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Library Match: Peers without borders

Eight MCLS member libraries across Michigan and Indiana will embark on a journey of collaboration.

The Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) is pleased to announce “Library Match”, a new project designed to facilitate communication among our members. During the six-month pilot phase, which has been generously underwritten by The H.W. Wilson Foundation, Library Match will pair four public libraries in Indiana with four Michigan public libraries. The peers are of similar size and serve comparable communities. The project’s goal is to provide opportunities for library staff to develop relationships with librarians in the other state. They will mentor one another, expand professional connections, share staff training opportunities and expertise, conduct co-marketing activities and develop collaborative public programs. The participating libraries will be provided with the video-conferencing equipment needed to connect, communicate and collaborate with their peer library. They will be trained on the use of the equipment, required to conduct a minimum of three specific activities together, and encouraged to do more.

“Our 2014 community conversations revealed that librarians throughout Indiana and Michigan are eager to share their expertise with other librarians,” Randy Dykhuis, MCLS Executive Director commented. “This program gives them that opportunity, with the additional benefit of interacting with librarians in another state. By expanding the geographic scope of their conversations, we expect librarians in both states will learn new ways to serve their patrons.”

The Library Match “teams” are:

MCLS will report on the activities undertaken by the Library Match participants throughout the life of the project.