STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
December 8, 1996
Present: Becky Baker, Verda Bialac, Joan
Birnie, Laura Cundiff, Dreva Dragos, Michael LaCroix, Sharon Mason, Guadalupe
Mier, Jeanne Saathoff, Kathy Tooker, Richard Voeltz, Sharon Wiegert and
Staff: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, Sally Snyder,
David Oertli and Ellen Van Waart.
Guests Present: Richard Miller and Maggie
Welcome and Introductions
The meeting was called to order by the
chair, Guadalupe Mier at 10:08 a.m. Introductions were given
The agenda was approved as received by
Richard Voeltz moved and Michael LaCroix
seconded the minutes of the September 19, 1996, meeting be
approved as received. The motion carried.
Announcements: Sump Memorial Library, Papillion
will hold an Open House on January 26, 1997.
Library Services and Technology Act
Rod Wagner reported on the Library Services
and Technology Act (LSTA). Letters were sent to the Congressional delegation
in September encouraging them to support enactment of the LSTA. The LSTA
bill was enacted. For fiscal year 1997, the LSTA will be acting under the
previous Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) rules and regulations
until the transition period of the LSTA has been
The Administration of the LSTA program
is in the process of moving from the U.S. Department of Education
to the Institute of Museums and Library Services.
The Library Commission has received
the same total federal funding this year. Title I was increased and Title
III was reduced. The new LSTA program will be simplified and consolidated
into a state based block grant program. The amount of 1998 grant money
for the LSTA is difficult to estimate due a new Congress developing the
1998 budget. One requirement of the new LSTA is to submit a Long Range
Plan by April 1, 1997. Regulations for the new LSTA should be fairly simple
since the language of the act is fairly simple. The elimination of multiple
titles into a more flexible and simple form have been a theme of federal
efforts over the last several years. The success also owes a great deal
to the broad based coalition that came together to promote and support
the LSTA. The LSCA over the years has been a successful federal program
with support from many Congressional
members, and was not perceived as a partisan issue.
State Advisory Councils on Libraries have
been a requirement under the LSCA since the early 1970s. LSTA does not
require State Advisory Councils, but Councils are permitted. LSTA does
require a mechanism for input on programs and policies.
Universal Service Fund (Federal and
The Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996
contains a whole new set of policies concerning competition in the
industry. The issue the Nebraska Library Commission is interested in is
the Universal Service policies that will affect high cost areas, low income
areas, rural and urban areas. Specifically in this new legislation are
provisions that relate to discounted telecommunication rates for schools,
libraries and rural hospitals. Schools and libraries will be under the
same policies at the federal and state level. Rural hospitals have some
similarities but they are treated as a separate area. The extent of discounts
and what will be included is under discussion.
In November the joint federal-state board
(the board was created to make recommendations to the Federal Communications
Commission) task force met and made decisions on recommendations to the
FCC. The Task Force is recommending that schools and libraries receive
discounts ranging from 20% to 90%, with a higher discount in rural, low
income, and high cost areas. One method for identifying whether a school
or library falls into that range of discounts is using statistics that
are compiled to determine eligibility for school lunch programs. States
must be consistent with, but can go beyond, the federal policies. The concern
in Nebraska is that schools, in many cases, already have discounts negotiated
with companies (approximately 50% of Nebraska Schools). A concern would
be that a federal policy may not go as far as what has already been put
into place in many areas of Nebraska for schools. With libraries outside
of schools this would not be the case as many public libraries have not
benefited from any discounts, a few have been successful in getting free
connections. We need to make sure that schools and libraries do not lose
what they have already gained in negotiated raises. The Nebraska Task Force
has been meeting monthly. The Nebraska Task Force met earlier this week
and is looking at a policy that would assure that schools and libraries
receive at least a 50% (and as much as 90%) discount. How that discount
is determined is the next item to be addressed, and part of that is
the prevailing tariffs. Another interesting item that is emerging is a
collation organizing to advocate that schools and libraries receive free
telecommunications services. This was a proposal the Clinton Administration
introduced to the joint board shortly before the election. The joint board
also stated that the discount will also apply to wiring and installation,
as well as the actual modem phone calls. This recommendation must be approved
by the FCC.
