STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
Reta E. King Library, Chadron State College, Chadron, NE
July 11, 2008
Advisory Council members present: Patty Birch, Janice
Boyer, Deb Carlson, Kathy Ellerton, Steve Fosselman, Joan Giesecke, Patricia
Gross, Gretchen Healy, Theresa Jehlik, Diana Johnson, Marty Magee, and MeMe
Smith. Commission staff: Marjorie
Harrison, Richard Miller, and Rod Wagner.
Welcome and Introductions
Milton Wolf, Library Director, welcomed the Council to
Chadron State College. Marty Magee welcomed everyone to the State Advisory
Council on Libraries meeting. Introductions were made around the room.
Approval of the Agenda: A motion was made by Theresa
Jehlik and seconded by Joan Giesecke to approve the agenda. Motion approved.
Approval of Minutes (March 14, 2008): It was noted
that Marjorie Harrison was in attendance at the March meeting but not listed as
present (guest). A motion was made by Gretchen Healy and seconded by Steve
Fosselman to approve the minutes with the correction. Motion approved.
Rod Wagner reported that at the March meeting there was a
recommendation that a wiki be created to place Council information. Maria
Medrano-Nehls has set up the wiki by working with Marty Magee. State Advisory
Council on Libraries members can place suggestions or information on the site.
At the March meeting a recommendation was made to extend
statewide the Commission's Library 2.0 project that was offered to NLC staff,
regional library systems' staff, commissioners and SACL members. Staff is
currently working on setting this up with a few changes and it will be offered
to our colleagues across the state. We may look to see if some prizes can be
provided for a drawing to those who complete the project.
Federal Library Program Update
Rod Wagner reported that LSTA appropriations will most
likely be held off until after the presidential election or in January when the
new Congress convenes. It might also be funded as it has for a number of years
under a continuing resolution. If this happens, Nebraska will likely receive
near the same amount of funding as this fiscal year (ending September 30). This
would be unfortunate because Nebraska's state allotment was reduced $60,000 this
year. LSTA reauthorization comes up in 2009 and there are national groups
(American Library Association, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies) that
are looking at possible changes to the LSTA. Under consideration is language
that addresses the recent restrictions placed by the Institute of Museum and
Library Services on use of funds allotted through the State Programs portion of
Funding for the digital talking book program looks
promising. The House appropriations committee that deals with funding for the
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has increased
the amount of money that will be available to continue the transition to the
digital talking book. The digital talking book players would be distributed in
larger numbers and money to purchase flash memory cartridges for the new players
would be more plentiful. The Senate
has not acted on this appropriation but there is encouraging activity underway
to fund this program.
On the state side, the Library Commission will be including
in its budget request for the next biennium state funds to purchase cartridges
for its own recording (magazines and books of local and regional interest not
supplied by the Library of Congress). Funds for the cartridges were requested
two years ago but were not appropriated.
Library Science Education Scholarships
Rod Wagner reported that in the three years of this program
the Commission has awarded 150 scholarships totaling over $300,000. The
Commission will need support letters for a new grant application to be submitted
in December. Even if new funds are approved there will be a gap from the current
grant to a new grant resulting in a disruption in scholarship awards. The newest
initiative is use of some scholarship/financial aid funds for internships for
young people working in public libraries.
2009-2011 Biennium Budget
Rod Wagner reported that the 2009-2011 biennium budget
request is due on September 15. The state collection of tax dollars has been
above projections. The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board Revenue
Forecasting Committee meets again in October and hopefully we will continue to
be in good shape. The state general fund balance is nearing 600 million dollars.
Rod stated there will likely be proposals for property tax relief and more money
for state aid to schools because this would also help to decrease the property
tax burden. The legislature will also likely keep a significant amount in the
state general fund to offset revenue declines.
The Library Commission is working on its budget request.
Issues include such items as rising fuel costs and transportation expenses. A
budget option will likely include funds for additional database licenses,
downloadable audio books and collaborative library automation projects. There
are some people working on an open source software integrated library system
pilot project. Steve Fosselman stated that his library is interested in using
open source software.
