Librarians are always looking for ways to get the best information into the hands of their patrons, and your local library is no exception. Public, school and academic libraries all over the state are teaming up with the Library of Michigan to provide access to a wide range of databases and materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with MeL, the Michigan Electronic Library.
MeL is Michigan’s e-library for schools, libraries, and all state residents! MeL provides access to a wealth of online resources and valuable research information at any time, and it offers an easy-to-use interlibrary loan system (MeLCat) for participating libraries. Most of the local northern Michigan libraries participate in MeLCat. MeL is available in schools, libraries, and homes with no passwords needed. MeL is a project of the Library of Michigan, provided at no cost to users as a service to the state. Libraries continue to be a source of advice and guidance for information. MeL stands as a link between printed and electronic resources. Not simply another “search engine,” MeL is a vast collection of articles, books, videos, maps, illustrations, photographs, early literacy resources, test prep and more organized into easily navigated roadmaps for users.
One of the more popular databases in MeL is Auto Repair Source, the car and truck repair database. Auto Repair Source is full of authoritative car and truck repair information. It has year, make, and model combinations from 1974 to the present. Auto Repair Source includes videos, photos, wiring diagrams, diagnostics, and maintenance specifications. Test Preparation is also very popular on MeL.
Test preparation on MeL is available through Learning Express Library. This e-resource provides interactive learning centers such as skills building for grades 4-12, College Prep, Careers, GED, and more. All areas include interactive feedback.
MeL also includes a home improvement reference center with project ideas and step-by-step instructions on completing even some of the more complicated home improvement projects. There’s the hobby and craft reference center for crafty individuals, where you will find inspiration and instructions for various projects that include collecting, knitting and even cooking.
MeL’s Business Gateway offers everything from subscription resources available at no cost to Michigan residents and a gateway that strategically supports economic development efforts to the video series that targets how libraries and business-support organizations use MeL. Business owners and entrepreneurs can use powerful online tools, such as Demographics Now, Small Business Reference Center, Regional Business News, and Gale Legal Forms. All subscription content is available at no cost to all Michigan residents, with no log-ins required.
MeL also offers a wide range of authoritative health resources. This resource can aide Michigan residents in their quest for high quality health information from experts.
MeLCat, a component of the MeL system, is a shared catalog, interlibrary loan, and materials-delivery service offering library users simple and convenient web-based access to the collections of the 448 participating public, academic, and K-12 school libraries in Michigan with delivery of materials to their local library. Patrons can access MeLCat from home or their local public library.
MeL and MeLCat receive support from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the State of Michigan through the Library of Michigan. The State of Michigan also provides additional funding.
All of these MeL resources are accessible at your local library. If you are interested in learning more about any of these free MeL services, stop by your local Michigan library — we are here to help!
— Monica Peck is the director of Boyne District Library. The library is located at 201 E. Main St., Boyne City, MI 49712 and can be reached at 231-582-7861.
This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Library Lines: Find great resources like auto repair services