NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE
MARCH 2002

Table of Contents

  1. e-Michigan Office Moves to Department of Information Technology
  2. Michigan Inmate and Parolee Photos
  3. Michigan Offers Extensive School Data on the Internet
  4. Michigan Inmate and Parolee Photos
  5. Library Laws Handbook Updated


(1) e-Michigan Office Moves to Department of Information Technology

Governor John Engler filed Executive Order 2002-2 on February 22, 2002, creating the e-Michigan Office as a Cabinet-level Type I agency within the Department of Information Technology. Originally created as a temporary, two-year agency within the Governorís Office, e-Michigan has led all state agencies in the coordinated development of new online government services and of http://www.Michigan.gov/. This award-winning Web portal serves as the single gateway to all of Michiganís online government services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Since the launch of Michigan.gov in July 2001, e-Michiganís Agency Migration team has been assisting agency business and technical staff in migrating their websites to the common Michigan.gov content management architecture. This migration, including a commitment to customer-focused design and navigation, will facilitate the application of a common look-and-feel to all websites and improves the speed and efficiency with which the State can update and maintain websites.

The Agency Migration team includes members of the e-Michigan Center of Excellence (COE), agency representatives, and Deloitte Consulting team leaders. The team is on track to migrate all executive agency websites to the portal by May 2002. As part of this process, the Agency Migration team helps agencies to redesign their current websites, with a focus on developing customer-centric navigation and a new look and feel that is consistent with the portal. The Agency Migration team also assists agencies with automating and streamlining applications that currently require manual, paper-based efforts.

The following agency sites are live within Vignette, the content management tool being used to develop Michigan.gov and agency websites:

All other agency sites are in the process of being developed. Planned for March 2002 launches are Acquisition Services, Aging/Long-Term Care, Agriculture, Civil Rights, Community Health, Community Service Commission, Education, Environmental Quality, Family Independence Agency, MI News Wire, Regulatory Reform, State Employer, and State Police. The remainder of sites will be launched by May 2002.

So stay tuned, and keep checking those web links!


(2) HAL Takes Over Library of Michigan

The Library of Michigan has been taken over by HAL.

No, not the crazed computer from 2001: A Space Oddesey, but the new Department of History, Arts, and Libraries at http://www.michigan.gov/hal.

Librarians desiring direct access can still go to http://libraryofmichigan.org/.


(3) Michigan Offers Extensive School Data on the Internet

For years, Michigan taxpayers have spent billions of dollars on public schools without an objective means to measure their performance. It has been easier to get good information about the performance of cars and television sets than about the performance of our schools.

However, a system to improve the accessibility of educational performance data has been in the works for several years. The system is called the Michigan Education Information System, or the MEIS. About a year ago, a formal effort was made to focus on further developing the MEIS. The result was the creation of the Center for Educational Performance and Information.

The center's mission is to be the single source of useful, comprehensive, and accurate information about the performance of Michigan's public schools and students. Using data from the MEIS, we will be able to produce reports to show whether our schools are meeting academic, financial, and operational performance expectations. Most important, the reports will augment local and state education policy decisions aimed at improving the performance of schools, students, and teachers.

The MEIS is a data warehouse that stores millions of records and pieces of information. It is made up of five core data sets: student information, financial information, test results, school personnel, and building and safety statistics. However, access to any private information is restricted, and the center will never publicly release the name or other identifying information about an individual student.

A report and analysis of school district performance already availaable on the Web and that relies on data from the center is Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services (SES).

The SES data are relatively easy to understand and even easier to access on the Internet. From the center's site (http://www.michigan.gov/cepi), anyone can link to the SES site and view more than 1,5000 pieces of information about each Michigan school district and charter school.

Thousands of parents, administrators, board of education members, teachers, researchers, taxpayers, lawmakers, and policy-makers already have used the SES Observations to access student and school performance. New data from the 2000 school year will be posted to the SES before the end of the year, enhancing the information already available.

The SES is an independent, objective analysis of Michigan's public schools' performance, and the MEIS will be Michigan's most comprehensive repository of performance data about students and schools.

We will continue working with our advisory groups of school superintendents, educators, business officers, and other education experts to help guide the SES and MEIS data projects. As policy makers, lawmakers and school officials understand more about what affects student and school performance, the center's information tools will provide the much needed clues and direction to sound, substantive solutions.

