Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nancy Fallon and jimmy Fallon welcome their first Baby Girl

Nancy, 46, co-owns Flower Films with pal player Barrymore. She and also the former Sabbatum Night Live comedian are married since Gregorian calendar month 2007.

Fallon and married woman city Fallon (nee Juvonen) welcome a daughter on Tues, July 23, at 6:21 a.m., the rep tells USA. The tiny bundle of joy is that the couple's first; she joins their retriever port of entry industrialist.

Jimmy Fallon incorporates a massive job previous him -- and we're not talking regarding The Tonight Show! The Late Night host, 38, is taking over first-time fatherhood following the birth of his female offspring, his rep confirms to USA Weekly.

Beginning next year, Fallon can take over for Jay Leno on NBC's The Tonight Show. His spot on Late Night are crammed by fellow SNL alum Seth.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Toyota Etios speed car race tour boot starts

Toyota India is jump to take its motorsports journey onward with the lately unveiled Toyota Etios and Toyota Etios Liva sports idea cars at the Auto Expo. You can say it is a part of gearing up for the upcoming Etios Motor Racing Cup in 2013 for which the Etios twins will be the active and the only participants in the event to be held during the second half of the year.

The two Toyota cars have already headed for the four-month racing tour just this Sunday across 14 cities starting with Chandigarh to proudly display their prowess in this field and in the process train the consumers and the motorsports fans in this field. This is just the beginning and will have the interested candidates hooked up on the motorsports charitable the necessary nudge and proper training to compete against the ace players in this division. The interested parties will be polished not only for a future in motorspots but can also compete next to the best in the future event where around five or six motorcar races will be held during the one make 2013 Etios Motorsports Racing Trophy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dedicating "The People's Library" at Alma!

On June 1st Alma Public Library dedicated their renovated and greatly expanded facility. I was honored to be part of the program which featured the board president and dedicated supporter, Ruth Lyon, and director, Bryan Dinwoody, who has aptly called for the library to be known as "The People's Library." The two of them are shown above with me just before the ceremony began.

Built right on the river at the east end of town, the building and the services the library provides are treasured by the community that made the expansion project a reality with their support. It's no surprise that hundreds of residents took a whole morning to attend the event. The centerpiece of the interior is the  spectacular fireplace and chimney. Above, with Bryan looking on, Ruth and Mayor Melvin Nyman cut the ribbon as a finale to the program. Deputy director and children's services manager, Tina Leonard, also spoke at the celebration, highlighting how much traffic the new library and its expanded services are experiencing. Refreshments following the program were served by the friends group in the spacious new community center. It was a lovely event, and a reminder that, even in the face of budgetary unknowns, support for library service in Michigan marches on. Congratulations to Bryan and his staff and the Alma community!

Monday, July 16, 2007

What Keeps Me Going Outside of Work!

Work as the state librarian is so rewarding and keeps me very busy, but, fortunately, I'm still able to carve out time to spend with my family! Family from Indiana, Georgia, and Ohio joined us in Michigan for the June 29th graduation of our younger son, Nick, from the graduate program of the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Congratulations, Nick, on your accomplishment, and congratulations to all of the 2007 graduates of the state of Michigan's educational programs!

My various travels around Michigan to make connections with library staff and supporters are are an important part of the outreach component of my work and that of other Library of Michigan staff. Fortunately, my childhood hometown Dayton, Ohio, still the hometown of my parents, John and Penny Haddick, is close enough for me to get there on June 12th for a special event there. At Aullwoood Audubon Center and Farm, the Center and Five Rivers MetroParks awarded the first Marie S. Aull Environmental Leadership Award. Five awards comprised this first event recognizing individuals who worked closely with the late Mrs. Aull to make positive education and environmental changes, particularly in the greater Dayton and Miami Valley area. I was so proud to see my parents (shown above) honored with one of the five awards. They and their friends and colleagues who received the other four awards are truly deserving of such recognition and leadership. Congratulations to all of them!

Finally, in an on-going way -- Jim and I keep occupied by our Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (toller, for short). Sydney is eight months old at the end of June, and while he is looking rather mature and well-trained above, the three of us are still a work in progress as far as settling into a calm and normal home life. But, we are getting there, and I think that Syd loves and enjoys the two as us as much as we do him. We'll all be off to a two week vacation in the lower north woods soon, for a much-needed getaway.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Keep the Ideas Coming, Please!