The Legislation has a hearing scheduled
for next Friday at which time they have arranged testimony on the status
of universal service policy development in Nebraska. There will be a status
report from the Task Force. Rod is a member of panel for presentations,
as well as Allen Wibbels, representative from the
The Nebraska Library Association board
adopted a policy advocating and supporting the concept of free
services for schools and libraries.
For libraries, free access will come to
about $1.5 million in savings annually. The universal service fund comes
from assessments to everyone, the fund then pays for the service being
discounted. The companies providing service will be paid for providing
that service. The annual revenue in Nebraska for Telecommunication services
is around $930 million annually, a 1% assessment on this would take care of funding the discounted services to
libraries, schools and low income areas.
Kathy Tooker moved and Devra Dragos seconded
to adopt the same policy as the Nebraska Library Association "That the
State Advisory Council of Libraries supports and promotes an educational coalition initiative to obtain free
services for Nebraska schools and libraries "
What will the free service cover? Would it
include any library eligible to receive funds?
The discount would allow any public library,
school library and any library that is eligible for receiving funds under
Title III (which includes college libraries, special libraries,
institutional libraries) to receive discounted Telecommunication
The discount will cover all installation,
wiring, and ongoing monthly charges for line and
telecommunication services for that service. It
would not cover computer equipment
FCC decisions will be made in May. The
Nebraska Legislature also must act on the policy. There may not be time
for the Legislature to act on the policy in the 1997 session, since the
FCC decision won 't be made until May. It may another year before Nebraska
policies can be enacted, unless the Legislature adopts some legislation
which gives the Public Service Commission authority to implement
provisions anticipating the Federal policy.
Public Library Laws:
There has been legislation before the
the last two years to amend the Public Library Statutes. At the end of
the last session the bill that was considered was not acted upon, so the
bill died. The General Affairs Committee is interested in this legislation.
The Legislature adopted an interim study resolution and held a hearing
on the issue last month in Omaha. It appears at this point that the General
Affairs Committee now understands this legislation, supports it, and it
is likely that the General Affairs Committee will sponsor a new bill will
some revisions. Attention is being given to the issue of employee benefits
because it will be probably a precedent or model for other consolidations
and mergers. The concern is if a city library should ultimately join or
become part of a county library system and thereby come under county government
statutes, employee benefits could change from city policies to county policies.
The one absolute is to assure and protect the employee benefits. There
will probably be some extensive drafting of those provisions in this bill.
Provisions for employee benefits will probably be a part of the Public
Library Statutes bill. In the state 91 counties participate in one type
of retirement program, there are different county benefit programs in Lancaster
County and Douglas County.
One possible issue that makes this bill
important is any statutory language that may be adopted relates to funds
for the Libraries for the 21st Century project. This bill could
be a vehicle for an amendment that
would include those provisions.
Electronic Access to State Government
Records Task Force:
The state government electronic records
issue has been addressed these past several months by a Task force consisting
of some legislative representatives, Senators and people appointed by the
Governor. The Task Force is putting together their report and their
The view point that seems to have emerged from the Task Force is that the
significant majority do not wish to see the Electronic Services
that are currently in place destructed or discontinued.
There is recognition that Nebrask@
is serving a significant group of customers across the state: banks, insurance
agencies, insurance companies, attorneys, judicial representatives, etc.,
and they do not want any disruption
of these services.
There is also a solid majority view that
the fees from some of these services should be used to finance the development
and continuation of the network. The support of user fees is largely derived
at this point on access fees to drivers
There is also a proposal that has not been
settled on that would give a role to the State Records Board of having
an oversight responsibility for decisions on fee issues. The State Records
Board is an existing body that is chaired by the Secretary of State and
has the State Records Administrator, State Auditor,
State Treasurer and the Governor among it's members.
