If you have questions, please contact Sue Davidsen at email@example.com.
Chat sessions about the new MeL Remix on Feb 20 between State Librarian Nancy Robertson, MeL Coordinator Sue Davidsen and the public:
[10:07] absolute michigan: hello!
[10:08] newmel: Hi! Have you had a chance to visit the new MeL?
[10:08] absolute michigan: yes I have
[10:08] absolute michigan: it looks great!
[10:08] newmel: Thanks. What do you like best about it?
[10:09] absolute michigan: It looks as if you have brought forward a lot of the things from the back and unified them
[10:11] newmel: Yes, we tried to make this more of a mashup - integrating teh various components of MeL so people don't have to choose up front.
[10:11] absolute michigan: there seems to be some problems getting to your server
[10:11] absolute michigan: are you aware of that?
[10:12] newmel: There are people working on the DNS cache problem right now. We had hoped for no technological glicthes, but there are always some. Some people are having no trouble at all. Try refreshing your page and clearing your cache.
[10:13] absolute michigan: I figured
[10:13] absolute michigan: it seems kind of intermittent
[10:13] absolute michigan: I am talking to the librarian at Leland School, Paula Pryor
[10:14] absolute michigan: She wonders if the IP connections to the databases will have to be changed
[10:14] newmel: No. In a few days it willa ll clear up.
[10:14] absolute michigan: (she also says that the site looks wonderful and thinks that her elementary students will really like it)
[10:16] newmel: Glad to hear it. Thanks for being patient!
[10:19] Meebo Message: absolute michigan has left your page
[10:21] Meebo Message: absolute michigan is online
[10:24] absolute michigan: Sarah L's email said folks could learn how MeL could be used for business. Does MeL have any thoughts about how businesses can use the library?
[10:27] newmel: We have a nice database called Gale General Business File ASAP as well as the New York Times and Grand Rapids Press. You can analyze company performance, industry trends, and the latest in management, economics and politics.
[10:41] Meebo Message: absolute michigan has left your page
[10:22] meeboguest418119: Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me how long did it take to put the eLibrary together, and what are some of the features or tools that make it a good resource for people?
[10:22] meeboguest418119: Thanks
[10:23] newmel: We did a usability study which we used to help design the new interface. It has taken about a year but MeL's been around for more than 10 years.
[10:24] GongwerNewsService: What are some of the biggest changes that were made to the the interface? Thanks
[10:26] newmel: There are thousands of full text articles, digitized historical resources, and the online catalog of over 120 libraries. Also there are resources for finding jobs, including practice tests. The resources we spend $5M on would cost nearly $200M if libraries had to purchase them individually. So we are a great bang for the Michigan buck!
[10:33] GongwerNewsService: So was the overall cost of doing these changes $5 million you just mentioned, or a different number? Thank you.
[10:36] newmel: No, that's our ongoing annual cost for the commercial databases. The new enhancements cost us about $3000.
[10:38] GongwerNewsService: Ok, thank you. What do you think are some of the biggest things the average Michigan resident can use MeL fo? Also, can I have the name of the person I've been chatting with for my story? Thanks so much for your time.
[10:39] newmel: Educational resources, consumer health information, job and career resources, small business resources and ACT test preparation. I'm Sue Davidsen, the Michigan eLibrary Coordinator.
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[10:02] meeboguest854374: What will the webpage look like?
[10:02] newmel: Check it out now at http://mel.org!
[10:27] meeboguest854374: Thanks--I will take some time to see all the changes!
[10:28] meeboguest854374: We just set up accounts in Secomd Life. At noon, where do we search for "Michigan Library Consortium"? Is it a choice from the top menu bar?
[10:30] newmel: Why don't you call MLC? 800-394-2420
[10:30] meeboguest854374: Thanks!
[10:12] meeboguest832922: Do other states offer such a service or is Michigan the only one that makes these resources available on such a wide basis? I think it's great that anyone in Michigan can gain access to such good information. It really helps get rid of that whole "have, have not" divide.
[10:14] newmel: Michigan is one of the few states that makes this available through all types of libraries. Other states have groups of academic libraries or just publics. We do them all!
[10:15] meeboguest832922: This would seem to have great applications for the classroom. Are you working with Dept. of Ed and local and/or regional districts to get MeL into the classroom?
[10:16] newmel: Yes! We are and we're making efforts to link all of MeL more directly to the state's curriculum guidelines.
[10:17] meeboguest832922: Great! Along that same vein, what about Michigan's growing population of unemployed and displaced workers? Can MeL assist them in seeking information about job trends, vocational school, training and the like?
[10:19] newmel: There's a pathfinder that has job posting sites and many other resources for people looking for work or needing to re-tool their careers. We also have LearningExpress where people can go to take exams for different types of jobs.
[10:20] meeboguest832922: OK, thank you! Great job!
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[09:55] newmel: Hi, do you have a question for the state librarian or the MeL coordinator?
