State Advisory Council on Libraries
Present: B. Baker, V. Bialac, J. Birnie, D. Crews,
E. Epp, J. Leader, S. Mason, G. Mier, P. Sheridan, C. Speicher, S. Wiegert,
Staff: J. Budler, N. Busch, B. Davis, D. Greenlee,
D. Oertli, M. J. Ryan, S. Snyder, E. Van Waart, R. Wagner.
The meeting of the State Advisory Council on Libraries
was convened at 10:05 a.m. by Council Chair, Jeanne Leader.
Sharon Wiegert announced the success of one
activity for the Papillion Public Library building project. Penny marches
were held four times this week with children from the library. The children
marched through city hall collecting pennies for the building fund, gathering
a total of 1,152 pennies. The activity received good attention from the
Omaha television stations. Brochures about the proposal for a new building
were distributed to Council members.
It was suggested to amend the agenda by adding
one item, this afternoon discussion will be held on the Network News Server
and policies concerning its use. Dena Crews moved, and Joan Birnie seconded,
the agenda be approved as amended. The motion carried. Carol Speicher moved,
and Ella Epp seconded, the minutes of September 9, 1994, be approved as
received. The motion carried.
Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure
Assistance Program (TIIAP) Grant
Rod Wagner stated later today we will explore
Council members' ideas and contributions in discussing our roles and services
using information technology in Nebraska. The following updates are to
set the stage for the later discussion.
Federal grant projects include the Telecommunications
and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) Grant, awarded
by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Library Commission is working with
several other government entities to carry out a statewide planning project.
The team is working with representatives of Nebraska libraries, state
and clients of the Talking Book and Braille Service to develop a plan for
information technology in Nebraska. The plan will address: What are the
components of a network and how will librarians and the public relate to
and connect with it? There is a tight timeline for this project. The next
step is a second grant application to implement our plan developed by the
first grant. The next round of grant applications will be due in March
of 1995. The current project must be completed by the end of January
The second component is the National Science
grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Library Commission.
The various campuses and departments of the University of Nebraska and
the Library Commission, as an advisory body, will identify content and
training issues concerning information technology that need to be addressed
in Nebraska. The two grants go hand in hand. There is a longer timeline
for this grant.
National Science Foundation "Electronic Library"
Nancy Busch provided a one-page handout to the
Council about the National Science Foundation (NSF) planning grant. Two
key barrier areas will be addressed by the grant 1) compatibility of network
systems, and 2) training for end users. The first step is a survey of
and others to identify what is being offered and where there are gaps and
needs. Maryland conducted a similar survey of training needs. They have
identified people in the state to attend training and then provide training
in their own community and two days of training to another community.
A retreat is planned for late spring 1995 for
key stakeholders in Nebraska's electronic library. Participants will develop
recommendations on the content for the statewide electronic library, training
to be made available throughout the state, and possible hardware/software
solutions for accessing data. Results of the planning retreat will be used
in developing additional grant proposals for implementing the electronic
library in Nebraska.
Rod Wagner noted focus group sessions will be
held around the state as part of the grant process. We will hold one focus
group session with the Council this morning. Other focus groups will be
conducted in January. Today we would like to get the Council members thoughts
and ideas on information infrastructure issues.
Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure
Assistance Program (TIIAP) Grant--Nebraska Libraries
Rod Wagner noted that the Nebraska Educational
Telecommunications (NET) and the Library Commission led the effort to get
funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. NET was awarded a grant
to create a Community-Wide Education and Information Service (CWEIS), which
has since changed its name to Nebraska Net. Nebraska Net is intended to
build on work already started by other entities (e.g. Nebraska
Randy Bretz is the project director. An advisory committee has been formed,
and met recently. Library Commission staff have advocated using the grant
to enhance or utilize production capabilities at NETV. Some people feel
the project should be broader than that. There is a community based component
of the grant involving Chadron, Cambridge and Lincoln. The focus of the
community based component is not yet clear. It does relate to the above
Diane Greenlee was introduced as the focus group
facilitator. Notecards were handed out before the meeting with the question
"What does the "Information Highway mean to you?" Council members took
the question card and quickly wrote down their thoughts on the chart paper
around the room.
