STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
Seward Public Library, Seward, Nebraska
March 9, 2007
State Advisory Council members present:
Patty Birch, Janice Boyer, Nancy Cantin, Kathy Ellerton, Steve Fosselman, Joan
Giesecke, Cindy Gitt, Patricia Gross, Gretchen Healy, Theresa Jehlik, Diana
Johnson, Scott Kinney, Marty Magee, Becky Pasco, Kristen Rogge, and MeMe
Smith. Guests: Becky Baker, Brenda Ealey, and Misty Prochaska.
Commissioners: Jean Ahrens, John Dale,
Patrick Gross, and Mary Nelson. Commission Staff: Shannon Behrhorst, Maria
Medrano-Nehls, Richard Miller, Michael Sauers, and Rod Wagner.
Welcome and Introductions
Chair Becky Pasco opened the meeting with a
welcome to all. John Dale, Library Commission Chair, commented on the death of
William (Bill) Beck. Mr. Beck, a long time Nebraska library media specialist,
was a past State Advisory Council on Libraries member and had extensive
involvement in regional library system activities.
Becky Pasco reviewed the Council's purposes
so that members could address and meet these responsibilities. Becky stated
her concern that the Commission might not be getting what it needs from the
Council in terms of issues in which they could provide support. Becky said she
would like to structure the roundtable discussion so that members will report
on one thing going well in that member's library, community or organization
and one issue or challenge to address. This approach will aid the Commission
in addressing library development issues and needs.
Approval of the Agenda:
A motion was
made by Jan Boyer and seconded by Joan Giesecke to approve the agenda. Motion
Approval of Minutes (November 3,
A motion was made by Jan Boyer and seconded by Joan Giesecke to approve
the minutes. Motion approved.
Rod Wagner welcomed new
members Scott Kinney, Director, Chadron Public Library; Steve Fosselman,
Director, Grand Island Public Library; Kathy Ellerton, Administrator,
Republican Valley Library System, and Frank Zimmerman, of Auburn who was
unable to attend. Introductions were made around the table.
Nebraska Library Commission Updates
2007-2009 State Biennium Budget Status - Rod
Wagner reported that the Legislature's Appropriations Committee's preliminary
budget recommendations were recently issued. The Appropriations Committee's
preliminary recommendation for the Library Commission reduces state funds for
personnel expenses by 5%. This is based on the Library Commission's 5% budget
modification that was included in the Commission's biennium budget request.
State agencies are required to include in budget request documents a
"modification" to identify what the agency would do if state funds are reduced
by 5%. This is a budget requirement for both the operations and aid programs.
The preliminary recommendations would result in an approximate $138,000 state
funds reduction for the Commission.
The reduction in funds would be from the
Commission's operating budget. Since 70% of the operations budget is
personnel, the budget cut would force a reduction in staff. The operating
budget also includes office space, equipment, postage, communications, travel,
library publications and other expenses. There was no budget cut in state aid
and the committee did not include the Commission's request for $44,000 to be
used for flash memory cartridges for the new digital talking book machines to
be introduced in 2008. The Commission's priorities are to maintain current
staff levels, continue subscriptions for online databases (NebraskAccess), and
purchase flash memory cartridges for the Talking Book and Braille Service
digital talking book conversion.
Rod Wagner stated that the Library
Commission's budget hearing will be held on March 13. Rod has met with some of
the Appropriations Committee members and has appointments with some others
before the hearing. Following agency budget hearings, the Appropriations
Committee will make budget recommendation decisions and present them to the
Legislature around the beginning of May. It will be toward the end of May
before the Legislature passes appropriation bills and sends them to the
LSTA Five-Year Evaluation Report - Rod
Wagner reported that the Commission's LSTA Five-Year Evaluation Report is
progressing toward completion. A lot of program information has been collected
over the last four years for use in preparing the report. The report needs to
be sent to the Institute of Museum and Library Services by the end of March.
Library Services and Technology Act - Rod
Wagner reported that Congress did not finish many of the appropriation bills
before adjournment last December. As a result, appropriations for many federal
programs, including LSTA, are based on a Congressional continuing resolution
which provides funding at last fiscal year's appropriations level. This was
disappointing because there was a good chance that LSTA funds would increase
to the level needed to fully fund the base allotments for individual states.
