NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE
JUNE 2001

Table of Contents

  1. School Evaluation System Debuts
  2. Library of Michigan, Government Printing Office Form Partnership
  3. Library of Michigan Provides Access to Michigan 1870 Census Records
  4. Presidential Portraits Head to Grand Rapids


(1) School Evaluation System Debuts

The first comprehensive, Internet-accessible look at Michigan school information -- from test scores and graduation rates to teacher salaries and district demographics -- is now available at http://www.ses.standardandpoors.com/.

The new service differs from the "school report cards" previously posted online by the Michigan Department of Education. All of the data have been verified by Standard and Poor's, and packaged to make school-to-school comparisons equitable and easy. The data will also show how each school's spending compares to performance.

The new site is intended not only to let parents and the public evaluate their schools, but give schools a clear look at where they shine and where they need work. They can compare their schools to similar schools to see how they stack up and where they can make improvements.

The six core areas measured include:

Source: Lansing State Journal, May 21, 2001, p.1A and 5A.

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(2) Library of Michigan, Government Printing Office Form Partnership

The Library of Michigan and the U.S. Government Printing Office have joined together to make information for and about the nation's 53 regional federal depository libraries available on the World Wide Web. The Library of Michigan, one of Michigan's two regional depository libraries, developed the "Regional Federal Depository Libraries," a series of pages found at http://libraryofmichigan.org/services/regional.html. The site offers a wide array of practical information at one convenient location that will be of interest to regional librarians and the selective depository librarians and the libraries they serve. The page has links to tools and information created by regional libraries, the Government Printing Office, and the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association. The Library of Michigan organized and will maintain the site.

The national system of regional depository libraries was established in 1962, when revisions to the United States Code mandated the creation of one or more depositories in each state to provide a full collection of federal publications and various support and liaison services. The Library of Michigan was designated a depository library in 1860 and a regional depository in 1964. In the intervening years, the regional libraries have become an integral part of the administration of the nation's premiere system that provides free and open access to federal government information. Regional libraries help develop and manage collections, provide reference services to collections of last resort, provide support for the inspection of depository libraries, and act as leaders among depository staff.

The Regional Federal Depository Libraries pages will be woven into the FDLP Desktop, GPO's central source for information about the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) at http://www.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/index.html. The Library of Michigan joins a growing number of institutions that have developed web-based services to enhance the use of FDLP administrative information in service partnerships, or that help to assure permanent public access to content of electronic government publications through informational partnerships. These new partnerships are built on the successful model of cooperation that has been in place in the FDLP for over 100 years. The Library of Michigan's Regional Depository Libraries website is the fourth service partnership established nationally.

Source: Ann Marie Sanders, Depository Librarian, Technical Services, Library of Michigan Library News, March 23, 2001.

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(3) Library of Michigan Provides Access to Michigan 1870 Census Records

Researchers all over the world may now access a new service that provides unprecedented access to Michigan 1870 Census records. With a few clicks of the mouse, anyone may search the census index, and then view and print any document in which the information was recorded. Using documents previously available only in print and Microform formats, Network and Information Systems (NIS) staff at the Library of Michigan used the latest advances in database and imaging technology to combine the resources into a dynamic World Wide Web-based application.

"NIS and Public Service staff used the Michigan 1870 Census Index to build the files of names as they created the application," said David Lamb, who heads up the software development team. "Along with the names we also entered information about townships, counties, census roll numbers, and census pages/rolls." Lamb said when the application debuted in 1999, it was well received by the library community. In June 2000 NIS began to digitize the images of the actual census documents from microfilm. This part of the project was completed in September 2000. After an initial indexing process, the new and improved 1870 Michigan Census made its public debut on October 1, 2000.

This unique resource is the first of its kind to be developed by a state library. It provides an index of 436,000 names that are cross referenced to 36,000 census documents. The service is free or charge for all users. It has been well received outside the library community. From October 2000 through January 2001, over 108,000 people used the application, downloading 299,000 census pages.

Lamb said that future additions to this project will include a digitized version of the Michigan Cemetery Atlas, and online access to the Michigan Cemetery Index. The 1870 Census Records are located at http://envoy.libofmich.lib.mi.us./1870 census.

Source: Carey L. Draeger, Public Information Officer, Library of Michigan, Access, April 2001, p. 10.

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(3) Presdential Portraits Head to Grand Rapids

A collection of presidential portraits from the Smithsonian Institution's prestigious National Portrait Gallery will be on display at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids from June 22 through September 23, 2001. The collection includes 61 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other renderings depicting the 42 presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton.

Source: Lansing State Journal, June 7, 2001, p.2B.

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