Diane introduced Dave Oertli, Talking Book and
Braille Service director, as the note taker for the focus group. Ellen
Van Waart was introduced as the observer.
"What does the "Information Highway mean to
easy, free access for the public to the Internet
or any type of telecommunications
library needs to be an integral part of access for
overwhelming, unorganized and bumpy
the great unknown!
anticipating a great thing to happen and it is not
happening soon enough (like a kid anticipating Christmas)
when it does happen, watch out
means a whole new set of demands from general public
(and a lot of demands)
will it be a freeway or a toll road?
do you mean: to get on it and travel should be free,
or that all available from it should be free?
to get on and travel it should be free
Internet is spoken of with great euphoria; in actuality
people will be overwhelmed with information,
how to sort and find what they want, people already have to wait in line
to use the machine at the library
"How will you use the "Information Highway" in
your personal life?"
will have son find the information for her, not use
listserves provide people information not document
information--for librarians is very beneficial, we can talk with many other
librarians at the same time. Also helps in dealing with vendors. Librarians
hold a global discussion about a policy or proposal from vendors--librarians
talk and vendors "listen in."
An article in the paper this week stated a county
law library is no longer buying books. No one told the lawyers--they are
not ready for it. Are our patrons ready for it?
Law schools are struggling with how to train law
students to use online services as well as books to find the information
One staff member bought a computer for home, she
had no experience, no manuals came with the
computer, the manuals were on CD-ROM. The company told her she could print
it off. The general public also has limited
Compare it to the coming of the automobile, now most
people drive. Things will come with time, people adapt quickly
question: When do I show them how to use the system,
and when do I just find the information myself
(quicker). When am I an information provider, and when am I a teacher?
What is the librarian's role?
Some scientists are on the Internet. They go out
and fish have no idea what they are collecting. They
don't understand exactly what they are accessing. They don't have information
science knowledge to search through the
When I access something, I want to know where it
came from, and when it was last updated-is it accurate and current?
We want to deal with reputable reference providers
(like we do with books). It will be harder to verify
the information found on the Internet
I don't work on a home computer because I spend my
work day with one. My brother has one, he was eager to access databases
but didn't know how. Now he and others are frustrated at work because
they know they can access rules and regulations from the Internet, but
work has not even addressed the issue of computer access for
We need to sort out how computers will fit in life
efficiently (just because we CAN do it doesn't mean we SHOULD do it). It
also affects clerical work.
People are at many different levels of experience,
knowledge and expertise
Scientists develop a list of books the want from
the Library of Congress online catalog. They don't
know about the interlibrary loan system in place and that they could search
the UNL library catalog--their books are much more accessible
If the library is not responsive, patrons will find
another way to get what they want
"How will the role of your organization change?"
I expect to move from the norm of serving first the
customer in the building (we now answer the person present first and then
the person on the telephone), to serving the remote accessor, soon we will
be treating them the same.
Some information will move from books to online--e.g.
reference books. Popular reading and magazines will still be in paper,
but delivery of them may change.
Community Bulletin Board allows citizens to access
the library catalog from home. They call and the library holds the item
until the patron comes in and picks it up.
There will be less dependence on the U.S. mail, more
immediate delivery of materials will be needed.
"Buy on demand" via online access will be available,
but also will still need print items.
Libraries will lose customers, as in the example
of subways or buses--use declined after most people bought cars. A lot
of people won't need the library for information. We will have taught them
how to get it themselves.
We should let people know about the skills librarians
have and the value of their skills to people in the community. An information
The "buses" are not running in rural Nebraska, and
libraries will close.
