Check out ExpressSOS.com at libraries
There is something new to check out at your favorite library: online, no-wait Secretary of State.
Its official name is ExpressSOS CONNECT – Libraries.
Thanks to a partnership between the Michigan Secretary of State’s office and local libraries, computer users at libraries can access Secretary of State services, including license tab and driver’s license or ID card renewals, submit address changes, obtain copies of vehicle title and/or registration, and even sign up to be an organ donor. All they have to do is visit ExpressSOS.com.
At the Sterling Heights Public Library on Wednesday, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson joined local and state library officials to announce the partnership. She stressed the convenience aspect of the service that enables residents to do their transactions online at libraries instead of traveling to Secretary of State branch offices and possibly waiting in line (especially in light of a 25 percent decrease in staff size in recent years).
The project should prove especially helpful to the approximately 25 percent of residents who don’t have home Internet service and/or printers, she said.
“Our libraries – 660 public and 88 non-public (academic) in the state – are the heart of their communities and there is no institution better at connecting people with the information they want and need,” Johnson said.
According to the Michigan Public Libraries Data Digest, Michigan residents made 56 million visits to their local libraries last year. Approximately 13 million used the available 11,229 public computers in Michigan libraries to do everything from search for a job to plan a vacation or shop. The Sterling Heights Public Library alone recorded more than 352,000 visitors during the last fiscal year.
In 2012, state residents also borrowed 1 million books, CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks through MeLCat.
Although library personnel will be there to offer some assistance for ExpressSOS.com, patrons also can get detailed help from customer service representatives at the Department of State Information Center using a toll-free telephone number, 888-767-6424 available between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
ExpressSOS.com is a free service, but those who use it at libraries do have to pay for whatever documents they print using the library equipment.
“We’re excited about this partnership,” said Larry Neal, Clinton-Macomb Public Library director and president-elect of the national Public Library Association. “It’s a well-appreciated service because of the Internet access and for those who don’t have a computer or printer at home.”
Johnson added, “Libraries are open at night and on weekends, so their users can access critical online services,” Johnson said. “We’re hoping as many people as possible consider going online at ExpressSOS.com instead of waiting in line.”