STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
Grand Island Public Library, Grand Island, Nebraska
July 16, 2010
State Advisory Council members present: Patty Birch, Pam
Bohmfalk, Kate Borchman Hassebrook, Deb Carlson, Ceri Daniels, Steve Fosselman,
Jayne Hlavac, Pat Leach, Marty Magee, Trine McBride, Todd Schlechte, Ellen Weed,
Commission Staff: Maria Medrano-Nehls, Richard Miller, Mary
Jo Ryan, and Rod Wagner.
Welcome and Introductions
Chair Steve Fosselman opened the meeting with a welcome and introductions of those present.
Approval of the Agenda
Steve Fosselman asked that an addition be made to the agenda allowing Pat Leach to speak about Open Source.
A motion was made by Ceri Daniels and seconded by Merrillene Wood to approve the
agenda. Motion approved.
Approval of Minutes (March 12, 2010):
A motion was made by Pam Bohmfalk and seconded by Kate Borchman Hassebrook to approve the
minutes. Motion approved.
Nebraska Library Commission - Rod Wagner
Federal Library Programs Update
- No action on the federal budget for fiscal year 2011 (beginning October 1).
- No budget action is expected until after the November elections.
- No increase in Library Services and Technology Act funds is expected.
- There is a proposed funding freeze for many federal programs including LSTA.
Broadband Technology Opportunity Grant Program Update
- Grant application submitted on March 15 - $3.6 million
(including about $1.2 million from the Gates Foundation in grant matching
- New and replacement computers, software, networking
equipment, broadband service upgrades, e-government services, consumer
health information, online courses, and much more involving 140 Nebraska
public libraries and a dozen or so partner organizations.
- NLC was notified on May 19 that its application had
moved through merit review and had entered the due diligence phase.
- NLC received subsequent questions, requests for
additional information, and for revisions to some application documents.
- The Commission is in a good position for a grant award
and an award could be announced at any time.
- Some second round BTOP grants were announced a few
weeks ago. The Commission 's application moved into the due diligence phase a
few weeks after those applications.
- The project team has continued to work on the project
with the expectation that a grant will be awarded.
State Biennium Budget Planning Process
- Budget outlook is dismal - a projected $650 million
plus budget gap
- State tax revenues have been below projection in most
- Continuation of this trend could result in a special
legislative session later this year
- 9.5% state funds reduction this year
- Agencies asked to submit budget modifications of 10%
(10% reduction from current year
appropriation level - this is the new normal
- With a recovering economy it is not expected that
appropriation levels will be restored to earlier levels - the new, new
Nebraska Library Association
reported that the NLA spring meetings were very successful. This year 's
conference will be in Grand Island October 13-15. The NLA board is developing a
strategic plan. In August, NLA will hold officer elections for NLA board,
sections and roundtables. This will be the second year of electronic voting.
Nebraska Education Media Association
Glenda Willnerd was
not able to attend the Council meeting. Rod Wagner stated that the NEMA board
met yesterday and held its annual strategic planning event (among other
Program Prioritization, Budgeting and a New Normal
Steve Fosselman stated that at the last Council meeting he gave a demonstration of how the City
of Grand Island is addressing city program prioritization. As Steve prepared for
this meeting he sent a blog entry called Resetting Normal.
Tough economic times are indicating that budgets are getting slashed,
libraries are being closed and government is asking for a discussion of the new
normal. Libraries are out front on this trend because libraries were addressing
these changes before government was. These policies and practices are going to
be with us for many years and may be permanent.
Under the new normal we will see fewer staff, staff focused
on essential activities, technology used to create additional efficiencies,
services and public service hours cut, locations consolidated, and physical
pressures transforming the library system market place. This may not be a bad
thing depending on how we respond. Refocusing efforts on where libraries add
value and by adding value for library users and funders. The sooner we take
control and make our operations compatible to the new normal the more likely we
will find the new normal to be acceptable and we will flourish.