Nebraska LSTA Long Range Plan Discussion
Council members were assigned to discussion
groups. Group discussion leaders were assigned and questions were
predetermined to guide the discussion. The following are some of the key
points mentioned during the discussion:
are connected to Nebraska communities and values
with economic development
library hours, reviewing hours to see if they fit the needs of the community
5. know your
partnerships in the community
7. market the
library, take library services out to the community (outreach)
8. build off
9. focus on
customer service, know diverse population, how different cultures work, learn
what works for your community, know your key community members
11. free internet
12. need to WOW
materials in different formats
library resources that patrons want
15. develop a
relationship with library patrons
16. importance of
17. term limits
for board members
19. continue to
provide research materials
Steve Fosselman reported that the Grand
Island public library is currently involved in a building expansion/renovation
project to double the size of the facility to over 50,000 sq. ft. Construction
started in the summer of 2004 and the library is still under construction. The
library moved over to the expanded portion of the building on February 14, and
renovation of the older side is underway. Completion of this project is
expected mid-2007. The total cost of the project is expected to be $8.6
million with $7 million in 0.5% sales tax funds and $1.6 in private funding
and grants including a $200,000 challenge grant from the Peter Kiewit
The Grand Island public library will be
experimenting with outsourcing some of the cataloging and processing to free
up staff to be out on the floor more to help the public. They asked the city
for four additional full-time employees in the last budget cycle for the
current fiscal year, but the City administration wanted to delay any increase
until the next fiscal year.
Gretchen Healey reported that the Little
Priest Tribal College library has hired a new children's librarian and was
able to resume the Early Literature program. Every new mother receives a book
bag, baby bib and information on the Read-to-Me program and Read-on-Request
program. Gretchen said that she has concerns about stable funding because the
library's budget fluctuates due to grants in some years and none in others.
Scott Kinney reported that the Chadron
public library is now providing homebound services. The library also provides
new mothers with Books for Babies, a program in which new mothers receive a
book bag, a children's book, and library information. They are also developing
cooperatives with the local schools and college.
MeMe Smith reported that she has been
visiting Schuyler's local daycare facilities and Head Start program to read to
the children. MeMe stated that the Schuyler public library facility is over
100 years old and no longer fits their needs. The library board has held
discussions on how to use the current space and discussions on constructing a
new building. The board hired Clark Enerson Partners to conduct a feasibility
study to determine how to use the current facility or whether the board should
consider other options. A decision was made to build a new facility.
Arrangements are being made to start the project as soon as possible.
Theresa Jehlik reported that the Omaha
Public Library currently has 21 adult book groups. Theresa also reported that
the Elkhorn Public Library is now a branch of the Omaha library system. As
always, funding is an issue.
Kathy Ellerton reported that the Northeast
Library System is offering mini grants to unaccredited libraries and parochial
schools. Kathy also reported that it is a challenge to get people to
understand the importance of advocacy.
Diana Johnson reported that the Stromsburg
Public Library is taking outreach programs to daycare facilities. The library
also provides books to new mothers to encourage early reading to children.
Michael Sauers (Commission staff) - Michael
introduced himself stating that he received his MLS degree from the University
at Albany, State University of New York. He worked nine years for BCR before
coming to the Nebraska Library Commission.
Nancy Cantin - Nancy reported that the
Beatrice State Development library was able to stay open. Nancy is concerned
about being able to keep her library open at the Hastings Regional Center.
Mary Nelson (Commissioner) - Mary stated
that she is pleased with the work of the Nebraska Library Commission. She
stated it is a challenge in Holdrege to maintain an active Library Friends
Kristen Rogge - Kristen thanked the
Commission for participating in the Center for Rural Affairs' Marketplace:
Opening Doors to Success. The Southeast Library System is engaging
unaccredited libraries by going out and delivering packets with information
about the system.
Brenda Ealey (guest) - Brenda reported that
she has been holding CASTL meetings for the regional system's smaller
libraries and has good participation. Their challenge is getting support for
library boards on personnel legal issues.
Becky Baker (guest and meeting host) - Becky
reported that the Seward public library has been working on outreach by going
to the Alzheimer's facility to read books to their patients. The library has
been busy with their after-school program which runs Monday thru Friday, teen
group, computer classes, and digital photo class. Their challenge is staying
ahead and anticipating the needs of their patrons.
