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Closing the RC

Dear Friends and Colleagues;

The Michigan Resource Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence has been an important component of our statewide movement to end violence against women over the past 30 + years.  In its many incarnations, the ‘Resource Center” (as it has come to be known) has provided invaluable information to survivors, advocates, researchers and many others.  We have been quite fortunate in Michigan to be one of the few states to have such a program.  In fact, because of its reputation for providing high caliber assistance, our Resource Center was often looked to as a model for other states and organizations.  

As with all high quality programming, monitoring usage and performance has always been built into the Resource Center’s operation.  Over the past several years, data has indicated that usage of the Resource Center has significantly declined and MCEDSV and MDSVPTB have been monitoring this trend. In response, MCEDSV recently surveyed domestic and sexual violence member programs to get a deeper understanding of this trend – our thanks to all who took the time to respond and comment.  The responses indicated that there are  unique and important services offered by the Resource Center that are being used regularly, including  the new website, the fact sheets, the bibliographies, the article of the week.  Additionally, users are getting more familiar with and appreciating OverDrive (the new digital library).  However, there was also a consistent theme that with the profound changes in information technology, including listservs, the evolution of Google, and the ease of doing internet research, people are doing their own research.  Additionally, the availability of exceptional National Resource Centers, which are better equipped and staffed, have stepped into the role of providing technical assistance and research.

After careful, difficult deliberation, the decision has been made that the ~$159,000 allotted annually to the Resource Center is better spend where the need is greater.  This is certainly not a reflection of the Resource Center but a reflection of changing times and needs.

So, what lies ahead? The Resource Center will officially close its doors on October 31st, giving Resource Center and Coalition staff the months of November and December to retrieve outstanding collection items, and to tackle the immense job of sorting the massive inventory of thousands of books and resources. We are exploring the possibility of archiving some materials with the Michigan Historical Library. Some materials will be retained by MDSVPTB and MCEDSV will retain materials currently in the Resource Center collection which were purchased by other grants.

Managing inventory will be a huge undertaking, particularly any books or DVDs that are currently checked out to registered patrons. We ask for your help in retrieving outstanding items by returning materials in a timely manner. This is especially important as the State Of Michigan requires that we must implement an official process to account for items that are missing.

In looking ahead to these next few months, we want to honor the contributions of those who created these life changing resources and to those who dedicated their commitment and skills to being a good steward of these precious movement resources, including the incredible Erin Nausieda, Shannon Nobles, Melissa Limon, Amee Miller, Jenefer O’Dell, Gail Krieger, and Ellen Hayes.

In peace and hope for a world without domestic and sexual violence,

Mary Keefe, Executive Director, Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence and

Debi Cain, Executive Director, Michigan Domestic  and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board