There is support to extend the current
contract that the Nebraska Library Commission has with Nebraska Interactive
for online services from January, 1998 to the original date of 2000. The
Library Commission had signed an extension of the agreement to the year
2000, the reason being that the state secured
the right to a continuing license for use of the software without having
to pay for the software.
However the Legislature when they dealt
with this issue set a termination date of January, 1998 for this contract
and any others which involved contracts with private companies for electronic
records. By doing that we have lost the assurance of the continuing license,
so if the state vacates that contract and wishes to acquire the right to
continuing use of the software there is a fee of $500,000 to do so. There
is an advocacy for renegotiating and extending the contract, and legislation
will be drafted by someone for introduction in the 1997 legislature. Senator
Withem has been an active member of the Task Force Harding's
email address is: email@example.com
Kathy Tooker reported that the registration
for the four Advocacy Meeting scheduled for across the state next week
is over 150 people. Legislative links are citizens who agree to contact
their Senator and discuss the Libraries for the 21st Century
with them, as well as invite him/her to the NLA Legislative Day luncheon.
Kathy Tooker requested that everyone on the State Advisory be a legislative
link. It is necessary to have more than one legislative link per Senator
in case of illness. Also needed are stories about what libraries have done
for people. Give your stories to Kathy Tooker. All State Advisory Council members should attend the Advocacy
Workshops next week.
February 20, 1997 is designated as Nebraska
Library Association Legislative Day.
Rod Wagner reported on the processes for
public input on fund allocation, if the campaign is successful. Proposal
to date has not been specific about how the funds would be allocated. A
process needs to be devised to address
Colorado last year enacted a new program
that allocates $20 million for technology and learning grants, and also
includes a loan fund. They did not break down that $20 million. Colorado
has certain purposes that the money will be used for, part of their plan
is to utilize a capital development committee that will develop the guide
line requirements for distribution of the funds. An option for us is to
devise some type of public process where we may involve, for example, the
State Advisory Council or a specific task force appointed to work on developing
policies for usage of those state aid funds. Individuals are concerned
that there may not be fairness involved in determining how funds will be used. This would be one way of addressing
Ellen Van Waart updated the Council on
LB 144. The Nebraska Partnerships for Economic Development Act is a program
that was funded at about $250,000 last year. They are planning to request
funding for this year. Senators seem favorable to it as it does promote
economic development. Ellen distributed information on the Act to the State
Advisory Council. The Nebraska Development Network should be joined by
the librarians of the state, there is no cost to join. One of the benefits
of the Network is that they would then be eligible for these grants. Most
grants this past year were for around $25,000. Joann McManus, Department
of Economic Development is the contact person. The criteria for these grants
were not in the legislation, they are not regulation but are in a published
booklet. The only criteria for these grants is that 2 or more entities
form a partnership or some type of collaborative agreement that promotes
community and economic growth. Libraries can go together or a library and
another entity in the community could go together. Even though funds have
not been allocated yet the message should go out to libraries to begin
thinking about working with another group in their community or in another
community to be eligible for possible future grants. Kathy Tooker and Ellen
Van Waart are working with Saunders County in a cooperative venture, plans
are to apply for some of the grant money. Libraries for the 21st
Century could consider using these guidelines as a basis for
fund allocation of the Libraries for the 21st Century
Title I and Title II grant sheets indicating
which libraries have received grants for technology and construction were
distributed to Council members.
The meeting recessed at 11:45
The meeting reconvened at
Council Roundtable (member
Kathy Tooker reported on the Saunders County
project. Ellen Van Waart and Kathy Tooker met with the Directors and some
library board members from the six public libraries in Saunders county.
Wahoo (the largest), Ashland, Ceresco, Mead, Yutan, and Valparaiso (the
smallest) concerning development of some type of cooperative project. One
possibility is electronic records so all libraries' collections are available
to all 6 libraries. At the present time two of the libraries have electronic
records. Also discussed were centralized ordering and processing for better
discounts on materials, and sharing programming. The next meeting is in
February. The librarians and board members from the six communities will
talk about all the benefits for their community from this project, and
possible problems that will need to be addressed. All participants recognize
they must do something or their library
will die. It is encouraging.