Public access available at the public library will
be important for those without their own computer equipment. The staff
expertise will also be valuable.
Several communities in the Northeast Library System
are now considering closing the public library or combining it with school
The economic development thrust has assisted communities,
often the library is an important part of the process (sometimes the libraries
are left out).
There needs to be a sorting out of Internet educational
items from the general volume of information there, eventually there will
be so much information it will have to be sorted.
Someone has to pay for the highway (don't want it
to be us).
Contact people for questions and assistance will
be larger and more global.
Will people go to other librarians rather than their
own? It will depend on the service they receive. It will keep us on our
Looking for information and using libraries will
become a more solitary activity. Local clubs of cooking group or whatever,
now have an interest group on the Internet.
"Lone eagles," can live in a small town and conduct
their business. Don't have to leave your small town to build a successful
"Flaming" occurs, have to learn social interaction
Economics: funds to build superhighway, and the
Changing technology, have to buy new hardware,
Phone lines won't be the answer, satellites will
be used in the future. We must keep our minds open, planners may have too
narrow of a focus.
Defining what "our" role is. Will we use electronic
resources like we use print resources? Will we have people come in the
building, or serve them from their home in some way?
Nebraska Online is organized, people
can use it from home with little assistance or training, that is not the
norm on the Internet.
Will library need to be prepared to offer "manuals"
and training rather than the information itself people are seeking? How
can libraries serve those people?
Libraries will need to work together to provide a
gofer or whatever is needed to serve patrons.
How will the Library Commission help all the many
different libraries in different situations?
There are many terrified librarians. The entire role
and identity is changing dramatically. Some are hiding their heads in the
sand and their libraries are doomed.
We don't know how will deal with these
The staff must be trained well enough to train patrons
when they come in library. All staff will need to be able to
Smaller libraries will have to go to bigger libraries
for assistance, not all larger libraries will be responsive to this
Small communities won't be able to afford to hire
a librarian with electronic information expertise.
The Commission could download valuable information
from the Internet and put it on Nebraska Online for access
by librarians who have no Internet access or expertise.
The State Advisory Council on Libraries looks at
the state, who are the groups that have abilities or access and find a
way for other libraries to benefit.
The work day of a public library is NOT 8-5, librarians
with expertise will need to be scheduled to work during all open
What kind of access will the library provide to children?
E-mail? Access to pornography files? How will librarians handle these
Future applications for electronic access: (how would
you like it to be?)
It is a fantastic opportunity for libraries to shine
as never before and be a focal point for their community. It also means
sink or swim.
Libraries involved in planning are ahead of the game
because people in their community learn that librarians are knowledgeable
about electronic information and access, etc.
It will be a survival issue for rural Nebraska, if
successful, people will be able to stay in that community and compete
A network that is statewide, no local libraries,
but access via the state network.
The Council recessed for lunch at 12:02 p.m. The
meeting reconvened at 1:43 p.m.
SACL 1994 Mission and Goals, Challenge to
Dena Crews suggested public libraries put copy
of it in with their annual report and send it to the city council. Sharon
Mason has submitted an article to NLAQ about the State Advisory
Council including the background and history of the Council.
The Council reviewed the goals:
Goal 1: Publicize the purpose of the
State Advisory Council on Libraries and seek input from Nebraska
We need to gather feedback from librarians, place
an item in the NLCommunicator requesting issues/needs that should be discussed
by the Council.
Goal 2: Monitor state and federal
legislation that pertains to libraries.
The Council is receiving updates on state and
federal legislation. Position statements have been written when
Goal 3: Improve communication with
the Nebraska Library Commission.
The September minutes were received in a timely
manner. The Council feels there has been good communication with the
Goal 4: Communicate and promote the
importance of information technologies to the Nebraska library
The challenge to Nebraska libraries and librarians
distributed at the NLA/NEMA conference conveyed the importance of technology.