Steve pointed to an article in
American Libraries magazine titled "New Normal for Libraries." Steve
stated that Merrillene Wood, Kate Borchman Hassebrook and he have discussed the
activities of the Advisory Council and thought a survey for the whole library
community was needed because all libraries are experiencing the same kind of
Steve, Merrillene and Kate will develop a survey method
that will encompass all libraries and NLC 's efforts to contain and maintain
their own budgets. Rod Wagner mentioned that there is an article about this
topic in Library Journal and an
activity called "Losing Libraries"
which seeks information about budget cuts and library closings. Laura Johnson
stated that NLC has had three programs on different methods of surveys which
might be helpful. The webinars can be viewed online from the Commissions
Steve stated that he hopes that after the survey is
completed that the State Advisory Council on Libraries group will discuss it at
the November meeting. He also hopes that the survey information could be used in
future years by the Commissioners when discussing NLC 's budget.
Merrillene Wood asked that State Advisory Council on
Libraries members send questions and suggestions to herself, Steve or Kate via
e-mail so they can be incorporated into the survey.
Education for Nebraska Library Workers - Focus on 21st Century Skills
Mary Jo Ryan stated that the Commission recently received
an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian three-year grant for
$730,000. The grant is to be used for scholarships, stipends and internships.
The Commission has struggled to provide money for these areas since the earlier
IMLS grant ended.
After the previous IMLS grant ended, the Commission worked
with the Nebraska Library Association to obtain a small grant from an anonymous
Nebraska foundation. The grant allowed the Commission and Association to provide
for a smaller number of internships.
The new IMLS grant funds a three-year project which will
start in November. The project will funds scholarships, stipends and
internships. New policies and criteria will be developed for financial
assistance. The new grant project is titled
Rural Librarians ' Technology Skills and the idea and belief behind
this grant is that 21st Century learning skills are not only
important to library customers but to library workers as well. A marketing
campaign will be designed for recruitment.
Steve Fosselman stated that the conversations he has been
having with other librarians points to a need for technology assessments for
libraries. Mary Jo stated that with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation the Commission plans to provide technology planning "boot camps." The
training program is in association with the Commission 's library broadband
project but is funded separately by the Gates Foundation. The BPOP grant, if
funded, will allow some provision for people who can assist in the library to
get computer centers up and running. There will only be one person hired to
assist the 140 libraries participating in the project.
Todd Schlechte stated that we are talking about cutting
services but at the same time need to add value and librarians are going to
figure out how to be more technology savvy.
Laura Johnson stated that IMLS awards grants in various
categories and one of them is continuing education. Laura stated that a
continuing education survey has been completed and the results highlighted grant
writing, budgeting, marketing, and fundraising. The Commission has attempted to
address these topics with webinars and will continue to respond and have
workshops and continuing education opportunities. Laura stated that without
additional funding we will be limited in offering continuing education programs
to the extent needed. Laura stated that the Commission is considering an LSTA
grant application to support continuing education. Laura asked the State
Advisory Council on Libraries members to offer ideas they might have for a
statewide continuing education program. The program should include development
of technical skills; help library users develop 21st century learning
skills and help libraries re-design library services.
Pam Bahmfolk stated that the Commission could follow the
Nebraska Educational Media Association 's model
for the 21st Century Learner in which they spent a large amount
of time and emphasis trying to get school librarians to understand what is meant
by 21st Century Learning Skills in the public and academic arenas.
The first component that needs to happen is a very clear interpretation of what
we mean by 21st Century Learning Skills.
Pam stated that first we need to translate things that
librarians traditionally do into 21st century learning skills or
skill language. An example would be story hours that many libraries offer. This
program has many 21st century learning skills that could be teaching
the 21st century learning language. Unfortunately we do not put the story into
that language. We need help as librarians to translate the programs we are
already doing into 21st century skill language.
Merrillene Wood asked if another component should be added
to the basic skills courses. Laura Johnson stated that Commission staff is
making changes to the basic skills program.
