STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
Grand Generation Center, Lexington, Nebraska
December 13, 2002
State Advisory Council members present: Susan Baird; Jim
Bothmer, John Dale; Steve Davis; Karen Drevo; Nancy Escamilla; Stan Gardner;
Jeff Gilderson-Duwe; Maggie Harding; Mo Khamouna; Ken Oyer; Tom Schmitz; Ruth
Seward; John Seyfarth; and Jane Wall.
Commission members present: Richard Jussel and Kristen
Rogge. Commission staff members present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, Richard
Miller, and Maria Medrano-Nehls.
Welcome and Introductions
Chair Karen Drevo called the meeting to order at 9:03
a.m. Ruth Seward, Director of Lexington Public Library, welcomed the Advisory
Council to Lexington and to the Grand Generation Center.
Approval of Agenda: Ken Oyer
moved, John Seyfarth seconded, approval of the agenda. Motion approved.
Minutes (September 20, 2002): Tom Schmitz stated that a correction was needed
in the September minutes saying NLA and S&I co-sponsored a program not ICON.
Steve Davis stated that page 3, paragraph 1, should be NETA newsletter not
NITA newsletter. Richard Miller stated that page 2 under Gates Foundation
should say Pam Scott and other NLC staff were involved, not just Pam Scott.
Jim Bothmer moved and John Seyfarth seconded approval of the minutes as
modified. Motion approved.
LSTA Re-authorization and
Funding: Rod Wagner reported that the Library Services and Technology Act
(LSTA) has not been reauthorized. However, the program and funding continues
under provisions of a Congressional continuing resolution. There was a
glimmer of hope that the base funding level would be increased, but that does
not look very promising now.
Karen Drevo stated that she had
received responses to Advisory Council letters on LSTA from Senator Ben Nelson
and Congressman Tom Osborne. Rod Wagner stated that one thing we could do is ask
our Congressional delegation to co-sponsor the LSTA re-authorization bill.
Congressman Osborne is the only
one of Nebraska's Congressional delegation who serves on a committee that will
have some jurisdiction over LSTA funding.
Gates Foundation Library
Project: Richard Miller reported that libraries are calling about their
order form from the Gates Foundation. Richard said there is no need to worry,
the order forms will arrive 8 weeks before their training. Gates is setting up
training workshops in the northeast and then going counter clockwise around the
state. Those libraries in the southeast will be the last of the group.
NLC Grant Programs and Schedules: Richard Miller
distributed handouts for grants schedule, LSTA grant information and an agenda
used for the Commission's grants training that was performed by Mary Jackson,
Richard Miller and Pam Scott.
State Budget Outlook and
State Legislative Issues: Rod Wagner reported that the state budget outlook
continues to be negative, with the projected deficit for the next biennium
approaching $600 million. State agencies have been instructed to submit budgets
with 10% budget cuts. On January 15, the Governor plans to present his budget to
the Legislature. State fund reductions are expected for the Library Commission,
as for every state agency. It will touch on higher education, K-12 education to
some extent, those in special libraries as part of state agencies, and local
agencies in terms of their monies received from state government. We will need
to be vocal in our support of these programs.
The Nebraska Library Association
has scheduled Feb. 13 for Library Legislative Day. Rod Wagner stated he was not
sure what new library related legislation will be introduced. Rod stated that
Mike Nolan, Norfolk City Administrator, plans to have the library technology
bond financing bill reintroduced in the 2003 legislative session. The bill has
been rejected each time it has been introduced in the past three sessions.
