STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
Grand Island Public Library, Grand Island, Nebraska
March 12, 2010
State Advisory Council members present: Patty Birch, Pam
Bohmfalk, Kate Borchman Hassebrook, Deb Carlson, Ceri Daniels, Steve Fosselman,
Pat Leach, Trine McBride, Todd Schlechte, Susan Warneke, Ellen Weed, Glenda
Willnerd, Merrillene Wood, Frank Zimmerman
Commission Staff: Maria Medrano-Nehls, Richard Miller, and
Welcome and Introductions
Fosselman opened the meeting with a welcome and introductions of those present.
Approval of the Agenda: A motion was made by Ceri
Daniels and seconded by Merrillene Wood to approve the agenda. Motion approved.
Approval of Minutes (November 20, 2009): A motion
was made by Trine McBride and seconded by Deb Carlson to approve the minutes.
Nebraska Library Commission - Rod Wagner
Council on Libraries -Rod Wagner extended a welcome to the new State
Advisory Council on Libraries member. The Advisory Council is now into its
thirty 's. It was originated in the early 1970 's as result of a federal library
program that the Library Commission administers which was previously named
Library Services and Construction Act (LCA). LCA had some legislative changes
that required states to form advisory councils to advise state library agencies
on its federal programs for the state. The legislative was later removed but the
Library Commission has always valued have a council to bring together people who
are representatives of different types of libraries, people with connection to
libraries. We very much appreciate the contributions we get from the council
Programs Update - The Nebraska Library Commission is the state library
agency and has responsibilities for administrating the Library Services and
Technology Act (LSTA) program. Each state and U.S. territory receives under a
particular part of the LSTA a funding determined on a formula basis and each
state has a state plan in which they use the federal funds for. We always
include on our council agenda a report on programs. We have always said the LSTA
is in reauthorization year.
There has never been a problem reauthorizing funds each
year. There always seems to be some way for the funds to be available. Most
importantly is the annual appropriations and there are recommendations before
the congress for the LSTA appropriations for the coming fiscal year. Due to the
government current financial problems there is a proposal by the administration
to freeze funding for a number of federal programs but Congress will make the
final decision about the appropriation levels. We are expecting the LSTA funds
to continue for the coming year to be close to or the same as the current year.
We have never restricted the council to focus only on the federal program. We
have looked to the council as an advisor for our whole program and we have a
number of state budget activities as well.
State Budget Actions
and Outlook - On the state level the Library Commissions operating budget,
state aid and grant budget were cut this year by 2.5% during the state
legislator 's special session and 5% will be cut starting on July 1. In recent
discussion in the legislation regarding the continued revenue shortfall and the
current information is the appropriations committee expects to introduce an
additional 2% budget cut for a number of state agencies which will likely
include the Library Commission. This has yet to be approved but we will need to
watch this topic. Rod Wagner was asked how these cuts would affect the
Commission and he responded that he is not sure yet because they are still
struggling to go over their budget base on a 5% reduction. We as well as other
state agencies will have to look at employee furloughs, vacant positions will
most likely not be filled and several other areas will be cut.
and Reinvestment Act - Library Broadband Project - The Library Commission is
submitting an application for a major federal grant to provide or upgrade
broadband services too many Nebraska libraries. This is a result of the economic
stimulus money. One of the federal programs offered through the Department of
Commerce is a program that will offer funding to improve telecommunications to
libraries. The Library Commission was approached by the Gates Foundation to
offer support for state libraries that were preparing to complete application
for the broadband program. The Library Commission responded to the offer and was
fortune to be included among 14 states to take advantage of this assistance.
The assistance includes providing a cash match with federal
application. The federal program requires 20% of the funds to come from local
sources so we found issues providing that match. The federal government stated
that those filing in the second round which we were applying for would receive
additional points if our match was higher than 20%. Fortunately the Gates
Foundation agreed to provide the 30% match. Our application is expected to be
around 3.1 million dollars of which the foundation is providing 1 million
dollars contingent on the grant being awarded to us. The majority of the funds
will go to the 140 Nebraska public libraries that are going to participate in
There are 270 public libraries in Nebraska but there are
requirement to the federal program that preclude some Nebraska libraries to not
be eligible to participate in the grant. Those excluded are due to exceeding the
economic factors of the grant, availability of broadband services in their
communities such as already having broadband or sufficient number of computers
to accommodate their community.
Participating libraries had a very short amount of time to
submit information not readily available to them and letters of support. We very
much appreciate the quick work you did to enable you library to participate.
It will be several months before we know the status of
grant application and the competition was great with many state libraries
applying for grant funds. If our grant is approved the Commission will have lots
of work to do in assisting the participating libraries.
Richard Miller stated that the Gates Foundation also
provided consultants to assist the state libraries with completing the federal
application. The company from Boston with consultants that are very
knowledgeable about these grants assisted the Nebraska Library Commission with
their grant. Several staff members worked numerous hours on this project and
their help as well as the consultants help was much appreciated.
Patty Birch stated that North Platte public schools must
cut 4.1 million dollars from their budget. There will be reduction in force due
to the budget cut. Community colleges have been told they must develop three
budgets for the next fiscal year with different and lower percentages then they
currently have in place.
