MeL is the Michigan eLibrary, an anywhere, anytime library for Michigan residents. MeL contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles, books, ebooks, online courses and evaluated Web sites. MeL can be used by any citizen of the state at no charge 24 hours/day.
MeL has grown from the combination of several statewide projects. The original projects were the Michigan Electronic Library, a collection of Internet resources selected by librarians (1992), and AccessMichigan, a project to provide more than 60 licensed commercial databases to Michigan's libraries (1997) free of charge. MeLCat, a statewide resource sharing project, was begun in 2005, and AccessMichigan was renamed MeL Databases.
FINANCIAL BENEFIT TO MICHIGAN LIBRARIES:
Through MeL Databases, the library community saves $72 million. According to MLA members, if libraries are forced to purchase these resources on their own, costs will skyrocket. The Portage District Library would have to spend over $407,000 to replace the databases they use. Western Michigan University's costs would increase from $234,900 to over $417,000 to replace some or all of the databases. Wayne State University's replacement costs would run $389,150. Washtenaw Community College estimates that replacement costs would run $242,000 and currently, 60% of their library's databases are offered through MeL. Finally, Oakland Community College estimates replacement costs at $321,500 with 48% of their offerings currently available through MeL.
MeL is a project of the Library of Michigan, an agency of the state government. The Library of Michigan contracts with MCLS and partners with a number of Michigan organizations and institutions to provide MeL services.
This service is funded in part by the State of Michigan through the Library of Michigan. Additional project support comes from the Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) via the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).