided to close their business effective immediately.
--Irene is working with Island River Digital’s Janet Newell to update the MMLC website, giving it a fresh, new look.

Respectfully submitted,
Eric Palmer
MMLC Director