Michigan eLibrary now 20 years old 2012.09.12

Written by David Green.

October marks 20 years of no-cost access for Michigan residents to the online resources found at the Michigan eLibrary, nicknamed: MeL (www.mel.org).  

 Businesses, schools, and individuals have spent two decades relying on MeL to connect them with premium databases–millions of full-text articles, digital images, business and job and information, K-12 curricular resources, homework helpers and much more–saving them thousands of dollars in subscription fees for these specialty information sources. 

 To celebrate, the Library of Michigan is hosting a gala from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4 in Lansing.  The public is welcome to this event, which is being funded through private donations.

 “Providing expansive online materials to Michigan residents at no cost to them is a gateway to lifelong learning,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan. “MeL provides unparalleled value to Michiganders of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures. It is worth celebrating.”

 MeL has been a national pioneer in statewide online information service and its 20th anniversary is attracting library heavy-hitters such as presidential appointee Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Hildreth will be a featured speaker along with State Librarian Nancy Robertson, and former State Librarians George Needham and Christie Brandau.

 MeL’s success and availability recently have been reflected in Governor Rick Snyder’s support. The state’s Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget provides the Michigan Department of Education with a $1.75 million appropriation for the Library of Michigan’s budget for MeL, including an $800,000 increase earmarked for additional business, entrepreneurial and career resources.

 “Libraries have long served the role of community center in neighborhoods and colleges,” Snyder said. “They have filled the resource gap by providing career and business development information as well as contributing to the educational success of those they serve.  MeL resources continue to level the playing field and make these valuable resources available to every resident including business owners and entrepreneurs across the state.”

 The Michigan eLibrary is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is used and promoted by all Michigan libraries. Via the internet, state residents can access full-text articles and digitized archival records; borrow books; find jobs; help with starting or growing a business; take ACT practice exams; locate lesson plans for the classroom and much more.

 “It’s hard to believe the Michigan eLibrary got its start a full two decades ago,” Robertson said. “Even more amazing is how it has evolved and grown over that time to become the premier online information resource for Michigan’s libraries and residents from all walks of life.

“We are so pleased to be able to celebrate this milestone with Susan Hildreth from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in attendance. Without IMLS federal funding and the recently appropriated state funding for MeL, we and the state’s libraries of all types would not have this exciting occasion for celebration.”  

   History

In 1997 AccessMichigan first provided licensed commercial databases through Michigan libraries. In 1999, the Action Team for Advancement of Libraries Statewide (ATLAS) began developing a statewide patron initiated interloan system that eventually became MeLCat in 2005.

 In 2003-2004, the debut of Making of Modern Michigan, a statewide digitization effort to preserve Michigan history involving 41 libraries from across the state formed the basis for what became MeL Michigana.  Since then, this digital Michigan history portal in MeL links to even more digital collections around the state. 

 Michigan Online Resources for Educators (M.O.R.E.) was added in 2008.  M.O.R.E. provides curricular based resources that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the Michigan Content Expectations.

 The Michigan eLibrary is made possible by grant funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the State of Michigan through the Library of Michigan with additional funding provided by the State of Michigan.

 For more information on the Michigan eLibrary or the 20th Anniversary celebration, contact Carolyn Sparks, Executive Director of the Library of Michigan Foundation at [email protected], phone at 517-373-129, or event web page, http://www.michigan.gov/melanniversary

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016