Rod Wagner stated that the Library Commission's reference
staff is using Twitter to log questions they get through phone, e-mail, chat and
other methods. They post information about inquiries to show the kind of
questions received get daily. Occasionally they will post answers to some
questions on the Commission blog. Recently they passed the 1,000 mark for
Rod stated that the Commission has had some recommendations
to help libraries develop and install their own web site. Devra Dragos is
working with people from other Midwest library networks and they are looking at
collaborative programs. One is a service that originated with Oregon State
Library named Plinkit which stands for Public Library Interface Kit. Nebraska
can join the Plinkit Collaborative with some other groups lead by INCOLSA
(Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority) for a reasonable cost and make
it available to libraries in Nebraska. It makes it easier and cheaper to develop
a web site. Rod said although it will be offered to public libraries it might
also be available for school libraries.
Nebraska Library Association (NLA) - Diana Johnson reported
that NLA members are working on plans and arrangements for the NLA/NEMA
conference. There will be three preconferences: Serving Library Customers with
Disabilities, What is a Book Worth, and The Four R's: Robots, Romance, Revolvers
and Recipes. The two keynote speakers at the conference will be Kent Haruf and
Annette Lamb. The last session will include some state senators on a panel. NLA
is going to offer online voting and will place the conference presenters'
handouts online. NLA is also considering placing the NLAQ online to save
publishing and postage expenses. There is a survey on the NLA website about the
NLAQ online access. Scott Kinney has resigned as the NLA web site coordinator.
The number of NLA members is down.
Nebraska Educational Media Association (NEMA) - Patty Birch
stated that assessment is a major issue. The state language arts standards
recently changed so she will be revising the directives of what she needs to
teach. NEMA wants media specialists to consider how they are assessing students.
There are tools online that students complete as freshmen and again as seniors
to compare their progress.
Pat Gross stated that NEMA is waiting for the American
Association of School Librarians to complete guidelines for use with standards.
The standards (AASL
Standards for the 21st-Century Learner) have been revised but
not the guidelines that tell school librarians what to teach the students. Pat
stated she will be presenting a session at the NLA/NEMA conference on e-books.
Panel: Assessment-Marketing-Customer Service (Marjorie Harrison, Pat Gross, Deb
Margie Harrison, Panhandle Library System Coordinator,
stated that the panhandle libraries do a lot of collaboration, coordination,
good customer service. They work closely with the educational service unit,
NEMA, special libraries, and colleges.
The System recently held a program on statistical analysis
with inventory using the Follett database. Every other year an author tour is
planned in which the author visits schools and public libraries. Networking is
very important in the panhandle system. The
system office purchased an inventory scanner and six libraries have used it.
The system office has also purchased a Wii game unit and Marjorie will be
traveling around the region showing libraries how to use it. They have held
several focus group sessions for the Future Search project.
Pat Gross - stated that the libraries in the Panhandle
System participate in job-a-like meetings. These meetings started in 1988 by the
ESU. The school librarians began to invite public librarians, special and
academic librarians as well as board members and friends of the libraries to the
meetings to see how all can help each other.
Each meeting has a special program to feature new databases, skills and
programs useful to librarians. These get-togethers are fun as well as beneficial
to librarians. The job-a-like meetings are held four times a year.
Pat stated that they use the Nebraska Library Commission
for some of their workshops such as Nebraska Memories and reference.
Deb Carlson reported that a few years ago she noticed fewer
teachers were coming to the library for materials and book circulation was down.
Deb learned that with the teachers' busy schedules they found it difficult to
visit the library and find the material they would like to use. Deb and her
library co-workers developed "Teacher Totes". Deb sent letters to all the
schools regarding the totes. The libraries "Adopt a School" partner was very
excited about the totes. This last school year 92 totes were checked out. This
was a great way for her library to get materials to teachers and students.
Deb stated that several years ago the Nebraska Library
Commission had supported a juvenile resource center in each of the regional
library systems to assist libraries with continuing education, programming and
resources. Due to finances and changed directions juvenile resource center
services were no longer funded. However, Deb has informally kept the juvenile
resource center at the Scottsbluff Public Library.
Deb stated the author tour is the best program in the way
of advocacy. An author is brought in for three days and visits several sites
within the panhandle region. A project goal is that by the time a child has
completed high-school she or he would have heard, seen or met one author.
Natasha Friend will be the author visiting in October and will be geared for
seventh and eighth graders.