Mary Jo Ryan stated that
Skills are a major emphasis of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The IMLS website includes documents which have been uploaded to the State
Advisory Council on Libraries wiki. Laura Johnson stated that one of the
documents lists the skills as critical thinking and problem solving, creativity
and innovation, communication and collaboration, visual literacy, scientific and
numerical literacy, cross disciplinary thinking, basic literacy, flexibility and
adaptability, technology skills, life career skills, initiative and self
direction, and cross cultural skills. Laura stated that Commission staff came up with the program
- Presenting information about new technologies
- Showing new technological devices
- Providing information on how new technologies can
improve services (for audiences including customers, library workers,
library boards and foundations and government officials).
Another idea is to show librarians how to retrieve and
refer social services information. Examples of social service information would
be child support, senior care facilities, medical resources, job bank, homeless
shelter, food banks, etc. A program could also be provided on ecological and
environmentally safe library buildings (also highlighted from the Library
Futures conference in 2008).
Steve Fosselman stated that by the November council meeting
there should be a clearer picture of how the Pioneer project is proceeding.
Steve stated that the Commission 's Library Improvement Grant for the Pioneer
project will end the last day of September. The completed project will
demonstrate the feasibility of an open source software integrated library system
would work for Nebraska libraries of different sizes.
Through much discussion and different perceptions the
Pioneer project group narrowed the choices down to two paths that could be used.
One path would be using free software and would develop a system using
technicians and infrastructure which would house the server at a library in
Nebraska. The second path would be to work with a third party and have it manage
the software, setup the participant libraries that would be joined together in a
union catalog and manage the system on a yearly basis. The group chose the
The Pioneer project group retained a technical assistant
while going through the planning process and determined that for the foreseeable
future the best approach would be to rely on an experienced company that has the
resources and capability to manage the system. The
Lincoln, Grand Island, Gretna, Holdrege and St. Paul libraries will work
together to decide how they will migrate and whether they will have a contract
so that they can handle the migration for the group. The Pioneer group hopes to
get other libraries on board in the future.
Recommendation and Resolutions
There were no recommendations or resolutions.
Rod Wagner and Steve Fosselman will work together to
determine a time and place for the November meeting. Rod suggested that the
November meeting be a face-to-face meeting. Ceri Daniels stated that she had
November 19 as the date for the meeting but noticed the minutes said November
12. Maria Medrano-Nehls will check the recorded March minutes again to determine
the date chosen for the November meeting.
Todd Schlechte reported that the Pioneer project will be a
major activity for the Gretna library. Todd stated that as the libraries operate
through challenging situations they must continue to provide good service while
cutting costs. The Pioneer project will be one of the ways to make this happen.
Gretna will be providing eBooks to patrons that are just being introduced to
Nebraska 's Overdrive Library Consortium. Todd is waiting for Overdrive to
introduce software for the iPad.
Deb Carlson reported that the Scottsbluff public library is
wrapping up their summer reading program. The program was shorter this year due
to the library 's building expansion and renovation project. The library had
1,645 children sign up for the program with 75% of children reading 5 or more
books. There were 115 young adults involved in the Teen summer reading program.
Deb Carlson said that asbestos was found in the library
which put things on hold while the asbestos was removed. October 31 continues to
be the planned grand re-opening date for the library.
The Job-a-like project continues to meet and during the last meeting they
discussed the new normal changes and challenges.
Merrillene Wood reported that the library at WNCC Sidney
campus recently completed a major weeding project. Merrillene will now go to the
Scottsbluff campus to help with their weeding project. The college faced budget
cuts and had to cut many of their library subscription databases. They will be
reducing magazine subscriptions too.
Merrillene stated that she attended the Nebraska Library
Leadership Institute reunion. There was discussion about the new normal too. The
speaker was Jamie LaRue, director of the Douglas County Libraries (based in
Castle Rock, Colorado). At one time the Douglas County Libraries were rated the
worst in Colorado and now they are second in the nation. LaRue also started a
grass roots project to support the library which can be seen at
www.lrs.org/transform. Part of this
program is intended to recruit people from the community who are passionate
about libraries and have them go out to the community and give presentations on
what the library can do for them.
