Michigan Dept of Education – Library of Michigan, Michigan eLibrary

Administered by the Library of Michigan in partnership with Michigan’s libraries of all types, the Michigan eLibrary (www.MeL.org) provides all Michigan residents with free access to online full-text articles, full-text books, digital images, and other valuable research information at any time via the Internet; and provides an easy-to-use interlibrary loan system to allow Michigan residents to borrow books and other library materials for free from participating Michigan libraries.

Courtland Consulting partnered with The Library of Michigan from 2012- 2018 after being selected to redesign and support their Michigan eLibrary (MeL.org) website in 2012.  We worked with them to provide:

  • stakeholder collaboration to define goals, requirements, and plan the MeL website redesign
  • redesign of the MeL website to a new look and feel and program a responsive web design
  • graphic design services for multiple banners and icon/logo recognition for main subject areas and sections of the website
  • platform upgrades for the content management system (CMS), web development, and coordinate web server support tasks with the Midwest Collaboration for Library Services (MCLS) IT Team
  • adherence to accessibility standards according to the State of Michigan’s Look and Feel requirements and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and perform design and usability testing in coordination with the Library staff and stakeholders

The website design complemented the MeL brand while enhancing it with custom graphics, colors and a new layout. The Courtland Team designed a creative, fun and clean concept that included the creation of several custom graphics to visually correlate all of Library’s database resources to their content. We designed distinct graphic web banners for all other subpages. In order to highlight MeL’s searchable subject gateways, eight new logos were created for the main MeL.org home page using soothing colors and icons for easy usability. Courtland trained the Library’s technical staff on how to maintain the content and continues to provide ongoing support.

Custom MeL Search Widget for Libraries

The Library of Michigan wanted the search function to be prominent in the design of the MeL.org website and for this new search functionality to be easily shared. To accomplish this need, Courtland programmed two dynamic search widgets for the MeL.org search and the MeLCat search. The search widgets add a search box to your website, allowing visitors to easily search MeL.org or MeLCat information. The widgets were designed to be easy-to-use for visitors and mobile friendly by using a responsive web design.

MeL Gateway Portal Sites

Custom responsive web designs were also created and programmed for four of MeL’s Gateway portal sites to brand and organize content by audience type: MeL Kids, MeL Teens, MeL Business and MeL Teachers.

MeL Business Portal

MeL Teachers Portal

MeL Kids Portal

MeL Teens Portal



Michigan eLibrary – Business Portal Videos

The Michigan eLibrary MeL Business Gateway website was redesigned as its own portal to better emphasize business resources for Michigan residents and businesses. In partnership with the Michigan Dept of Education – Library of Michigan, and libraries and businesses across Michigan, the Courtland Team produced four videos which encompass several interviews on how the MeL Business resources can help and support businesses.

Michigan eLibrary – Graphic Design for Marketing Materials

The Library of Michigan was in need of creative marketing templates to use for conference exhibiting. Courtland’s graphic artists produced marketing handouts, a booklet, designed PowerPoint presentations, postcards, table signs, table tent display, name tags, certificates, large/small room signs, bookmarks, branding/marketing material style guide, etc.

Courtland worked closely with the Library of Michigan team through the design process to apply consistent branding across all of the marketing materials and the marketing literature was designed for printing in-house on specific paper or card stock to help keep printing costs down for the Library and the Library’s team can perform easy edits in MS Word for revisions. Courtland’s design team also created a display board for a presentation on search engine optimization (SEO) for the MeL.org website.  In addition, Courtland designed several social media and web graphics for marketing on social media networks to advertise MeL.org.