Michael LaCroix, Creighton University,
wanted to let the Library Commission know that they appreciate the upcoming
trials the Commission has set up for the spring: for looking at IAC's and
UMI's product and Epco's product, etc. Usage at Creighton Library is up
20% this year over last year.
Jeanne Saathoff reported that the Kearney
Public Library is continuing to see increases and are trying new products
all the time. Internet connections in the community are still frustrating
in that resources cannot be shared better than is being done presently.
The library is excited about the coming possibility of wireless Internet
from KN Energy. KN Energy was going to have everyone on line quickly but
a problem was encountered when they neglected to involve the city in
Hopefully this will be resolved.
Guadalupe Mier, Bellevue Public Library,
noted that non-residents of the city are complaining about the fee to use
the library. The Kennedy Freeway is now open, and more housing is being
developed. Four new SIDS are being planned and this will increase the
issues over the next 2-3 years. Bellevue would like to meet with Papillion
and La Vista in the near future to discuss county funding and service
Joan Birnie, Broken Bow Public Library,
reported on their KN for Kids project in the area. A certain amount of
funds goes to the town per gas meter. The public library received $2,500
to be used for children's audio cassettes and for young adult materials.
Sharon Wiegert, Papillion Public Library,
noted the library will be continue in the old building until December 7,
1996. The new library, Sump Memorial Library, will open on December 23,
1996. The library is expecting to see more of the non-resident fee issue
when new library building is open. The library will be closed from December
7 to December 23, 1996 for moving into the new library. New people have
been signing up at rate of 200 per month for the last few months.
Verda Bialac, Omaha Public Library, reported
they are putting together a "what's new for you " item for paper. Included
in this will be Telecirc, a Dynix program, that people can telephone and
find out what they have checked out from the library, when their books
are due, etc. The Omaha Public Library has purchased computers for younger
children, two will be placed in every children's library in the system.
They recently increased the video loan from 2 days to 7 days. The Library
Foundation is in middle of big fund-raising project called "Kids Connection. "
It will provide computers for youth in 5th grade and up. To
date, four computers at South Branch and four at Washington Branch have
been installed. The computers, and the cost of providing computer aides,
have been funded by US West. Computer aides are high school students who
know something about computers, can load programs for the kids, and trouble
shoot if something goes wrong with a computer. The Friends of the Library
are starting up a pilot program for the Benson Branch neighborhood (an
at-risk community) of an Adopt-a-Branch program. The Friends go into the
community and work with community organizations and business people, an
individual connected with the school in the neighborhood and neighborhood
people to get together and come up with ideas of things to do that the
budgets don't cover (e.g. plants in the library). The idea is to bring
people together for libraries and make the libraries a little nicer.
Two big projects for the Omaha Public Library
is adding onto the Millard and the Benson Branches. Each will triple in
size. Ground-breaking will be in the spring. The Omaha Public Library
has also purchased land for a North-Northwest
Library building, on 132nd between Maple and 4th.
Richard Voeltz, the University of Nebraska
- Lincoln, noted its automation process continues. The University is just
now offering electronic class reserves for the faculty to place their materials
on reserve. They are encountering a little bit of an unexpected difficulty
because a number of the faculty members have already devised their own
electronic reserves and are afraid the Library is going to take their business.
Another project this fall is the consolidation of all document delivery
service within the University into one service called InfoQuest. Branches
are getting used to sending materials directly to other branches rather
than through inter-Library Loan. The University is trying to develop university
libraries into learning organizations. Joan Giesecke and Marty Hale, Emporia
State University, will be working on this process through the spring and
summer. It is a less hierarchical approach to the development of library
services where the entire staff is considered to be more or less equals
in the process of developing and teaching
each other the new services.
Richard Miller, Southeast Library System,
stated he would like to see better defining of the respective roles of
library systems in relation to library development in the state and how
the Library Commission works in relation to the systems. He visited Peru
State college earlier this week, that was very interesting to see the PAWS
program. Just getting out and visiting some of the libraries gives
a better understanding of the needs
of the libraries.