This issue has been discussed at each Council meeting, including the one
Goal 5: Provide new State Advisory
Council members with the information they need to be effective participants
in the Council.
Orientation for new members at the first meeting.
Suggestions include: send the notebook to the new Council member prior
to the first meeting. Have dinner and a speaker the night before the first
Council/Commissioners meeting to assist in orientation and provide an
for the new members to meet and talk with other Council members. A mentor
approach could be helpful. Assign an experienced member to call a new member
the night before the first meeting to discuss general information about
the Council and answer any questions. Let new members know lunch is not
always catered, and suggest some nearby restaurants.
Explain how the Council fits into the scheme of
things, it is a working body. Recap what the Council did during the past
year. Include a copy of Sharon Mason's NLAQ article with the packet
of information sent prior to the first meeting. Let new members know the
length of service on the Council, including when their term begins and
ends. Send material out to new members soon after the appointments are
made. Assign pairs, experienced member with a new member, soon after the
appointments made by the Commissioners in January.
Goal 6: Increase involvement of the
Council members in quarterly meetings.
Council members stated this is also occurring
this year. Members feel they are more active participants in the
What should the Council do now with the challenge
We are missing getting a response besides "that's
nice". The Council suggested the Library Commission offer a small grant
program relating to the challenge. For example, "How has your library responded
to this challenge?" It could be a Title III grant project. Becky Baker
moved: "The State Advisory Council on Libraries recommends the Nebraska
Library Commission offer a small grant program for libraries to respond
to the Council challenge. The grant program should be announced in January
to allow time for matching funds and get it in libraries' budget request
processes." It was also recommended the Commission list some suggestions
of types of projects that would qualify. Sharon Wiegert seconded the motion.
The motion carried.
Council Roundtable on Library Service
Joan Birnie, Broken Bow Public Library, stated
their satellite receiver is up and going strong. This encourages the community
to use the library as a location for meetings of different types. Joan
is a member of the local technology group and they are giving out information
to the community about the satellite being available. The November elections
resulted in two new city council members who are library supporters. The
new mayor is also supportive.
Carol Speicher, Northeast Library System, said
a city administrator called this week to ask her to attend a town hall
meeting regarding future plans for the library. Under consideration is
combining the public library with the school library or building a new
library building. The city administrator was told by someone that the town
won't need a larger library building because everything will be on
Sharon Mason, University of Nebraska at Kearney
(UNK), stated Kearney Public Library is getting ready to barcode the
UNK volunteered their lib staff to assist. In the next week or so the
librarians will meet and discuss the NSF grant.
Ella Epp, Henderson Community School, said their
local bank offers low interest loans to any teaching staff for purchase
of computers for home. Henderson applied for a lottery grant but did not
Lupe Mier, Bellevue Public Library, stated he
is trying to better understand the Dynix system. They do not yet have all
the manuals they need.
Dena Crews, Chadron Public Library, noted their
Follet system is now running fairly smoothly. They are in the process of
purchasing carpet to be laid, then they will install more workstations
for the card catalog.
Sharon Wiegert, Papillion Public Library, said
they have upgraded their Follet system. Internet access for the public
is almost ready, they are working on a fee schedule. Magazine summaries
are now available on the Bulletin Board. The Eastern Library System is
sponsoring a continuing education event for Young Adult library services
Becky Baker, Seward Public Library, noted they
also have upgraded their Follett system. Jointly with Concordia College
library, they started providing interlibrary loan for the Southeast Library
System in August and have received about 650 requests so far. Some members
of the public have suggested joining the public library with the college
library. This is not under consideration by the town or the college.
Verda Bialac, Omaha Public Library, stated they
now receive funds from Douglas County for library service to unincorporated
areas of county. Other libraries in the county are also receiving funds.
Omaha Public Library has upgraded their Dynix system. It will now allow
them to put CD-ROM reference items on the system. They will also be installing
a LAN (local area network). The library is also working on Internet access.
