STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, NE
November 19, 2004
State Advisory Council members present: Jim Bothmer, Steve
Davis, Janice Boyer, Karen Drevo, Nancy Escamilla, Gretchen Healy, Theresa
Jehlik, Diana Johnson, John Seyfarth, and Mary Anne Smith. Rebecca Pasco arrived
later in the meeting. Commission members: Velma Sims-Shipley. Guests: Kathy
Ellerton. Commission staff: Rod Wagner and Richard Miller.
Welcome and Introductions
Approval of the Agenda: Moved and seconded. Motion
Approval of Minutes (July 16, 2004): Moved and seconded to
approve the minutes as corrected. Motion approved.
Federal Library Program Funding - Rod Wagner
reported that there may still be a vote in the Congress this week and that it
may have happened yesterday. There is additional money for the Institute of
Museum and Library Services (IMLS) including federal LSTA funding, with the
House version of the bill being closer to the Administration's proposal (and
lower than the Senate version). Both House and Senate versions, however, fully
fund LSTA which would result in an increase to Nebraska of approximately
$138,000 per year in the House version, and $200,000 per year increase in the
Senate version. Rod said he is not suggesting any action on the part of the
Advisory Council. The main effort right now is to try to get Congress to act on
the appropriations bills before adjourning for the year. If Congress takes no
action, however, appropriations will continue at the current level. This is
approximately $1.1 million per year for Nebraska.
Steve Davis reported that ESEA funding for libraries
has been rolled into the "No Child Left Behind" omnibus bill, and that there is
nothing left for media centers anymore. The Kearney school district is getting
less now from all federal education funding; prior to this they received $25,000
to $30,000 per year, and this was primarily used for library materials.
Library Commission Biennial Budget Request - In late
January 2005, the Governor's budget recommendations go to the Legislature. It is
hoped that he will not propose further cuts in agency budgets, as has happened
the last three years. There is nearly always an increase in state aid for K-12
education. Some money will be for the low-level radioactive waste settlement. In
NLC's request, additional funding was requested for:
- Additional state aid for public libraries that attain
higher levels of accreditation under the revised public library guidelines for
accreditation -- $250,000.
- Additional money for regional library Systems -- $60,000
(partly to catch up with cuts made in these budgets over the last several
- Additional funding to add major on-line databases
available to all types of libraries. Shannon Behrhorst is working on this to
John Seyfarth mentioned that he and Kathy Tooker (ELS
Administrator, and NLA Legislative Committee chair) have recently spoken to Sen.
Lowen Kruse about his introducing legislation to add System staff to the state
benefits package (health care, dental, etc.). Jim Bothmer asked John to send out
a summary of the bill and talking points on this issue so that others can
contact their senators. Rod Wagner indicated that, at this point, it would be
premature to do this. The first step would be to talk to the committee handling
the legislation, probably Banking, Commerce and Insurance. The former chair is
no longer in the legislature.
Introduction of Interim President of Little Priest
Tribal College - Louis Larose - Gretchen Healy introduced President Larose
who spoke to the group about Chief Little Priest whose dying statement to his
people was: "There is nothing more I can do for you; be strong and educate my
children." So the College is dealing with the entire life cycle, from the womb
until death. He spoke about how, when a young child is fussy, it can be calmed
by a soft drum beat that mimics the mother's heartbeat. He noted that the
College is experiencing growth pains, but that people, when they see the new
building, are shocked, especially if they saw the shabby building in which it
had been housed. President Larose noted that the two highest growth areas are in
Winnebago and along Dakota Avenue in South Sioux City, and that both these areas
are responding to minority populations. Unlike in the white culture, Native
American families are growing. Also, when economic times get tough in the
cities, Natives come home. He noted that the new library is the "showplace" of
the College, at least until the new classroom building is completed. He said
that the College's growth is directly related to how we work with out peers - in
libraries, and in classrooms.
President Larose was asked how the new college president
will be chosen and whether or not he is a candidate. He noted that the College
has gone through several searches which have resulted in candidates that were
criticized or overqualified for the position. It does require a Ph.D., a degree
Larose does not have. He indicated he would not mind being Interim President for
another year. He said that the new President "must make the vision a reality,"
and that this vision can't become a reality "until it touches the earth." In
response to questions, Larose said there are currently 153 students enrolled.