Nancy Busch noted the cumulative effect of state budget cuts over the last
several legislative sessions. She stated that the Commission has focused on
increasing the aid category over the last several years. The Commission has
already given up three staff positions due to budget cuts, and possibly faces 6
or 8 more position losses with proposed cuts for the next biennium. An
alternative would be to look at switching federal funds into operations instead
Jane Wall asked if school,
academic and public libraries might be able to fund the databases themselves if
we did not provide this "luxury." Nancy stated she has heard that even some of
the major libraries have come to depend on these databases. Jim Bothmer stated
that Creighton University depends on the databases. In response to Jane's
question about personnel, Rod noted that the Library Commission is in the
situation of having to consider staff reductions because personnel is the
largest expense category in the Commission's operating budget. Nancy Busch
noted discussion with the State Building Division to determine whether any cost
reductions could be negotiated on facility costs.
John Seyfarth asked about
federal maintenance of effort and matching provisions for LSTA. Nancy stated
that Nebraska currently meets LSTA maintenance of effort requirements, but there
is a concern about future years. Jim Bothmer asked how much the Advisory Council
meetings cost; Nancy stated that costs for the September meeting in Tilden were
about $3,000. Karen Drevo asked if we face the possibility of not being able to
replace staff members who retire. Nancy stated that we may have to face that,
because typically we would try to keep on current staff rather than initiate
Long Range Plan for Library Services (2003-2007): Nancy Busch stated that
a staff team is working on the 27 activity areas in the long range plan. The
purpose of the staff team is to consider priorities and scheduling of the
activities. Stakeholders will be identified to be involved in those efforts.
A challenge will be to evaluate everything that involves federal LSTA funds;
these funds are scattered throughout many Commission activities. Karen Drevo
stated the difficulty of long range planning when the long-range prognosis is
so dismal. Nancy Busch stated a good example of this is the Library Commission
biennium budget request presented to Commissioners in October prior to
submitting the budget. With a 10% state funds reduction everything can be cut
back. A budget reduction above 10% would require elimination of major
programs and services.
Recruitment and Retention Task Force - Report and Discussion
Rod Wagner stated that copies of
the minutes of the first meeting of the task force were included in the meeting
documents. Rod stated that some Council members are serving on this task force.
The task force will generate ideas for consideration by the State Advisory
Council, Library Commission, the Nebraska Library Association, the Nebraska
Educational Media Association, and Nebraska libraries. The motivation for the
task force goes back a few years with recognition of the need to continue
bringing people into the library workforce as library workers retire or leave
The retirement issue is the most
pressing now. Rod asked Council members for discussion. John Seyfarth stated
that Omaha Public Schools pays tuition for people going into library education.
Karen Drevo stated that too many people think you don't have to do anything
special to be a librarian. John Dale stated that many people who have come into
the field have done so as a second professional choice; this needs to be kept in
mind. There is a need to focus not only on how to contact high school students,
but the 30+ year old also. Karen Drevo stated that Becky Pasco spoke quite a bit
to the issue of people coming into library employment from other fields. Jane
Wall stated that trying to get good teachers to move into the media field is a
"tough sell" because of the technical aspects of the job.
Ruth Seward noted that there is
going to be a trickle down effect; if we are talking to school kids about this
and they speak to their parents it may lure the parents into the field. Ruth
said that she spoke to her Friends group about the coming shortage, and that
sparked an interest in their spreading the word to children or grandchildren.
Jeff Gilderson-Duwe stated that
we need to develop a pitch. Develop something like - "Me? A Librarian?" campaign
targeted at a somewhat older audience.
Karen Drevo asked about the
possibility of an AA degree in conjunction with the community college programs.
Jim Bothmer stated that the Medical Library Association is promoting the library
service careers because of the technical requirements.
Stan Gardner raised the issue of
low salary levels in general library positions and the disservice to individuals
in those positions. A suggested salary level for librarian positions may be
Richard Miller asked how the
work of this group hooks up with what the national (American Library
Association) task force is doing. A response was that the ALA task force is
being monitored and information about their activities is included for task
force information and discussion.
John Dale stated that one idea
might be to involve someone from the Nebraska League of Municipalities.