Fax reference service will start soon, procedures and policies are being
finalized. They are in the middle of numerous ADA modifications to buildings,
with many projects underway.
Jeanne Leader, Western Nebraska Community College,
said Alliance Public Library has taxpayer approval for a new library building.
Sidney Public Library has a new librarian, Janet Kent. Lots of Internet
activity, getting libraries connected through the Community College. The
business community has discovered the value of library holdings and services
so the technology committee includes librarians from Gering, Scottsbluff
and the Community College. They are planning a technology day. Also, there
is a move for an information technology course at the college.
Sally Wise, UNL Law Library, noted staff are working
with the Library Commission on the National Science Foundation (NFS) grant.
The Law school is trying to deal with issues concerning email, the Internet,
Pat Sheridan, Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal
Research Center, stated they now have a CD-ROM. Hastings Public Library
has finished bar coding and now has started holding meetings regarding
the need for a new library building. The National Agriculture Library has
announced it will be electronic by January of 1995. Pat now has Internet
connection but hasn't had a chance to work with it much yet.
Long Range Plan Comments and Discussion
There were no comments regarding the Long Range
Rod Wagner updated the Council on plans for the
new federal library program to follow LSCA. Planning has been going well,
the framework has held. The new Congress may convene hearings to begin
shaping legislation, but may not do so until January. Supporters of library
programs are part of the new leadership in Congress.
A new proposal endorsed by ALA & others (including
the National Education Association) proposes the federal communications
division require telephone companies to apply a certain percentage of funding
back to schools and libraries to help them wire for the electronic information
network. If this does come about, it will provide about $200 million annually
to schools and public libraries.
Rod Wagner also updated the Council on state
matters. Bills on public library legislation will be ready for the Legislature
when they convene in January. The revised bills include public library
districts, public library federations, and also allow citizens to petition
local governments to place items regarding libraries on election ballots.
NLA & NEMA both support a bill to be introduced to establish a library
media position in the Nebraska Department of Education. The new Commissioner
of Education also supports it if funds are available.
A Legislative Day, sponsored by NLA, will be held
in mid February 1995, to contact State Senators about library issues.
The budget issues in this next legislature will
be major item. The revenue prospect better than predicted, but the Governor
is still expected to ask for some cuts. The priority for his new term is
to streamline state government, to consolidate and downsized. Sonny Foster
is once again head of the state Department of Personnel, now part of the
Department of Administrative Services. Sonny will handle the streamlining
project. The Library Commission is not a code agency (directly under control
of Governor), and so will not be involved in the talks.
Network News Server
Rod Wagner noted that the Library Commission agreed
to operate the hardware and software previously handled by the Department
of Education. It provides access to Internet for news groups. The equipment
will be installed at the Commission within a very short time. Information
on the thousands of news groups will be made available.
Jeanne Leader raised some issues concerning the
network server. She noted the Division of Communications has provided access
to about 6,000 groups. Last year the Division of Communications took some
news groups off of the access point. Does the Library Commission need a
policy regarding access to the news groups and adding or deleting groups
from system access. She asked the Council for discussion of Usenet News.
It could be considered a collection development/management issue, which
groups will provide access to and which not. The Denver Freenet has a
that warns the user they are leaving the Denver Freenet and any of a number
of interesting things may appear on the screen. The Council would like
a demonstration of it at the next meeting, if possible.
Thanks were given to Sharon Mason, Pat Sheridan,
and Carol Speicher for completing their second terms on the Council.
Thanks were also given to Jeanne Leader for chairing
the Council for the past year. Ken Hughes has resigned from the Council
due to new duties in North Platte. A new Chair will be elected at the next
The next meeting will be March 10, a joint meeting
with the Commissioners. Everyone is invited to the half day meeting, dinner,
and speaker. A schedule will be distributed to Council members. Current
members will choose who they wish to mentor after appointments to the Council
are made in January.
There being no further business, the Council adjourned
at 3:05 p.m.