Gretchen Healy said that the average student is 27 years old, female, has one or
two children, and has transportation and baby sitting problems. So getting more
male students is significant.
President Larose mentioned that the College is going to
establish a new child care center on campus for evening child care to address
the issue. It will provide services to other people in the community who also
need this service. Larose noted his difficulties with the current administration
in Washington, D.C., but then indicated that the most supportive U.S. President
to Native peoples was a Republican - Richard Millhouse Nixon.
Librarians for the 21st Century Grant Program
- Rod Wagner briefly described the three-year grant from IMLS, "Librarians
for the 21st Century," and distributed a description of it. This
grant, subtitled, "Recruiting the Next Generation of Nebraska Librarians,"
includes additional support for LTA and MLS library education students. The
program will also develop mentor/recruiters. The task force called together to
develop the grant has not met for some time but will again meet sometime after
January 1, 2006. The grant is for $343,682. Developing the marketing piece is
the priority for the first year of the grant. Steve Davis, MeMe Smith and
Janice Boyer all asked for more discussion of the LTA program. Discussion
clarified that plans include instructors traveling to closer venues for
long-distance students when face-to-face sessions are required.
Gates Foundation Library Program Grants - Richard
Miller indicated that the ten training sessions in five venues (Norfolk, North
Platte, Lincoln, Kearney, and Scottsbluff) had just concluded yesterday and that
approximately 196 people had been trained in computer-related software programs.
Training included: Basic PC Maintenance and Troubleshooting, FrontPage Basics
(or Advanced), PowerPoint, and Teaching Patrons How to Use the Internet. Other
resources covered during the workshop included: PAComputing, NebraskAccess,
webjunction and TechSoup Stock. The training was delivered using a training
grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for $67,200 and via a contract
for approximately $43,000 with SoliNet out of Atlanta. Our trainer was Max
Anderson, a former Gates Foundation trainer. Our grant was larger than
Colorado's, despite our smaller population, because of all the people who
attended the several Gates training sessions. (The count was 830; of course,
most attendees came to more than one workshop.) Doing the math, this means that
each attendance chalked up an additional $2,240 for training. We will be
compiling the evaluations, which appear to be positive, as part of our report to
the Gates Foundation, and plan to survey those who attended the sessions to help
determine additional training needed. We hope to have annual computer-related
training provided statewide.
MeMe Smith commented that the instructor was "absolutely
wonderful," noting that we librarians in Nebraska really have "come a long way"
since the Gates computers were installed about two years ago. Diana Johnson
reflected these same comments and noted the need to take some classes over and
over in order to become proficient.
Library Technology Support - Richard Miller reported
that the task force formed to begin to address the issue of technology support
for Nebraska's libraries has not met for some time, but that the Commission
intends to call it together again in the future. He mentioned that the
evaluations of the computer-related training just completed will help to inform
that group's deliberations as will the completion of a phone survey of a number
of states that is nearly completed. He also mentioned the "Staying Connected"
grants which, if Nebraska receives them, will result in an additional $250,000
from the Gates Foundation over three years, and that one of these grants begins
to address the technology support issue by enabling the Commission to hire a
technology person. The intent is to bring someone on board who will look at the
whole, changing picture and make recommendations on how to address this need.
The person will not, however, offer individual tech. support to individual
libraries since that approach could never begin to deal with the issue.
E-Rate Status - Rod Wagner mentioned that the
program is undergoing some changes brought about by certain alleged abuses of
this funding which is available to provide libraries, schools, and hospitals
discounted rates on telephone and Internet access and on internal connections in
some cases. Steve Davis said that a lot of these changes have come about from
both vendor and user abuse and that some vendors, in particular, would like to
see this program die. Richard Miller said that the major reason that current
funding has been halted is that the FCC has ruled that, as with other federal
programs, the Universal Services Administration Company (USAC) which administers
the program must have the money "in hand" before it can send out Funding
Commitment Decision Letters (FCDL) that tell a library how much money it can
expect to save. In light of these and other changes, certain forms will be
changed also, although the first form due, Form 470 will not be changed for next
Nebraska Library Association - Theresa Jehlik gave
the NLA report in Brenda Ealey's absence. She reported that last Friday the NLA
Board met and heard that it had realized a very healthy profit from the last
NLA/NEMA conference. John Seyfarth said that he feels Maria Medrano-Nehls had a
lot to do with the increased attendance at conference because of the excellent
pre-conference she helped to plan. Theresa Jehlik noted that "twenty people came
from the Omaha Public Library to out-state Nebraska," probably a first. Theresa
also noted that after two rounds of interviews to contract for an annual
conference coordinator, NLA has changed the position description, limiting it to
annual conference registration and exhibits and offering $3,000, the same amount
as for the earlier, larger job. John Seyfarth suggested the NLA should talk with
Linda Dickeson at NETA (Nebraska Educational Technology Association) since she
has been doing this effectively for that organization for some time. Janice
Boyer and Steve Davis both suggested that perhaps a recently-retired member of
the library community would be willing and able to tackle this effectively.