Mo Khamouna suggested following
the example of Ohio, developing a 15 or 20 minute video to help with
recruitment. Nancy Escamilla suggested recruitment packets that could be
distributed at career days and job fairs. Earlier Nancy Busch passed around a
printout from the PLA Job Shadow Day, scheduled for January 31, 2003. (See
stated these are things we can take back to the task force for their
discussions. We need to narrow the ideas down and determine the best ideas that
are likely to be most productive and that can be implemented within time and
Libraries and Public Value
- Rod Wagner stated that when IMLS Director Bob Martin spoke at the NLA
conference, he quoted from Mark Moore, author of Creating Public Value.
Rod mentioned the article by Eleanor Rodger, Libraries and Public Value,
was included in the meeting packet and asked for feedback on the article.
Maggie Harding said she felt the
distinction between advocates and players near the end of the article is the
most telling of the article. It is important to listen to what the community
wants and needs rather than telling them that they should value libraries.
Susan Baird agreed and said libraries are publicly funded because they support
society's need for "life-long learning." Jane Wall noted the comment on the
article's first page about what is valuable to the community is not necessarily
valuable to the library staff; again, listening to the community is the key.
There is a difference between promotion and publicity and listening.
Rod Wagner asked
what the thoughts where on the "strategic triangle of value." Stan Gardner
stated there is a difference between measuring "profits" in business versus
measurement in libraries. Richard Miller stated that outcome based evaluation
may provide the tool needed to assist us. Nancy Busch stated that we need to
look not just at doing something for individuals, but for society as a whole -
like public education.
Richard Miller told the story of
the woman whose foot was saved from amputation by the traveling medical
librarian in Montana and stated we need to consciously decide what it is we need
to do and tie it in with what it is we are already doing. Maggie Harding stated
we need to take our offerings out to the community and not wait for them to come
to the library. Tom Schmitz stated that HHS institutional libraries had to
"reinvent" themselves; they did this by upgrading technology. Tom also said that
they are planning sessions on MEDLINE, which their nursing staff does not know
USA PATRIOT Act - Rod
Wagner asked for comments from people who attended the teleconference on
December 11th. Comments noted that the teleconference included good
information and ideas. Richard Miller stressed the importance of having library
policy and procedures in place. John Dale said it was important to have a
checklist for evening staff so they know how to handle issues that may come up.
Jim Bothmer stated that there is potential for abuse by law enforcement. Rod
Wagner stated that library staff needs to be concerned about privacy issues and
what information libraries keep about their users.
Lunch & Discussions
Ken Oyer stated that this was
his last meeting. He has appreciated working with this group especially since
he has been a one-person library for so long.
Jim Bothmer - Jim is the head of
a search committee for a Vice-President for Information Services at Creighton
John Seyfarth - Richard Miller
attended a City Council meeting to speak on the issue of governing versus
advisory status. The night that it came up for a vote, about 150 people attended
the Council meeting. The issue was tabled indefinitely.
John Dale - John stated that
Bennett Martin Public Library is in the process of setting up its Gates Computer
Lab. Lincoln City Libraries is conducting a feasibility study for the Bennett
Martin Library; June Garcia is working with Clark Anderson & Partners to develop
options for the library to use 10 to 12 years from now. On November 25, Lincoln
City Libraries implemented a policy stating Internet access was available to
persons under 17 year of age with parental signature only; there was no
controversy about it but fewer teens using the computers. The library did
receive editorial support from the local newspaper, putting the censorial
activity in the hands of the parents, not the library. About 600 people came to
hear Kent Haruff speak on Plain Song, the book selected for Lincoln's one
city - one book discussion program. John stated this was also his last meeting
and that he has thoroughly enjoyed the last six years.
Stan Gardner - Stan stated that
Wayne State College Conn Library now has the antenna in place for 20 wireless
laptops. The library had over 1,500 checkouts in a two week period. Stan is
working with several database vendors to allow Friends to use the databases;
Ebsco has been most forthcoming with prices.