Association (NLA) -
Bohmfalk reported that NLA will again be partnering with the Library Commission
to offer student Internship funds that were provided by private
organization/foundations. Last year ten internship scholarships were awarded to
public libraries. NLA and NLC will be doing fund raising to help raise money for
the intern scholarships and are talking about expanding it from public libraries
to make it available to academic, community college, and maybe public schools.
It is hoped that ongoing funds will be available. The group hopes that they can
receive monies from another 21st Century Librarian grant.
The libraries who received scholarships for student
internships had to complete an ending report. The reports were compiled into one
large report made from answers reported by the library staff and the student
intern. Many great responses were received about the program from the student
interns. It is felt that this program is a worthwhile program that will allow us
to show students what working in a public library is really about and hopefully
expand the project to include other types of libraries.
Pam stated that NLA spring meetings are just around the
corner. Pam stated that spring meetings are wonderful opportunities for
continuing education on a variety of topics. The Public Library section will
hold three spring meetings the first is May 4 in Gering, May 5 in North Platte,
and May 7 in Nebraska City. NLA is struggling to get library trustees involved
in the organization; this is nothing new but very frustrating. One of the things
that make libraries so special is that they are a part of our communities, and
we need community input into our profession organization just as we need input
from the professionals. The Public Library section spring meetings are free to
any trustee who attends with a librarian. Please encourage library trustees to
get involved in the organization or attend a spring meeting.
Richard Miller stated that the Public Library spring
meetings will have informative information and discussion on the accreditation
process. There will also be information about continuing education grants
offered for libraries to hold Jim Connor workshops.
Pam stated that the Paraprofessional Section spring meeting
will be holding sessions on technology and 2.0 issues, leadership, and wiki 's
for libraries. These meetings are online or gathering sites across the state.
Pam stated that the 2010 annual conference will be held in
Media Association -
Glenda Willnerd reported that members of the NEMA Living
for Life (L4L) Committee continues provide professional development workshops on
AASL 's Standard for the 21st Century Learner at ESU 's and
professional association conferences across the state. Presentations have been
given at the NAG conference in LaVista, ESU 13 Mid-Winter Conference in
Scottsbluff, and the Nebraska State Reading Association conference in Kearney. A
proposal was also submitted to present at the NETA conference in LaVista for
April and to present at the Nebraska Council of School Administrators annual
conference in Kearney for July.
Members of NEMA met with the Nebraska Department of
Education seeking endorsement for the revised
Nebraska Guide. Dr. Breed wrote a letter of support for the first
page of the Nebraska Guide.
The book Unwind
was chosen as the 2010 One Book For Nebraska Teens.
NLA and NEMA are looking at the option of offering
affiliate membership with NLA and NEMA.
Judy Henning of Kearney is running for AASL Region 9
Director and Deb Levitov of Lincoln is running for Chair of the AASL Affiliate
NEMA members are encouraged to attend the 2010 Heartland
Conference in Omaha at UNO on June 14 & 15, 2010.
NEMA will be holding their election of new officers and
board members in March-April.
Steve Fosselman stated that the City of Grand Island is
currently asking city departments to prioritize their programs and gave a
presentation on how to achieve fiscal health and wellness. Which actually means
more for less; although this is not a new concept the ways to achieve the goal
with input from discussion is a new concept.
The presentation highlighted the following items.
New Normal for Government
More than 80% of the 2,200 local governments report
that they have been "moderately"
to "severely" affected
by the financial crisis and experienced an average budget shortfall
of more than 8 percent for 2010.
Across the country, the financial crisis is
redefining local government
as officials face the reality of having much less money to deliver
services, from public safety and libraries to rubbish collection.
Unlike the situation for private business,
demand for public services often
rises as revenues fall.
A new level of government spending needs to be
Local governments are
rethinking what services they
provide, how much they pay for them and what taxpayers expect
for their tax dollar.
At least 48
states have had to address shortfalls in their budgets for
2010 (totalizing $168 billion).
Budget difficulties have led at least
43 states to reduce services
to their residents.
Initial indications are that states will
face shortfalls as big or
bigger in 2011 than they faced in 2010.
7 in 10 consumers say they are
cutting back on how much money they
spend each week, and 22% of those say they worried yesterday that
they spent too much money.
Key Objectives of Prioritization
Evaluate the services we provide, one versus another.
Better understand our services in the context of the
cause-and-effect relationship they have on the organization 's priorities.
Provide a higher degree of understanding among
decision-makers as they engage in a process to rank services based on
Articulate to people in the organization and to the
public how we value our services, how we invest in our priorities, and how
we divest ourselves of lower-priority services.