Theresa Jehlik also noted that the proposed change in the fiscal year for NLA
has been tabled due to confusion among the general membership and some NLA board
members as well. MeMe noted that the wording on this issue was confusing.
Theresa indicated that the next NLA/NEMA conference is scheduled for September
26 - 28, 2006 in Lincoln at the Cornhusker Hotel.
Nebraska Educational Media Association - Steve Davis
indicated that NEMA's start of fiscal year is July 1, so that does not coincide
with NLA's. He also said that Gail Formanack, Supervisor of Omaha Public
School's Library & Instructional Information Services, has been elected as the
new NEMA president. He also reported that the NEMA executive board met the last
day of conference. It has decided to offer another round of professional
development programs in each of the System areas with the theme of advocacy and
using the "@your library" slogan. Another issue of particular interest to school
media people is academic integrity, in particular the problem of plagiarism of
student papers. He noted problems with computer software claiming it can detect
plagiarized papers. Steve also noted work with the Nebraska Department of
Education to have a library media support person within the department. One
approach, which has since fallen through, was to have a combined reading
specialist/media specialist. A newer possibility might be a combined
technology/library media specialist position.
NCLIS Consumer Health Information Award -- Jim
Bothmer and Rod Wagner told of how pleased they were that the McGoogan Library
of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center won this award from the
National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), the first year
of these awards. October 22 was the date of an awards ceremony at the library,
celebrating this achievement. McGoogan will now be considered, along with other
state winners, for the national award which has a $20,000 prize. Jim Bothmer
noted that all Advisory Council members are probably familiar with the CHIRS
program which offers consumer health information, and that the newer sections of
available information are entitled, "Wired.MD", and "HealthHQ."
National Institutes of Health and National Library of
Medicine's PubMedCentral Database - Jim Bothmer reported that NIH, under the
directorship of Elias Zerhouni, now requests that all research funded by it
provide findings to the PubMedCentral database within six months. The question
is whether or not publishers will do this as well since about one-third of all
such information is grant funded. John Seyfarth said that contributing this
information to the database ought to be a condition of the grant.
Literacy, Learning and Libraries - Discussion
Rod Wagner offered a summary of the report, "Reading at
Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America," sponsored by the National
Endowment for the Arts, an attempt to address the decline in reading of serious
literature by Americans. Velma Sims-Shipley said that as an educator, she has
noticed a decline in reading related to too much watching of television. John
Seyfarth cited the passivity of surfing the Internet. Diana Johnson wondered if
there is a trend toward reading clubs, with television personalities and
community-wide efforts popping up. Janice Boyer noted church book groups, with
three in her church; she said that they are primarily made up of older women,
rather than representing a broad spectrum of the population. Karen Drevo said
there is too much going on with both parents in families working. Diana Johnson
and Karen noted the prevalence of too much structure in education and other
activities. Nancy Escamilla said that 80 children come to her library's weekly
story time, and that participants are captivated by someone reading aloud to
them. Richard Miller asked if there is still time for quiet reading in schools,
something that appeared to be gaining ground before the "No Child Left Behind"
push. Steve Davis said that this is still present in schools, if not daily, then
weekly. Gretchen Healy said eighth graders in Winnebago have a teacher who reads
aloud to them daily. This helps to address the disparity between the speaking
vocabularies of Native and non-Native children. Jim Bothmer noted that the Boys'
and Girls' Clubs of Omaha are recruiting volunteers to read to children.