The State Records Board approved
their grant request for ultra- and microfiche scanner so they can scan and send
information out via computer instead of mailing. Stan is working on two other
grants, Research Revolutions grant funded by the National Science Foundation and
the Rockefeller Foundation. This grant consists of a series of 6 videotapes to
create public forums on various science topics. The second grant is an exhibit
of "Yesterday's Tomorrows" through the Humanities Council Smithsonian exhibit.
The exhibit will be open March 22 to April 18. The Nebraska Library Commission
awarded the WSC Library a CE & Training grant allowing 20 people across the
state to take an online cataloging class starting in January. Stan plans to
offer this class annually. During the last month, much work has been directed to
dealing with budget cuts, trying to save jobs. The college had to come up with
about $1 million reduction; 9 people have been laid off. Next year, WSC may have
to reduce its budget another $1 million. Since Peru does not have a librarian on
staff, Stan is providing consulting to them and will be helping them in the
Tom Schmitz - The HHS consortium
is still working toward its integrated system. Tom and Sue Divan, YRTC-Kearney,
are planning to submit a diversity grant for LSTA funds to address Hispanic and
Vietnamese client needs. The consortium is planning on providing training on
MEDLINE, Pubmed, etc. for medical/nursing staff in HHS institutions. He is
participating in the on-line class Stan Gardner mentioned earlier.
Ruth Seward - Invited anyone who
would like to tour the library to stop by after the meeting. The City of
Lexington has decided to hold a bond election January 28, 2003. The bond issue
is to give the library permission to spend $1.5 million on a library building
project and to purchase the property for the library. The City has assured
people that this will not raise taxes; how, we're not sure. Then the FRIENDS
group will raise an additional $1.5 million for the project. The new children's
librarian wrote a Children's Grant for Excellence and was awarded the grant
which will allow language arts students to attend 3 literature festivals and
then put on a program next year.
Mo Khamouna - The library got
LEXIS/NEXIS a few days ago, and added a distance learning computer in the
library. Mo would like to add Webcollection and CatExpress to the library's
computer. The Dean has said that he will have to cut all staff to 9 month
contracts or cut some people from the staff due to budget cuts. There were some
unhappy feelings with the deletion of the Mechanics program. Mo is writing
letters to raise awareness and provide support to the school.
Steve Davis - NEMA is fairly
quiet right now. Steve serves on the Kearney Public Library board. Kearney
Public Library is accepting proposals from architectural firms for plans on an
expansion of the library. There is not much space for expansion although the
city did buy a gas station and put a new parking lot in to the west.
Karen Drevo - Norfolk held a
special election on a Â½ cent sales tax increase in November. It went through and
the funds will be used to build a new fire station and hire additional fire and
police staff. The library has finally hired a security guard for the evenings.
Karen stated that Norfolk has
had an increase of Somalian's and Sudanese and the library has added services
for them. During Teen Reading week surveys were sent to middle schools, Jr. High
Schools, and one of the High Schools in town. About 600 of the surveys were
returned and the results have not yet been compiled. Norfolk is getting ready to
do a large collection development project for young adults.
Nancy Escamilla - Scottsbluff
served over 147,755 people in one year, with circulation of over 246,874. Served
111, 444 reference questions, 26,290 people used the Internet computers and
sponsored 196 programs with 12,967 people attending them. And they also had
21,290 cardholders; this is 45% greater than the population of Scottsbluff. They
service a lot of the surrounding communities including a few communities in
Wyoming. Nancy participated in a program for visiting Afghanistan teachers who
ranged in age from 26 to 60, and were all women. They wanted to see a children's
story hour so one was arranged with a group of second grade children. Their
country has gone from 20% percent student enrollment to 80% in the last year,
50% of the student increase were females allowed to attend or return to school.
