Year in Review
Jane Pope Geske Honored
The Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Lincoln's Bennett Martin Public Library has been renamed to honor Jane Pope Geske, Library Commission Director from 1969-1971 and 1973-1976. Geske was an early president of the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association, as well as a founding member of the Nebraska Center for the Book and of Friends of the University of Nebraska Libraries. She served as president of the Nebraska Library Association and Nebraska Arts Council.
The room was renamed the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association Annual Meeting this summer. Norman Geske presented a portrait of his wife to hang in the room on the third floor of the library. The room has more than 10,000 volumes and information on more than 3,000 Nebraska authors.
Emporia Graduation Held
Emporia State University School of Library and Information Management (ESU SLIM) held a graduation ceremony in August 1999 at the Peter Kiewit Lodge at Mahoney State Park for the SLIM-Nebraska II students. Becky Pasco, SLIM-Nebraska I graduate and SLIM doctoral student, provided the commencement address. Dr. John Schwenn, ESU Vice-President for Academic Affairs, conferred the Master of Library Science degree on the graduates. Dean Robert Grover led the ceremony, with other faculty members attending.
The students started the graduate program in January 1997 and completed forty-two semester hours of coursework. Twenty-two members of the graduating class were from Nebraska, five were from South Dakota, two from Iowa, and one recently moved to Minnesota. The students represented a variety of backgrounds and work experiences including academic, public, medical, corporate, and school (primary and secondary) library settings.
Library Finance Task Force Prepares Findings
Nine Nebraska library representatives worked to address public library finance issues and develop recommendations related to goals, needs, and strategies. Participants included Ann Stephens, Joan Birney, Ted Smith, Kathy Tooker, Ron Heezen, Judy Grandstaff, Richard Miller, Brenda Ealey, and Shirley Flack. Rod Wagner and Richard Miller convened the group in early 1999.
The Task Force met on several occasions to talk with experts about tax, foundations, political issues, and technology. The Task Force minutes and findings are available on the Library Commission home page at
Recommendations from the task force included:
Build on strengths.
Fine tune and expand library efforts at local and state levels.
Develop a promotional effort to raise awareness of the value of library services.
Although public libraries are a function of local government and primary funding must come from local governments, work for a significant increase in state support as well.
Develop knowledge and skills for conducting effective fund raising efforts for special projects and needs that are beyond the scope of primary funding sources.
Re-work the Libraries for the 21st Century funding initiative to provide specific details about how funding would be used and the expected results.
The NebrasKard reciprocal borrowing card has potential as part of a package of interlibrary cooperative efforts, although no consensus has been reached.
Library Commission Funds Systems
The Nebraska Library Commission awarded $1,313,722 in Biennium 1999-2001 to fund training and development assistance for Nebraska libraries through Nebraska's six Regional Library Systems, representing a 4.1% increase over funding for the last biennium. The Library Systems partner with the Library Commission to provide a mechanism to develop cooperative programs among libraries, seek ways to extend library services
to areas without service, work to foster long term library service development, provide general consulting to local libraries, and promote and enhance libraries and library services. The funding is used for staffing, office space, Interlibrary Loan, and Continuing Education. This continuing partnership between the Regional Library Systems and the Nebraska Library Commission has been in existence since 1985.