Rod Wagner distributed a brochure on the "One Book - One
State" program under which the entire state will read My Antonia to
celebrate the 100th anniversary of Willa Cather's birth. Diana
Johnson emphasized that we need to do what we can even if it is a "drop in the
bucket." Gretchen Healy said that she hoped in the future that any statewide
book program keeps in mind that there are Native American people who do not like
to read pioneer stories.
Library Tour - Gretchen Healy, librarian at Little
Priest Tribal College library, led a tour of the new facility. This was
appreciated by all as she described the challenges faced, the automated systems,
additional staff, and other features of the library, as well as a bit of the
history of the library.
Council Roundtable --
Jim Bothmer reported that Omaha area medical librarians are
beginning to plan for the joint meeting between the Mid-Continent and Mid-West
regions of medical librarians encompassing sixteen states. This will take place
in October 2005 at the Omaha Hilton and possibly at Gallup University. He also
mentioned that Lola Gilbert, a UNO library science student, is serving a
fifty-hour internship at Creighton University.
Diana Johnson described her library's "Smart Card" campaign
during which she went to elementary schools and kindergartens promoting the
importance of having a library card. Stromsburg Public Library also took a
reading bingo game to all K-4 classes. If a student won a bingo by a certain
date, s/he received a fancy, animal bookmark. On September 22 the library served
free ice cream cones to mark the first date ice cream cones were served in the
U.S. The library also had a similar campaign for adults, offering first and
second prizes of $25 and $15 dollars respectively to an upscale business in
Stromsburg. Diana also took seniors to Barnes & Noble in the senior van and let
them buy books there for the library. Finally the library had a pajama party for
nine pre-school children and 23 elementary children; the "Swedish Cleaning
Queen" read stories to the kids.
Lunch - At this point in the Roundtable, the group
adjourned for lunch. Lunch was brought in including delicious fry bread,
prepared by the same individual who baked the wonderful cinnamon rolls provided
in the morning.
Following lunch the Roundtable resumed:
MeMe Smith said Schuyler Public Library, using a Humanities
program, presented "Family Prime Time" during six successive weeks to promote
family reading and discussion. Ricardo Garcia the storyteller was involved in
this program. Seven families participated in the program, fewer than hoped, but
there was good support from the Hispanic community. The library is continuing
its basic computer classes. They declared an amnesty week for teens with
outstanding fines. Both MeMe and staff member Richa Perkins went to the
Gates-funded computer training. Among other things Richa offered a bedtime
program. The library is also offering "Â¡Habla Con Mio!" a program for those who
want to learn Spanish, and for those who want to learn English. MeMe also said
that beginning in January they would have a community volunteer to do Word
classes in the library. Finally, she mentioned that the library is sharing
cassette audio books with surrounding, smaller libraries and hopes for more such
Jan Boyer discussed the wonderful program provided by
Shaista Wahab who went to Afghanistan to interview women. The program,
entitled, "Afghanistan Unveiled" will be on PBS sometime in the future. On
November 16 there was on on-line chat on this program.
Theresa Jehlik from Omaha Public Library said that library
is doing Fahrenheit 451 for its "One Book - One City" project, with a
series of programs related to this Ray Bradbury title including a dance
interpretation by the UNO dance school as the last program. Theresa noted that
OPL has started its strategic planning process, scheduled to be completed by
April 2005. OPL's last big formal planning took place in 1996. The library has
signed a contract with "Unique Management," a debt collection company that will
contact anyone with fines totaling $25 and up. Everyone using the library must
now pay off any accumulated fines each year instead of letting these add up.
Nancy Escamilla, speaking for her library (Scottsbluff
Public Library) and for Pat Gross who couldn't be at this meeting, described a
series of public meetings in Scottsbluff to discuss the possibility of a new
library there. The city mayor, who supports the concept of a new library, was
re-elected. Wal-Mart contacted the city about possibly giving its former
Wal-Mart to the city for a library. Ninety-nine percent of those who attended
the meetings are in favor of putting an addition on the current building. In its
first year separate from the summer reading program, 242 adults participated in
the adult reading program. Nancy also noted that Scottsbluff was honored as the
number one site in the state for people e-filing their taxes. She also spoke
about "Family Prime Time," a family reading program reaching those with a "high
reading risk." Storyteller Ricardo Garcia is involved in this effort. Nancy and
one other person were hired to present this program, but $8,000 needed to be
raised to present the program. It was raised in one day. The first night of the
program 15 families comprising 39 people showed up. (Only 3 had library cards.)