Deb stated that Scottsbluff Public Library has been
attempting for more than two and a half years to obtain support and funding to
expand the library. Three public meetings have been held to determine community
views on the library building project. Response indicates that 93% of the
community residents want the library to stay in the current location. The
library has hired an architect and a professional fund raising group. $4.1
million will be needed to complete phase one of the building project. The
community has donated $791,000 and the city has committed to providing $1.5
million. The city could have provided more but decided to spend $1.5 in city
funds to remodel city hall. The community has responded loudly that the city
hall did not need to be remodeled as badly as the library needs to expand. The
library averages about 430 people a day and during summer reading the library
has easily 1,500 children in attendance. The Peter Kiewit Foundation has awarded
the library a grant for $500,000 but the library must match that amount. The
library has also received $75,000 from a local bank. The total amount donated
for the library project is $2,791,000. They must raise another $1.3 million to
match the Kiewit grant. Deb believes with the devotion of the community they
will raise that money and get the building expanded.
The Scottsbluff Public Library has joined the One Library
Consortium. The city has decided to implement a 4% budget cut. As a result, the
library will lose some staff. Summer reading had 1,476 children and 51 teens
participated in the teen summer reading program. Due to the lack of space in the
library the children's summer reading program must be held outside. Scottsbluff
Public Library is very lucky in that they get wonderful media coverage.
Patricia Gross stated that the Panhandle Library System is
a lifesaver for the libraries and asked that the Nebraska Library Commission
continue its support for the System. Deb Carlson said it is important to give
importance and time to the smaller public libraries.
Nebraska Libraries Future Search Conference - Rod Wagner
distributed a copy of the vision statements that came from the conference. A
copy of the future search conference notes taken from the conference was
included in council member meeting packets. Marty Magee stated that the second
day of the conference included discussion on actionable plans and a project list
was developed. She also stated that having people with different perspectives
was valuable. Steve Fosselman stated that having the teens involved was a
wake-up call. The youth implied that if the library didn't have the information
they were looking for they would go elsewhere at the drop of a hat for their
A Nebraska Libraries Future Search task force has been
formed. Paul Hoffman has produced a drawing illustrating information from the
conference. It will be a great visual resource. There will be a program at the
NLA/NEMA conference to discuss conference outcomes. The project ideas from the
conference are for anyone to pursue, either individually or otherwise. There is
a Future Search Conference wiki for information and pictures.
Joan Giesecke reported that the Lewis and Clark and the
Indian Country exhibit is currently displayed at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. During the months of October 17 through December 4
the university will hold programs such as a discussion on Native American issues
with Native Americans on the panel. They will be working with the schools and
public libraries on this project.
Due to budget cuts, the UNL Libraries has lost $925,000 of
its materials budget for 2009. The City
of Lincoln is six million dollars short this fiscal year. This has forced
Lincoln City Libraries to cut hours of operation and staff. The city is still
advertising for a director for the library.
UNL has been attempting to develop a joint regional federal
documents library with Kansas. It is still on hold because there are people on
the national level who feel that documents should not cross state lines.
Joan stated that the American Library Association (ALA) has
a task force on education that is attempting to get the ALA council to approve a
set of core competencies for librarians. This information would provide a
foundation for anyone who graduates from library school or works in a library
and assist them in future work and programs.
Jan Boyer reported that the library budget at UNO is not
good either and they had to lay-off staff. The library is looking at cancelling
all subscriptions and will interlibrary loan them when needed. The library is
still under renovation and should be completed by the end of 2009.
Steve Fosselman reported that he has been seeking
additional staff. He received one additional staff person last year and was told
to come back next year and tell the city how the library is doing and the
methodology in the new facility. Steve went back to the city council with his
methodology and technology, innovation and other changes the library is
experiencing and he may be getting two new staff positions in August. Steve
stated that the library's Discovery Center relates to early literary skills. The
third or fourth time the child comes to the center, they begin using the center
in learning literacy skills. The Discovery Center focuses on children birth to 5
years of age.
Gretchen Healy reported that her library is going through
the appropriations process and it doesn't appear they will get a cut in funding
this year. Most of the grants are coming to an end on September 30. Unless they
receive some of the grants applied for, their budget will be very bleak. Last
year they lost $45,000 which made it difficult to do programs or order
materials. This year, Gretchen asked for an additional $65,000. Gretchen stated
there is continuous administrative turnover. The library has received numerous
boxes of books donated to them. Gretchen stated she will be retiring in two
Kathy Ellerton said all the public libraries in Northeast
Library System are busy with summer reading programs. The library director
positions at South Sioux City and Columbus have been filled. The library in
Carroll is moving from the store front building to a module that the city
bought. The module will be divided to house both the library and the senior
center. They have a new director and she is turning things around for the
Diana Johnson reported that her assistant attended the
National Genealogical Society conference in Kansas City. Upon her return she
presented a workshop on genealogy and the people in attendance asked that the
project be continued. Diana is developing an advisory board with youth from
grades 5-7. They have lots of ideas for programs and so this summer the library
hosted a movie night, game night, and a Wii night. The programs are held after
the library closes and thirty kids attended. One of the youth advisory board
members is interested in the history of Stromsburg and will be giving a
presentation on the history of Stromsburg.