I continue to receive more blog comments in response to my post on a new vision for regional services to Michigan's libraries, so be sure to check on the comments there periodically to see what your colleagues have to say on the subject. Additionally, I am continually receiving emails, letters, phone calls, and taking in conversational comments in person. I am trying to respond to each missive received, but at this point in the process, I'm essentially in listening mode -- not defending my ideas as posted and not expressing my agreement or disagreement with the input and ideas I'm receiving. If you have not heard back from me with regard to a response you've provided, please know that I am logging your comments and appreciate your input. There is no such thing as too many ideas on such an important topic.

In addition to individual comments from directors, staff, trustees, and patrons, various interest groups of people are providing their combined input. The library cooperative directors are completing their recommendations. I've received a letter from a significant number of directors of large southeast Michigan public libraries. Members of a specific library cooperative have provided a letter summarizing their recent discussion and consensus of opinion. And, I had the opportunity to visit the Oakland County Public Libraries Trustees Association last week, where I could share some more of my thoughts, but more importantly, was able to hear their ideas first hand. On July 26th, after my annual vacation in the first half of July, I will be heading up to Marquette to meet with Upper Peninsula library directors and staff. (They will also be hosting Michigan Library Association Executive Director Gretchen Couraud later this week on June 29th.)

So, the conversation is definitely in full swing. The ideas are flowing. And, now that the FY07 budget resolution is behind us, hopefully the FY08 budget situation will be known in the near future. If you have not had the chance to let me know your ideas, concerns, hopes and needs for future regional and statewide support for library services, please consider sending me (and Gretchen, your cooperative director, and any others) your comments, so that a maximum of ideas can be on the table for consideration by all interested parties by the end of the summer.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Challenging Times

I know everyone is scrambling to deal with the current budget situation and talking about what the future might hold. I've received many well-thought-out comments and emails, letters and phone calls in response to my last blog post on new models for cooperatives, and I am glad that people are engaged in these discussions. Of course, it will take some time and the involvement of the Legislature and the Budget Office for future plans to get sorted out. In the meantime we are all working toward getting the hoped-for release of the FY07 state aid funds that were appropriated for this year. We've been working through internal channels here to spread the word about how libraries and their patrons are being immediately affected by the situation, and like you, we await the resolution of the current fiscal year crisis, after which we are more likely to find out more about the potential release of those funds.

While visiting my parents at their northern lower Michigan cottage a couple of weeks ago, we got away from it all with a walk through the woods. This image of the trillium in full bloom reminds me of one of the reasons Just like all of you, I am committed to this state, in good times and bad. While we are embroiled in the difficult challenges that face Michigan's libraries and cooperatives right now, hopefully a look around us at our two beautiful peninsulas, will energize you with the strength to meet those challenges. Hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Take on New Models

Why are we talking about this?

Later this year, the state begins the process for determining the fiscal year 2008/2009 budget. As we are all painfully aware, the budgets for the current fiscal year 2006/2007 and the upcoming fiscal year 2007/2008 are not yet completed. I was also a participant and observer of the process for the fiscal year 2004/2005 budget. Each time the process takes place, the Budget Office and the members of the Legislature have many questions about the uses of the appropriation for state aid to public libraries. This is understandable, of course, and the portion of the appropriation that gets paid directly to Michigan’s public libraries on a per capita basis is easily explained and justified. Addressing the questions about how the portions of the appropriation that are there to support library cooperatives is more problematic, and instead of becoming easier each year, the explanation becomes more difficult to articulate effectively as time passes.

The difficulty is due in part to the complexity and cumbersome nature of the distribution formula. But a large part of the challenge is the fact that the services that the thirteen library cooperatives provide to their member libraries and the way that they utilize (or do not utilize) some or all of the so-called swing aid funds vary from cooperative to cooperative. In addition to the disparity of services provided and uneven utilization of cooperative and swing aid funds, the decades-old model for how cooperatives are formed and established has evolved over time into an unwieldy, inequitable, geographically undefined system that does not inevitably result in enhanced public library service in the same degree for every resident of Michigan, even though state funds are appropriated and distributed for the purpose. Without any defined regional boundaries or identifiable and ensured core services, an unintended culture of haves and have-nots has arisen.

Just about a year ago, as I traveled around to speak with library directors at various cooperative member meetings, people began asking me to share my thoughts on what the future of library cooperatives might look like. My response was disturbing to some, but from my point of view, it was the only realistic and honest way to approach the question. I acknowledged that the system’s design is old and has been of falling out of date. In the past few decades, libraries have changed with the times and adjusted to the changing needs of their patrons and communities in so many significant ways, so it is inevitable that library cooperatives and the way they are established and function need to change as well.