Madhu Anderson, Director, Center for Eductional Performance and Information, via Lansing State Journal, December 20, 2001, p.13A.


(4) Michigan Inmate and Parolee Photos

Recent mugshots of about 37,000 Michigan inmates and parolees are now available on the Michigan Department of Corrections web site (http://www.michigan.gov/corrections). The web site also includes information about the inmates' crimes, sentences, and release dates.

To access the photographs, go the Michigan Department of Corrections web page, click on the offender search button, then type in the inmate's name. A single line will appear with basic information about each inmate with that name. Click on the inmate number on the far left of the line to retrieve the mugshot.

Source: Lansing State Journal, December 20, 2001, p. 2B; Detroit Free Press, December 19, 2001, p.3B.


(5) Library Laws Handbook Updated

Since its inception in 1988, Library of Michigan's Library Laws Handbook has been a handy and extremely valuable reference tool for the Michigan library community. The staff at the Library of Michigan selects appropriate Michigan laws for this compilation. The handbook includes state constitutional provisions and public acts that reference the establishment, the governance and the funding of Michigan's public libraries. The handbook is a non-exhaustive guide for library trustees, directors and library staff. From penal fines to state aid, from municipal financing to library cooperatives, from privacy laws to election laws, it is a compilation of the state laws related to libraries in a uniform, easy to find format.

As in 2000, the latest version of the Library Laws Handbook is published in a loose-leaf format. This format was chosen because it affords its users flexibility in updating. As various laws get amended or interpretations are issued, users may easily supplement the edition themselves with copies of public acts, attorney general opinions, or other helpful information. The Michigan legislature website (michiganlegislature.org) brings the latest amendments to every library within hours of legislative activity. This website also provides access to the Michigan Compiled Laws database. Most opinions of the Michigan Attorney General are available on the department's website (http://www.ag.state.mi.us).

Despite electronic advances, it remains important to periodically publish in hardcopy a new edition of the handbook. This ensures that users have, even where lacking a continuous access to the Internet, this important resource at their fingertips. All the public acts in the latest edition of the handbook are current through the end of the 2001 Michigan legislative session. A copy of the 2001-2002 edition of the Library Laws Handbook is mailed to each public library in Michigan. As a public service, additional copies of the edition are available from the Library of Michigan free of charge.

There are a number of important amendments in the 2001-2002 edition of the handbook. Here are some of the most noteworthy:

  • The Library of Michigan Act, Public Act 540 of 1982 has been extensively amended. On October 1, 2001, the Library of Michigan became a member of Michigan's executive branch of government and a part of the newly created Department of History, Arts and Libraries. With this change, many of the functions previously performed by the Michigan Legislative Council have been transferred to the Department of History, Arts and Libraries.

  • The Michigan Municipal Finance Act, Public Act 202 of 1943 has been repealed. Effective March 1, 2002, the Revised Municipal Finance Act, Public Act 34 of 2001 will take effect. One of the highlights of this new act is the requirement that many municipalities, including district libraries, file an annual audit report with the Michigan Department of Treasury within a proscribed time limit. Please check and make sure that your library meets the requirements of the revised laws.

  • The Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, Public Act 220 of 1976 now prohibits all employers including libraries, with very few strict exceptions, from requiring an individual to submit to a genetic test or to provide genetic information as a condition of employment or promotion.

  • The Library Privacy Act, Public Act 455 of 1982 was amended once again in late 2000. Section 6 of the act specifically deals with Internet access in libraries and minors. Libraries that provide Internet access and have more than one terminal must provide at least one filtered station for unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 and at least one unfiltered station for accompanied minors or adults. The alternative requires a "system or method" to protect minors from viewing obscene or sexually explicit matter that is harmful to them.

    The Library of Michigan remains committed to supplying the latest legislative information to Michigan's legal community. If the Library Laws Handbook does not provide the necessary information, please check previous issues of Access or contact the Library Law Specialist at the Library of Michigan for additional information at dcosanici@michigan.gov or (517) 373-1299. Source: Dragomir Cosanici, Library Law Specialist, Library of Michigan, March 2002.

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