[10:10] meeboguest776423: No question--just a few comments. The new page is very nice and easy to navigate so far. I especially like the simplicity of the main page as we have many users who only have dial-up access.
[10:11] meeboguest776423: Thanks for putting the Michigan Educators' Resource so prominently on your page.
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[09:57] newmel: Hi, do you have a question for the state librarian or the MeL coordinator?
[09:57] meeboguest389943: Can you what are the chief differences in MeL ReMix compared to the "old" MeL?
[09:58] newmel: We have an entirely new interface and have added Pathfinders and MeL Michigana. Pathfinders are subjects and MeL Michigana is a collection of digitized photos and other historic artifacts.
[10:00] meeboguest389943: Say I'm a small-business owner, looking for information on demographics and trends in my industry. Can MeL help me find easy-to-understand materials?
[10:02] newmel: Yes! You can check out Gale General Business File ASAP can give you some articles about those trends. We have demographic info on Michigan and other states and locales in the pathfinder for Population and Statistics.
[10:05] meeboguest389943: Do you see MEL as an enhancement to local libraries or a replacement for libraries? It seems like a hot-button item, the challenge to fund libraries, and I'm curious how you see MEL co-existing with libraries?
[10:06] newmel: Definitely as an enhancement. It's an added resource for libraries and for Michigan residents. Mel has co-existed with libraries for 14 years and we both plan to be around for a long time!
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[10:02] meeboguest204835: What type of magazines can I find on MeL?
[10:03] newmel: Anthing from popular titles like Time and Newsweek to highly academic titles. Check out the link in Featured Resources called Full text periodicals to see the entire list.
[10:09] meeboguest204835: Great I was even able to find my favorite, "Psychology Today".
[10:09] Meebo Message: meeboguest204835 has left your page
[10:03] Ann Holt: As a Coop Director I was delighted to get a preview of the new MeL on Friday! The new logo is wonderful and the whole site is so much easier to use.
[10:04] newmel: Thanks and we love you , too!
[10:09] Ann Holt: I just asked my Administrative Assistant to take a look at the new MeL and she was most impressed as well.
[10:09] newmel: Did she find it easy to use?
[10:10] Ann Holt: She found it easy to use and commented that before you had to hunt to find what you were looking for. (Don't end a sentence with a preposition.)
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[10:10] meeboguest422398: Our organization represents the interests of many of Michigan's older residents, most of whom have diverse hobbies and business pursuits. What can the new MeL offer this demographic?
[10:15] newmel: We have geneaology information as well as links to databases that have information on aging and business.
[10:16] meeboguest422398: Thank you. When I have the opportunity, I will point our members to the new MeL site.
[10:16] newmel: Thanks.
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[10:09] meeboguest689389: I just took a look at the MeL site and it looks really nice. I like the color scheme.
[10:09] meeboguest689389: Was this redesigned in-house or contracted out to a web design firm?
[10:09] newmel: Great! Anything else you like about it?
[10:10] newmel: We did this in-house.
[10:10] meeboguest689389: You should feel very proud.
[10:10] meeboguest689389: I have to admit, I saw the call for pictures of libraries and I assumed someone from my library (Clinton-Macomb Public Library) submitted images, but now I'm not sure...
[10:10] meeboguest689389: Can we still submit pictures?
[10:11] newmel: Yes, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
[10:11] newmel: What library are you with?
[10:11] meeboguest689389: Clinton-Macomb Public Library
[10:12] meeboguest689389: I like the redesign of MeLCat as well, it seems to be performing faster (but that might just be my perception).
[10:13] newmel: We're glad you like it. We hope your patrons like it too!
[10:14] meeboguest689389: Yes, we are going live with MeLCat in the next month (due to some data delays) and I am excited to teach them how to use MeLCat with the new interface...good timing!
[10:14] meeboguest689389: Happy chatting -- hope you get a lot of good feedback this morning.
[10:14] newmel: Terrific!
[10:15] meeboguest689389: One more question -- the section called MeL Michigana, what is the long-term goal of that section?
[10:16] meeboguest689389: Our cooperative, The Suburban Library Cooperative, has a digital archive of objects gathered from the Macomb County area...is that something that could be included in this area, or is it only LofM sponsored initiatives?
[10:18] newmel: We're looking at all types of potential digital collections to add to MeL, but there is a process being defined now. But we'd love to hear details about what you have. Please send Nancy an email.
[10:19] meeboguest689389: I'll ask the coordinator at SLC to contact Nancy. Thanks!
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[10:22] meeboguest662272: Under MeL Databases by Subject there is no longer a subject of students k-12. I see that there is a "kids area' in Featured resources. Would consider also having in the Subject Area, because educators were used to finding it here?
[10:29] newmel: Go to MeL Databases by subject and under education you can see all of the databases we have for that age group.
[10:31] meeboguest662272: Thank you. I only see ERIC and k-12 Professional
[10:31] newmel: You can also try going to MeL Kids.
[10:31] newmel: We'll be enhancing the MeL Kids pages over the next several months.
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