The Library of Michigan is also part of the changing library scene. The Library of Michigan did not create the Michigan eLibrary catalog and resource sharing system (MeLCat), or require participation in statewide delivery as a pre-requisite to participation, in order to usurp two of the established roles that library cooperatives had played to date. We did it because it was time to do it and because it was the role of a state library to support the expansion of statewide services into the 21st century. Regardless of the intent, however, clearly library directors and staff began to see that those two services (resource sharing and delivery) are moving away from being defined by region or library cooperative, and they began to ask about the future.

I emphasized that change in the system is inevitable, as evidenced by the fact that change was already under way. I urged people to engage in developing and designing a new model, to be proactive about the change that is inevitable by having a hand in shaping it. Library cooperatives or regionally distributed service to public libraries can still play a significant role in the success of our public and other types of libraries, but only if new aspects of that role are discovered and defined. My hope was to ignite successful thinking and action to design a new model for regional services to libraries before the old model gradually but inevitably falls out of relevance and utility. Unfortunately, the fiscal crisis in the state has arrived before we were able to have something new and solid in place. But, that does not mean that we should abandon our efforts to define and create a new model that incorporates sustainable components for the statewide and regional enhancement of public library service for all of Michigan’s residents in a fashion that will convince the state Budget Office and the state Legislature to appropriate state funds to support it.

What are my ideas about how to design the new model?

First, I believe that there should be fewer regional centers. I do not know exactly how many or what the boundaries should be at this point, but about six seems like the right number to me. Part of the issue for budget and legislative queries relates to the fact that thirteen administrative bodies are a lot to fund. The large number of cooperatives results in a disproportionate amount of state funds being expended on administration, such as staffing, overhead, etc., rather than having the bulk of whatever funding is appropriated going to sustain or enhance the services that Michigan’s residents receive at their public libraries. Consolidation is in order, and consolidation is an activity that will more likely be met with a positive response from government than the perpetuation of so many disparate administrative units would be.

Second, I would like to see defined contiguous geographic boundaries for the six or so regional entities. This would mean that when libraries establish themselves, when districts form, when libraries dissolve, the state funding that is provided for a particular region would remain constant according to the population served within a prescribed boundary. Libraries would not have to shop around for admission to the library cooperative that is willing to take them on; regional entities would not be vying for the participation of the more successful, better supported libraries. I am not sure how the funding formula should be defined to ensure that each defined region gets enough of the state aid to public libraries dollars to be able to provide similar, equitable quality core services. There would need to be some kind of accommodation for distance or density. Ideally, the regionally distributed services would be evenly and adequately funded by the state aid dollars and successfully provided no matter which region a resident lives in or where a library is located.

Third, some core services should be identified so that the public libraries and their residents in any region know what to expect from the state funds that serve them regionally or statewide, and so that budget officials and legislators can know what will be left unaccomplished or un-provided if they do not provide or sustain funding for it! I do not think that the core services should be itemized in legislation, but rather they should be generally mandated in the legislation and a mechanism should be included for defining them and reviewing their relevance and utility on a regular periodic basis.

My thought would be that some of them might be of statewide expanse – for example, aside from the portion of state aid funds that are distributed directly to libraries to support their operation, a portion of the state aid to public libraries might be used to cover the annual cost of statewide delivery for all public libraries in the state. Since participation in statewide delivery is required in order to participate in the statewide resource sharing system, MeLCat, it seems logical for the state to cover directly the costs of participation in the delivery service. Another possibility for coverage of a statewide expense could be a provision for libraries to utilize some of these identified funds in ways that make it financially and/or otherwise possible for them to participate in MeLCat, beyond the delivery costs. (These dollars might be used as the library sees fit, as long as the result is an enhanced ability to participate in the statewide resource sharing system. One library might use these funds to pay a portion of their costs for participating in a shared integrated library system through which they are able to participate in MeLCat. Another might use the funds to pay the costs of the additional staff they need due to increased circulation of materials being borrowed or lent through their participation in MeLCat.)

[NOTE: I would not expect that a shared ILS be specifically identified as a core regional service for the use of state aid funds for several reasons. First, not every regional center has or operates a shared system. Second, the concept of a shared system need not be regionally defined. It could be defined by library type, size, or common need, beyond regional location. But offering some opportunity to fund engagement in a shared system, no matter how it is formed, as a way to participate in a statewide service like MeLCat, as I described in the paragraph above, might be workable.]