Steps to Successful Prioritization
1.) Determine Results
2.) Clarify Result Definitions
a) Precision in prioritization results from the
articulation of the cause and effect relationship between a program and a
b) With clearly defined Result Maps, detailing the factors
that influence the results we are in business to achieve, we can seek to
subjectivity in he process of linking programs with results
3.) Identify Programs and Services
4.) Value Programs Based on Results
5.) Allocate Resources Based on Priorities
UpNext: The Future
of Museums and Libraries
Rod Wagner stated that IMLS introduced the
Future of Museum 's and Libraries
Discussion Guide. The guide encourages broad base discussion and input and
provides us with the means to have a discussion of our own in Nebraska. The
responses and input of discussions will provide information for us here in the
state and also to provide input to IMLS. You can interact by going to the wiki
provided by IMLS. The wiki has periodic breakouts of different themes. Rod felt
that this topic fit well with the topic Steve Fosselman provided. Rod encouraged
everyone to read the guide and look at participating on the wiki and holding
discussions with your fellow librarians, or those interested in libraries. Rod
stated that they provided examples to their themes.
Election of Council Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect:
Hassebrook made a motion and Deb Carlson a second to cease nominations. Motion
was voted on and approved. Todd Schlechte made a motion to elect Merrillene Wood
as the new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, second by Frank Zimmerman. Motion to approve
Merrillene Wood as new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect was voted on and approved.
There were no recommendations or resolutions.
Meetings - July and November
A decision will be made by Rod Wagner and Steve Fosselman
will choose a site for the July 16 meeting. The November 12 meeting will most
likely be a teleconference meeting.
Patty Birch reported for Marty Magee. Information was
distributed containing information for upcoming events which are free and online
resources sponsored by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.
Patty Birch reported that Central Community College has
taken over the LIS program. This change has been successful. Patty said her
challenge at North Platte High School is the budget cuts and the direction the
administration is taking. Patty is
speaking to the school administers about the new 21st Century
Library, the school library and how things are changing and trying to
incorporated the new things into her library.
Deb Carlson reported on the ground breaking of the new
library addition. Deb passed around news articles and pictures. The addition to
the library should be completed by the end of the year.
Steve Fosselman reported on things happening in his
libraries and challenges the library is facing.
Susan Warneke stated that her grade school is looking at
incorporating more technology into the school library. The school system is
applying for a grant to provide AR which is a new technology tool.
Trini McBride stated that Ord is gearing up for summer
reading. Trini reported that they received a monetary gift from a deceased
member of the community who visited the library frequently.
Ellen Weed stated that all the institutional libraries
downsizing in some facilities, struggle with budgets, space, staff, training of
staff who move on to another job and they have to hire and train over again.
Todd Schlechte stated that one of their big successes last
year was that one of their interns decided to change her college major from
nursing to library science. She is currently taking library science classes
right now. Todd said they have been working on reorganization and space issues.
The library will be expanding to use part of the city hall basement which also
acts as the senior center. They will do all their children programs in the city
hall basement and use the meeting room as the adult nonfiction area with tables
and chairs. Todd stated their circulation has been up 35% since last October 1.
Todd said this might be due to the city of Gretna 's population growth, increased
collection, and the economy.
Merrillene Wood stated that she 's the first librarian WNCC
had had for a number of years and the collection is not what it should be. She
is currently weeding and updating the collection. The library will stop
purchasing magazines because they are on the databases. Sidney public library
has also suffered a budget cut but was fortune in that they did not have to let
go on an employee. The library will order less books for their collection and
the renovation project has been scrapped.
Deb Carlson reported that Scottsbluff public library had
their ground breaking after 6-years of fund raising. There were close to 300
people at the ground breaking. The selected construction company said they will
be completed by October 30, 2010. The staff has had to store some items, move
other items and move the front entrance to allow the construction to continue
while the library is open. Panhandle Library System continues to hold their
Job-a-Like program because it is very helpful for all librarians in the system.
Pat Leach reported that Bethany branch library will be
celebrating their 50th anniversary. The library received a donation
to refurbish the library so it will look very nice for their celebration.
Lincoln City Libraries is in the midst of their strategic planning process. One
of the components of the strategic planning is called Competency, things that
the library staff does very well or should be shared. LPS is working with the
literacy program to develop a program for children making sure their child is
going to school or daycare. Pat is very happy to work with other organizations
in the city. Pat said the library is hiring again after several years of a
Kate Borchman Hassebrook reported that four-years ago Lyons
opened a beautiful new library. The library had a new director, Michael Heavrin,
and the library hours have increased. The library board had $100,000 endowment
goat which didn 't get reached but they do have a $60,000 endowment. They also
wanted a display area in the library but didn 't have the funds but a family lost
a daughter who donated money to the library who used the funds to purchase two
beautiful glass display cases. Community people bring in collector items to
display in the cases.
Pam Bohmfalk stated that NLA is in the midst of their
strategic planning process. They started with a survey to members, and will
introduce a new mission statement to the board at the next meeting. Pam said
that the City of Hastings wants the public library to place their state aid
money into the general funds rather than a grant fund. Rod Wagner stated that
the Commission would be glad to write a letter stating the exact function of the
state aid funds.
Future Meeting Dates
July 16 - site to be determined
November 12 - site or teleconference to be determined.
Chair Fosselman thanked everyone for attending and
adjourned meeting at 1:00 p.m. Tour of the Grand Island public library started
immediately following the meeting.