Scottsbluff Public Library
children's book budget has been put on hold for a year. Thanks to Lincoln Public
libraries, Scottsbluff Public Library is now getting new signage. Nancy took
pictures of both the Lincoln and Tilden libraries and showed them to the Library
Board and they have agreed to purchase new signs and shelves will get a new
The White House Christmas tree
came through Scottsbluff and over 5,000 people attended the parade; during the
parade day they took story time downtown and had 200 children in attendance.
Morrill Public Library held an "Apple Pie Evening" and had over 100 people who
donated $550 to the library. The money will be used to purchase new furniture
and carpeting. WNCC staff attended the "Brick and Click" sessions at Missouri
University. All PLS activities are now taking place elsewhere rather than at the
Panhandle Center because of price increases from the University of Nebraska
Jane Wall -Jane is teaching a
course at the Southeast Community College in Lincoln. She discovered that her
students were not familiar with the licensed online databases so she taught them
how to use them.
Susie Baird - Susie stated that
this was her last meeting and she felt this is the one group where you can come
to and you don't have to worry about politics, cliques, etc. Wally Seiler has
accepted a position on the Alliance Public Library Board; he will be completing
a term for a board member who resigned. Monthly brown bags at the Alliance
public library are standing room only successes. They also have new display
cases and regularly change these displays. WNCC classes held at the Alliance
library have been so successful that they are expanding to four more classrooms
Maggie Harding - NLA membership
is really healthy right now. Crete nominated two of their Friends for the TUFS
award, but Wally Seiler won. They did recognize these two women at a special
Maggie's daughter is the new
media person in Crete and the services are perking up. Maggie did Basic Skills
training (Public Library Administration) in November.
Basic Spanish for Library
Workers Training - Information and Discussion
Rod Wagner asked Maria
Medrano-Nehls and Richard Miller to speak about the program called, "Spanish
that Works." Richard distributed information on the "Spanish that Works"
Maria stated that she had
contacted Margaret Thompson, Latino Outreach Coordinator in Wyoming, who asked
her sister to develop a program that would address the language needs of library
workers to be able to offer good library services to Hispanic customers. The
program began in Wyoming and has since extended to other states. It is a very
simple program geared to answer basic library questions and describe services
Maria said that until there is a
staff person who can communicate to the Hispanic community in Spanish, you will
not get them to come to the library or if they do they can never ask for
assistance to get full use of the library services. John Seyfarth says they are
getting a lot of use of the Spanish language computer. Jim Bothmer stated there
is a trainer with a library science degree in York (Dennis Hack) who speaks
Maria stated that she spoke with
Linda Garcia at the Omaha Public Library; they have been incorporating the
Spanish community into their library programs. Omaha has translated every
brochure they have into Spanish. Nancy Escamilla stated they have a person who
has helped policemen with basic Spanish, but the person does not have time to
help the library. Discussion was held on options and the possibility of using
LSTA funds and working with the various resources already available in the
state. Nancy Escamilla stated that more and more people are moving to Nebraska
for a better life, and we need to be able to give them the services they need.
Richard Miller stated that the Gates computers come with the ability to switch
languages and have a tutorial on how to use the mouse in both English and
Spanish. The Council stated that they would like to see LSTA and CE Training
funds used for the program.
Recognition of Council
Members Completing Terms
Rod Wagner distributed
Certificates of Appreciation for two completed terms to: Stan Gardner, John
Dale, Ken Oyer, and Susie Baird.
Adoption of Resolutions,
Action Items (if any)*
A general thanks
to Ruth Seward for hosting the meeting. Thanks to Karen Drevo for Chairing the
Council this year.
2003 Council Meeting
The next meeting will be a joint meeting with the NLC
Commissioners, March 13 and 14th, 2003 in Kearney. Mo Khamouna
invited the Council to meet in Curtis for the June meeting.
Ken Oyer moved to adjourn,
seconded by Mo Khamouna. Motion approved. The meeting adjourned at 2:03 p.m.