A second tier of core services would logically be more regionally focused, because they would require proximity for provision of service. An example of this type of regional core service might be that each regional center provides technology trouble-shooting, training, and support. Another might be that each regional center serves as a central storage facility and coordinates and maintains a comprehensive shared set of disaster recovery supplies and/or contracts in the event of a collections disaster in any one or more libraries falling within that region’s boundaries. Another might be provision of regionally located continuing education opportunities, much as cooperatives engage in currently.

How could accountability for quality and quantity of services be ensured in such a model?

Accountability is an issue in the current system, partially because of the variability and disparate nature of the services provided with the state dollars used to fund the cooperatives.

If there are defined boundaries and defined services to be accomplished with the designated state dollars, a logical option would be to have the managers of the regional centers be employees of the Library of Michigan. In addition to the obvious opportunity to monitor even-handed application of funds and provision of services, this model would afford constant communication between the regions and the state library. Additionally, this model is likely to be looked upon favorably by those holding the purse strings of state dollars, since a state agency would be managing the funds and coordinating their expenditure on defined services.
Given the complexity and uneven expenditure of the swing aid provided in the current funding and regional establishment model, my preference would be to eliminate the concept of swing aid altogether. Beyond the portion of state aid that goes directly to libraries, a second defined portion of the state aid to public libraries appropriation could be dedicated to two branches of funds that would go directly to statewide and regional support services, respectively.

[NOTE: Even if regional centers result in defined core services and boundaries, this would not preclude local decision or obstruct the opportunity to engage in other un-imposed partnerships either within or outside of the regional boundaries. Collaboration of any kind is always to be encouraged and freely engaged in – it is just the state funded services that would fall under these defined boundaries and be earmarked specifically for these core services, since these alone would be what the regional centers would need to be held accountable for, given that they would be funded by state dollars.]

What should we expect to happen now?

First, the current fiscal crisis looms obviously and ominously. The sustainability of cooperatives as they are now established is unfortunately in question if state aid to public libraries is not forthcoming. I certainly hope that the current payments will be released soon and that state aid to public libraries is sufficient for the upcoming fiscal year staring on October 1st.

But in any case, several cooperatives are currently without directors and some are either dissolving or reducing their operations to minimal levels. The time is ripe for action and for consolidation. The current budget situation demands that we show we are working towards more efficiency, more accountability, and more clearly identifiable uses of limited state funds.

The thoughts I have outlined at length above are my considered opinion at this point. I have been asking and continue to ask for input, not just from the cooperative directors, but from you as well. The more ideas we have to work with, the better! The Michigan Library Association will, I am sure, be involved in any discussion related to revision or creation of legislation, as will the state Budget Office, the Legislature, and the administrative, gubernatorial and legislative liaisons here at the Department of History, Arts and Libraries.

Just because I, or anyone else, may have some ideas about how to design a new model for state funded regionally provided public library services, does not mean that model will automatically become reality. It has to be built in a way that the funding sources are willing to embrace the concept; it will have to have a timeline for public comment; it will undergo countless revisions and involve compromise and collaboration. Any legislation would have to have timelines for compliance, i.e., a transition period, and would need to account for grace periods or have workable deadlines for changes in administrative or budgetary structure. This is not something that can or will happen overnight.

I take it as my responsibility as your state librarian to be thinking ahead, to be formulating and generating ideas about the future, and to be concerned about and active in trying to move us forward in a fashion that will be sustainable over the long haul, be deemed acceptable for funding by state sources, and that will be good for Michigan’s public libraries well into the future. Of course, having laid this out, I encourage constructive discussion from all segments of the library community so that we can develop a plan to go forward together as a community to the public and the Legislature.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Two Library of Michigan Retirements

On Wednesday, April 25th, my administrative assistant, Jenny Sipe, celebrated her retirement after decades of work at the Library of Michigan. We celebrated with her, but I know I and many others will miss having her around, for her personality but also for all she did for us. Best of luck and enjoy your retirement, Jenny!