Misty Prochaska (guest) - Misty reported
that she is the Hamilton College Director of Library Services. Misty's
challenges are finishing school, work and finding students to work in the
Marty Magee - Marty reported that Medline
Plus has partnered with Go Local. Go Local will provide information about
local resources for a specific disease or illness. Marty said a challenge is
establishing a partnership with libraries and hospitals.
Patty Birch - Patty reported that she has
been teaching teachers how to use Power Media Plus. Her challenge has been
that every teacher is being evaluated on technology use so she has been
assisting teachers with technology.
Jean Ahrens (Commissioner) - Jean reported
that at the Scottsbluff Public Library all library staff members greet people
when they visit the library. A challenge is losing the Panhandle Library
System Coordinator and finding a replacement.
Cindy Gitt - Cindy reported that the for the
past 14 years the Holdrege public library has placed box's of books, at
medical facilities, dental offices and even the funeral home. The purpose of
the boxes of books is to provide quality children's materials to share as a
family while waiting for appointments or visiting a patient in the hospital.
The program is a partnership with two medical clinics, four dentist offices,
the hospital, the optometrist's office, the hospital, and the funeral home.
Each partner donated $25 to sustain the collection. The library provides the
storage boxes and materials that are not covered by the partner donations. The
library also collects donated books to use in this project. Cindy stated that
their challenge is updating the building and getting a feasibility study to
learn how to utilize their current space.
Richard Miller (Commission staff) - Richard
reported that the Library Commission is following up on Dollars for Data to
public libraries by encouraging them to move toward becoming an accredited
Patricia Gross - Pat reported that she has
held a teacher's in-service on Power Media Plus. The school's challenge is
funding. Pat also thanked the Nebraska Library Commission for providing
Jan Boyer - Jan reported that the UNO
Library is renovating the original part of the library building. The challenge
will be to provide service while the renovation is in progress.
Joan Giesecke - Joan reported that UNL
Libraries agreed to add metadata for NET videos to UNL's online catalog so
people will know what videos are available. Their challenge is funding.
Shannon Behrhorst (Commission staff) -
Shannon reported that her staff is working on Second Life, a form of online
3-D virtual communication. Shannon stated that a challenge is the restraints
on NebraskAccess because of funding.
Becky Pasco - Becky reported that UNO will
host a graduate masters program for media specialists in Chadron beginning the
fall of 2007.
Becky Pasco reported that NEMA is looking
for a new executive secretary. Instead of a preconference this year, NEMA has
decided to do three assessment workshops around the state.
Jan Boyer reported that Kathy Thomsen is the
new NLA Executive Director. The Executive Board decided in January to
purchase MemberClicks to handle the membership database and to provide other
services. The NLA website was re-designed and updated. The NLA Board approved
a petition to form the Young Adult Round Table. The Round Table will be
authorized if it receives a majority vote of the membership at the annual
meeting. The NLA - NEMA Joint Conference will be held October 24-26, 2007 in
Gretchen Healey stated that the NLA
Diversity Committee will be holding its spring meeting on April 25 in
Lexington focusing on Dia de los ninos/Dia de los libros (day of the
children/day of the books). Also, Dr. Naomi Caldwell Wood, University of Rhode
Island, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, will present three
consecutive sessions at the conference titled "The Work of Reconciliation:
Creating American Indian Library Collections, Services and Programs."
Election of Vice-Chair - Chair Becky Pasco
asked for nominations for vice-chair. Patty Birch nominated Marty Magee and
Marty Magee nominated Joan Giesecke. MeMe Smith made a motion to close the
nominations, seconded by Nancy Cantin. Motion approved. Council members voted
by ballot and Marty Magee was elected Council vice-chair.
Recommendations and Resolutions
Gretchen Healey asked the council to send a
letter to the Governor in support of Adopt-a-Library Day which is April 23.
Gretchen stated that the Governor will be signing a proclamation for
Adopt-a-Library Day on April 18 at 10:30 a.m. Chair Becky Pasco will write and
send a letter on behalf of the State Advisory Council on Libraries.
2007 Meeting Schedule and Location
The next meeting will be held July 27, 2007
at the UNO Alumni Center. The November 16, 2007 meeting will be held November
16, 2007 at the Grand Island Public Library.
The Council members expressed appreciation
to Becky Baker, Seward Public Library Director, for hosting the State Advisory
Council on Libraries meeting.
Chair Becky Pasco adjourned the meeting at