Sharon Mason, University of Nebraska at
Kearney, noted they are in the planning stages for bringing up a Web public
access catalog (pac), and in doing that they are looking at links to other
Internet resources and are in the process of deciding what to link and
not link to. Twelve PCs were purchased and will be placed in the public
area. Students will have access to Internet. They are also looking at the
trial databases and how will to advertise and offer use of them. The concern
is about instruction and how are to teach the users. There is a campus
network and every student can have or should have a account to get into
that network. An interlibrary loan form was recently installed on the network
so students can electronically create their own Interlibrary Loan requests,
and priority is given to those over
the paper requests.
Laura Cundiff, Clay Center Public Library,
noted they are receiving a KN grant which will be used to purchase non-fiction
books for juveniles. They cooperate with the school's accelerating reading
list. The Assistant Director of the Clay Center Public Library is very
ill. The library is in the process of training
four new people.
Devra Dragos, Beatrice State Developmental
Center, stated they are one of the State agencies participating in the
Nebraska Partnership Project. The library at Beatrice State Developmental
Center will now be part of the Health & Human Services Agency. The
state is taking five state agencies and making them into three. They are:
Finance and Support, Regulations and Licensing, and Health & Human
Becky Baker, Seward Public Library, is
attending her last meeting of the State Advisory Council today. December
is a big fund-raising time for their Friends group. A new book sale and
festival of trees is scheduled for this weekend. The library has a new
clerk starting this afternoon. They still have not found
a site for a new building but are looking and negotiating with a couple
Sharon Wiegert, Sump Memorial Library in
Papillion, noted they are having a cyber camp for kids in February. The
camp will be ongoing, as they learn the basics they can then go into the
intermediate and then advanced session. The camp is for youth ages 9-14.
1996 Council Review (what's been
What would you like to see done better?
Last 2 years has changed from listen and talk
to more action council. Encourages all to continue in that vein
Earlier (a few years ago) people talked about
computers, computers, computers. Now we are talking about other programs
as well and how there was an impact with the computer revolution that affected
all of us. But we are also seeing that people still read, study and also
Computers are have been important, but other
programs also need to be available.
Hopes to see every current and former Council
member at Nebraska Library Association
Have enjoyed the time served on the State
Advisory Council on Libraries.
There are lots of little groups that are doing
things that others don't know about. Council needs to take more responsibility
in taking information from here to small groups and back to the council.
Talk to each other more. Make this a more formal role for Council
The State Advisory Council will be or can
be changing due to the new Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
As this council becomes more aware of what LSTA can do for this state.
This council needs to be on top of that, and the commission will want your
input on this.
As a group knowing where we are, where the
Libraries of the 21st Century and the other things evolving,
where you as the council, see us going next year, and what would you like
to be our goal?
Could be useful for this group to be sounding
board for policies etc. developed by Nebraska Library Commission. The council
represents a wide range of libraries and regions of the state. It will
be important for this group to keep the enthusiasm up, especially if libraries
for the 21st Century doesn't happen to be successful this first
year. Must keep at it.
1997 Council Agenda (roles, goals,
plans, and strategies)
Libraries for the 21st Century.
If passed: how administered? If the Libraries for the 21st Century
is not passed, how to keep effort going find ways to bring the "fun " back
into the profession. Ways we can all get rejuvenated. This group could
help foster that. 1997 has the prospect of being an exciting and prosperous
year. The Libraries for the 21st Century has an excellent chance
of being successful.
Implementation of procedures and policies
to administer the program, council can be very helpful.
Thanks to Council members completing their
2nd term: Guadalupe Mier, Becky Baker, and thanks to Council
members completing their first terms: Sharon Wiegert and Dena Crews.
Meeting Wrap-Up and Adjournment
The next State Advisory Council on Libraries
meeting will be on March 13 and 14, 1997 at the Kearney Public Library
as a joint meeting with the Nebraska Library Commission at the. Richard
Voeltz moved and Michael LaCroix seconded to adjourn the meeting. The motion
carried. There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:20