And on Monday, April 30th, we joined Rich Lucas and his family and long-time friends to honor him in his retirement, also after many decades with the library. Rich talked about the various duties and experiences he had over the years. The director of the Law Library, Sue Adamczak, and Rich's colleague and friend Dick Hathaway thanked Rich for his many contributions. Some of his old friends added a few anecdotes as well. It was a nice send off for Rich -- we knew he'd be leaving us sometime, but the encyclopedia of state government knowledge he takes with him will be sorely missed. Enjoy your retirement, Rich!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Upper Peninsula Town Meetings

Our final foray in the town meetings saga took Karren, Deb and me to the Upper Peninsula. Our first stop was the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. It was a beautiful drive up on Monday, April 16th.
On Tuesday morning, bright and early, we arrived at the library where Jim Curtis gave us the grand tour. It's a spectacular view from anywhere on the north or west side of the building, as the library is situated right on the waterway -- and I mean right on it!

The meeting was very well attended, and we were so glad that we made the trek up there to be able to meet with so many folks who can, understandably, not get down to the Lansing area very often . Or, if they do make it down, it's with much more time, effort, and expense than most, given the huge distance between here and there.

The lunch Jim and his staff arranged included local U.P. fare, notably delicious pasties, and we finished it off with tastes of several kinds of fudge. Yum!
On the drive later that afternoon, Karren and I were glad to stop at the edge of Norway, to get a picture of Deb with the sign and the boat. She thinks she's Norwegian, and she looks the part here. We will certainly miss having her around, both because of her dedication and good Continuing Education and other library work, and also because of her lovable nature and fun sense of humor.

We arrived at Escanaba, not quite in the moonlight, but almost. On Wednesday morning we found our way to the Bay de Noc Community College grounds. Director Christian Holmes was unable to join us, but his staff took great care of us and the other participants. The meeting room was not in the library per se, but I got a peak at the library during the lunch break, and I loved the way it is totally surrounded buy a circumference of windows. The library and the college itself were bustling with student activity. Lunch was, as usual, a treat.

The group discussion included quite a bit of sharing related to the issues faced by the school/public libraries and about the funding and umbrella bureaucracy challenges faced by the public libraries as well. The participants had traveled from various directions, from Menominee and Munising, and from nearby locales of course.

We traveled our way over to St. Ignace along Route 2 and enjoyed the view as we drove. The trip was shorter than some of the other afternoon ventures we'd had, so it was nice to take a bit of a walking tour and do a bit of window shopping at the bookstore and a couple of antique places in St. Ignace before taking time at the end of the day for a good dinner. The ferries were all lined up and ready for action for the impending tourist season.

I've been to the St. Ignace Public Library a few times, but I still love to see how it's nestled on a tree covered hill on the curve of the road just above town. Director Cindy Patten was, as always, a great host, and we finished off our tour with our last fabulous lunch, before the post-town-meeting-tour diet! The discussion of this, the last of the 13 meetings, yielded great discussion and a couple of really innovative ideas for how to get MeL more visibility and how to enable local libraries to mirror the look of MeL and tie their resources into the offerings found there.

Thirteen meetings were a lot to accomplish -- a lot of planning, traveling, and interaction. But I'm truly glad that I was able to do it and to get to talk to over 400 librarians from all over the state of Michigan, from all types of libraries, and with all sorts of concerns, successes, and new ideas to share. Thanks, everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Such a Notable Night!

The evening of April 14th was truly enjoyable for all who attended the Night for Notables, celebrating the 2007 Michigan Notable Books authors.

The evening began at the Governor's residence where Governor Granholm and the First Gentleman are establishing a residence library to be used and enjoyed by their family and guests and by the family and guests of future Michigan governors. It's a great idea, and we were so pleased to have a part in celebrating its inception and to inaugurate it by facilitating the addition of Michigan Notable Books to the residence's library shelves. Many thanks to Governor Granholm and Mr. Mulhern for inviting us into their home to celebrate the program and the authors with us!

After the reception, those in attendance there moved to the Michigan Library and Historical Center for the evening's keynote event. The Rotunda and the Forum were packed with a standing-room only crowd that got to meet the authors and get books signed while snacking on wine and desserts.

Then we were all treated to a fascinating panel discussion featuring moderator Bill Rustem, biographer Dave Dempsey, and former Governor William Milliken. Governor Milliken's open, honest, and colorful telling of
some stories from his administration and his frank answers to the many interesting questions the audience had for him was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

The authors deserved the recognition the evening provided and a wonderful time was had by all. Thanks to all of the sponsors for the evening, especially our hosts, the Library of Michigan Foundation.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Early April Sydney Sighting!

Everyone asks me, wherever I travel, how puppy Sydney is doing. As you can see from this early April photo, he's doing great and is as lovable as ever!