The second night 18 families with 54 people came. The third night will present
Caldecott books. The bilingual session was not as necessary as thought; only
seven people came who cannot speak English. For the library's "Mystery Night"
their teen group performed a "murder in the stacks" original program.
Thirty-nine teens came on a Saturday night. In its second year, the teen
advisory council has really grown. The library now has a new "teen space." The
"Battle of the Bands" program drew 300 students and 100 parents. It had to be
moved into the library because of rain. A $50 prize for the winning band was
joined by a sound system donated by a local merchant.
Reporting for Pat Gross of Gering High School, Nancy
mentioned that Gering Public Library has started a teen Gering Advisory Group
(GAP). That library had the author of Free to Drink the Wind at the
library as a program; this title was a Nebraska Best Book. Gering Public School
has received a $1 million grant to raise reading levels in all elementary
schools. Gering Public Library has Family Night at the library all summer, and
the elementary school media specialist acquired grant money to work at Gering
Public Library during the summer. Alliance Public Library has a new director,
Dena Crews, whom Nancy praised.
Karen Drevo from Norfolk Public Library described the
library's really good Literacy Festival this year with authors Robert J. Blake,
Elisa Carbone, and Will Weaver. The library has already lined up the
following three authors for next year's festival that takes place July 30, 2005:
Alma Flor Ada, Marion Dane Bauer, and Neal Shusterman. The library has new
carpeting. "Be Lingual," bilingual training for the staff, has begun. The
library's lap sit story time programs have grown to three or four per week. The
library's teen area is being updated. Upcoming are a Children's Day Festival and
a Multi-Cultural Festival.
John Seyfarth reported that Papillion Public Library had a
"cans for fines" program. He also reported that the library has switched from
Fortress to Clean Slate, like the Gates computers, in order to clear off any
unwanted programs, "cookies," etc. when the computer is shut down and restarted.
John also reported a lot of business with flash drives in the library.
Becky Pasco from UNO offered a very succinct report
concerning library science students in Nebraska: "Standing room only; wonderful
students; really busy."
Kathy Ellerton of Northeast Library System mentioned the
successful sock hop sponsored by the Systems at the NLA/NEMA conference. She
also noted the Commission's grant to the systems for the bus to the MPLA
conference. She is teaching the Basic Skills course in NELS this year which has
about 20 participants.
Steve Davis from Kearney Public Schools (and a public
library board member) noted that Kearney Public Library has been planning for an
addition and a remodeling. He sent around the library's promotional brochure. He
said that the local newspaper, The Kearney Hub had a full-page kickoff
for the campaign and that they have been to all the service clubs with a
PowerPoint presentation. Among the statistics noted: the library had 208,700
users in 2003, about 700 to 800 a day. Circulation has gone up significantly the
last five to six years. The library is trying for a Â½ cent sales tax. The
library was built in 1975 and designed to be adequate for 25 years.
Gretchen Healy of Little Priest Tribal College Library said
that the library, which also serves as the public library for Winnebago, has
received a second Libri grant for children's materials. They have also received
a small Wal-Mart grant. The library presented a "Spooky Stories" night, and
number of participants was very gratifying. It has also begun a lap sit program
for mothers and babies, and is going to take this to the pre-natal classes as
well. The grand opening of the library was in September 2004.
Adoption of Resolutions, Recommendations, Action Items
(if any) - John Seyfarth moved, seconded by Diana Johnson, that a resolution
concerning the impact of library funding on public libraries and schools be sent
to the Congressional delegation. Motion approved.
Rod Wagner noted that both Kathy Lute and Ruth Seward are
going off the Advisory Council because they have been on for two terms. Also,
Jeff Gilderson-Duwe resigned; therefore we have some slots to fill. Nancy
Escamilla has completed her first term, but we expect she will be back since she
is the new chairperson. The next meeting is scheduled for March 11, 2005, a
joint meeting with the Commission. The meeting will be in or near Lincoln,
Adjournment - With no further business, the meeting