Pat Gross reported that her challenge is that the high
school is changing hours to 8:30 to 3:30. The principal decided on this change
due to research that says teenagers do better if they don't have to start school
real early. Four new young teachers have been hired; two of them are past
students and library users.
Margie Harrison reported that the Farm and Ranch museum has
a library and they have added a new building in which the library will be
placed. They will also be automating their archives.
Minatare has a new librarian after
volunteers ran the library for nearly six months. Margie stated that some of the
libraries in her system have received money to automate. Panhandle Library
System will have its annual meeting next week and then the NEMA workshop the
Deb Carlson reported that it is hard to keep kids coming to
the library after they reach the fifth and six-grade. The Scottsbluff public
library decided to develop a program for the fifth and sixth graders and tied it
with the summer reading program. Each year they name it something that ties into
the theme. Kids who earn 100 points doing a variety of things get to attend a
lock-in at the local YMCA.
Richard Miller reported that 91 libraries have received
public library accreditation letters. These libraries are either due to be
reaccredited or they submitted a statistical report indicating their eligibility
to apply for accreditation. August 4 is the deadline for the continuing
education and training grants. Information will be mailed out to seventy-five
public libraries inviting them to receive Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grants
for Wi-Fi in their library. This will consist of a Wi-Fi unit and a free micro
computer to make sure the Wi-Fi is working. There are also ten libraries that
NLC will be working with to improve library telecommunication connections. These
ten libraries have either dial-up access or no internet access.
Patty Birch reported that North Platte public school
district has a new superintendent as of July 1. All ten elementary schools have
remodeled their libraries to be Discovery Centers. Patty stated that she is
currently ordering document readers for all the math teachers and other
technology materials for new teachers. North Platte Public Library is hosting a
"tour of the gardens" fundraiser.
MeMe Smith reported that Schuyler wishes to build a new
library. The library board has held two planning meetings on what they want to
do. They will hire a professional fundraiser. The library is still a bit
challenged with their conversion into the One Library Consortium. They are still
having difficulty coming up with statistics and data. About 85% of their
collection has been re-bar-coded.
Marty Magee distributed a packet of information used at
recent presentations. Marty said that the regional medical library program has
started a new contract year. They are in the third of a five year program and
will be evaluated in the fall by the National Library of Medicine. Marty and
Beth Goble will be giving a presentation at the NLA/NEMA conference to show what
resources are available on public health. The regional medical library program
has three major initiatives this year: Health Information Literacy, Advocacy and
Emergency Continuity Planning. Information literacy continues to be an important
issue. Marty said they have developed a website on the continuity planning.
Marty will send Richard Miller the website address.
Rod Wagner reported that Shannon White, NLC Network
Services/Nebase Director, has left the Commission staff and Devra Dragos has
filled that position. Devra was the Commission's cataloging librarian and so the
Commission is now recruiting for that position. Kit Keller, Planning and Data
Services Coordinator, also recently left the staff. John Felton has filled that
position. John's prior position at the Commission was research analyst. That
position is also open for recruitment. Sherry Houston has left her position with
Republican Valley Library System and will be taking a position at one of the
Bellevue elementary schools. The RVLS board is now recruiting for a new
Theresa Jehlik reported that Omaha public library (OPL) has
finally completed its longest running construction project and opened the South
Branch library. This was a joint project with Metropolitan Community College.
The OPL is going to attempt another joint project with the Omaha Public Schools
and the city's Parks and Recreation department. Theresa stated that like
everyone else the Omaha Public Library has a budget challenge.
Recommendations and Resolutions - No recommendations or
resolutions were addressed.
November Meeting - Marty Magee and Rod Wagner stated they
each have a conflict with the original meeting date and asked if the date could
be changed to November 14. If changed, the meeting could be a joint meeting with
the Library Commission, unless the Commission chooses to change its meeting
Adjournment - a
motion and second was made to adjourn the meeting.