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Recent News


Notes from Executive Director Scott Garrison – Dec. 2023/Jan. 2024

As we turn the calendar page from 2023 to 2024, I’ll focus on some of the changes happening at MCLS. 

First, I thank the following MCLS Board of Directors members whose service ended in 2023: 

  • Annie Bélanger, Grand Valley State University (Michigan Academic Library Representative) 
  • Lisa Brakel, Airport Community Schools (Michigan School Library Representative) 
  • Lauren McMullan, Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts (Michigan Special Library Representative) 
  • Kate Pohjola Andrade, Woodlands Library Cooperative (Michigan At-Large Representative) 
  • Arlene Weismantel, Michigan State University (Michigan Research Library Representative) 
  • Julie Wood, Franciscan Health Indianapolis (Indiana Special Library Representative) 

Annie and Arlene especially have provided critical leadership over their years on the MCLS Board, and have helped guide Board discussion through some challenging times. I am grateful for their efforts, including Arlene’s leadership as Board President in 2023. 

Next, we welcome new faces to the 2024 MCLS Board of Directors (some of whom were appointed during 2023 to fill vacancies): 

  • Kendra Lake, North Central Michigan College (Michigan Academic Library Representative) 
  • Anni West LaPrise, Cornerstone Charter Schools (Michigan School Library Representative) 
  • Beth Martin, Corewell Health (Michigan Special Library Representative) 
  • Paulina Poplawska, Salem-South Lyon Public Library (Michigan At-Large Representative) 
  • Mike Hawthorne, Wayne State University (Michigan Research Library Representative) 
  • Brenna Tuite, Franciscan Health Lafayette (Indiana Special Library Representative) 

I look forward to the contributions, expertise, and leadership our new Board members will bring to the Board in the years to come.  

At their November retreat, the MCLS Board of Directors worked with a number of MCLS staff and our strategic planning consulting team from Spartina Consulting on an initial draft strategic planning framework, on which we began engagement with MCLS members at our recent Annual Meeting on Nov. 28. Please watch for communication in early 2024 about more opportunities to engage with us on MCLS’s strategy for the future; I hope you’ll participate.  I also shared at the Annual Meeting that we have postponed the MCLS 2023 Annual Report due to a delay in our FY2023 audit. We plan to publish the report in early 2024. 

Turning to the MCLS staff, we gained new members of our management team in 2023: Sean Cwiek (Information Technology [IT]); Megan Dudek (Shared Library Systems); and Janet LaCross (Accounting). Also in 2023, Susan Bannwart joined our staff as Group Purchasing Coordinator and Sarah Zawacki began work as MeL Support Specialist. Two staff have taken on new roles, with Alicea Doyle adding human resources support to her work, and Niki Horner assuming higher-level accounting responsibilities.  

At the end of January, we will celebrate the retirement of our colleague Mark Szidik, whose unique blend of IT and accounting expertise has benefitted MCLS in countless ways since Mark joined us 28 years ago in 1996. I can’t thank Mark enough for all he has done to support MCLS’s priorities around collaboration, innovation, and learning. He and his colleagues have helped scale up ideas that began at one library much more broadly, from the Michigan Digital Preservation Network (MDPN) to Text and Learn for Kindergarten (TALK) and other initiatives, and have built and run MCLS’s technology and administrative infrastructure through multiple iterations over decades. Mark, we’ll miss you, and wish you a long, healthy, and happy retirement! 

Whether it is delivering on our commitments toward improving statewide resource sharing and eResource access across Michigan, improving systems, processes, and engagement for our member libraries and the users they serve, continuing to build the relationships and tools that will deliver new approaches to digital preservation, fostering broad discussion about the freedom to read, or continuing to support the valued and valuable eResource licensing, training, consulting, and other work libraries do, we at MCLS continue to be here for you.  

My colleagues and I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and restful holiday season, and as always, I hope you’ll contact us if you have questions, ideas, or suggestions. Please reach me anytime at I hope to see you in 2024.