Merrillene stated that she will complete her master 's
program in September. The class she is currently taking has had an in-depth
discussion on the lack of librarian jobs in the nation. It might be because
people are not retiring as was predicted or because library budgets have been
cut with the result that librarian positions have been reduced.
Patty Birch stated that the 2010 Heartland conference was
very successful. There were over 200 school librarians from Nebraska, South
Dakota and Iowa. Speakers included Cassandra Barnett, president of the American
Association of School Librarians and Pam Burger, a guru of web 2.0 technology.
Magee stated that Medline Plus
released a new design and encouraged everyone to look at. The National Library
of Medicine (NLM) holds monthly webinars. This month the NLM topics will be
Twitter and Mobile PubMed. The NLM also offered service continuity classes for
disaster preparedness. New books have been added to NetLibrary. WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders)
is a mobile application designed to assist first responders in hazardous material
incidents. You may download WISER for
the iPhone/iPod touch. Please share this information with your local fire
department and police department. Marty stated that on September 8, 2010, she and Siobhan
Champ-Blackwell will host three programs at the Nebraska Library Commission. The
programs are Outreach Panel Discussion, Beyond an Apple a Day, and No Comprende?
Spanish and other multiple language resources for health information.
Ellen Weed stated that the state institutional libraries
are experiencing the same new "normal" conditions that everyone else is
experiencing. There is less money for travel, workshops, and many other things.
Ceri Daniels stated that she has completed a weeding
project for the law library at the Cline, Williams ' law firm.
Pat Leach stated that she attended an
Urban Libraries Council conference.
The Urban Libraries Council is addressing how libraries could do a better job of
promoting what they do and leading people to value what they do by connecting to
education. They are stressing connections between libraries and schools. This
should transition into a stress on being very present, forward, and assertive
within your community. The Urban Libraries Council adopted a resolution which
states that libraries need to promote and ensure fair use and access
Kate Borchman Hassebrook stated that the Lyons public
library was able to increase service hours. The library has taken on the job of
scanning historical photos and people from the community are bringing in their
photos. On July 4 the library had a humanities speaker that presented on
Nebraska stories and songs.
Jayne Hlavac stated that she is the librarian and media
specialist at Schuyler Central high school and is looking forward to a new
school year. A major focus is Teen Read Week and this year the theme is "Books
with Feet." She always has a pep rally to
get kids excited and interested about reading. Jayne and one of the English
teachers will be going to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. for a
seminar on primary sources.
Pam Bohmfalk stated that the Hasting public library had
Karen Hyman present staff training on customer service. Karen encouraged
approaching customer service with a touch of generosity and how this approach
can make change people 's lives. Changes in library policies and services include
offering a fax service, reduced fines on videos, and fine free Friday 's during
the summer. These things are a stepping stone to getting the staff to look at
customer service at the next level.The Hastings Friends of the Library book sale raised over
$23,000. Between now and August 20 the library staff will read both the adult
choice and the teen choice for One Book One Nebraska then on the 20th
and 21st the staff will hold a discussion about these books.
Steve Fosselman stated that council members can read about
activities at the Grand Island public library by visiting their website
www.gilibrary.org. The library created a
Facebook page and is working
with DearReader.com and they have added
content for the library. If you scroll down the libraries website you will see
Word Map which they have tagged as sincere words of appreciation.
Steve has been working with the supervisors and the
supervisors have been working with the front line staff on coaching all of the
staff to use sincere words that they have for each other, for the public and for
the library services. The hope is that this will translate into how staff will
provide services and how the library staff operates as an organization.
Next Meeting Date
Rod Wagner stated that an e-mail message will be sent out
with the correct meeting date.
Chair Steve Fosselman thanked everyone for attending the
meeting and hopes are next meeting will be a face-to-face meeting with more time
for discussion. Meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m.