State Advisory Council on Libraries
December 5, 1997
Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Nancy Busch, Richard Miller
and Sally Snyder.
Welcome and Introductions
The meeting was called to order by Chair Jeanne Saathoff at 10:00 a.m.
Introduction were given around the table.
Approval of Agenda
Michael LaCroix moved and Ken Oyer seconded the
approval that the agenda be approved. Motion was approved by acclamation.
Approval of Minutes of September 19, 1997
were noted on the minutes of September 19, 1997. Staff and Partnership
Development for Health and Human Services System (the corrected name of
the group Devra Dragos is working with; also note the misspelling of her
name)(p.3) Under Scenarios for Future State . . . (p. 3, fourth
paragraph: Delete: "People ask," and substitute: "It's the perception of
the people who want to know, "Why are a school library and public library
Richard Voeltz moved approval, seconded by Michael LaCroix. Approved
plans were discussed.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Update
reported on LSTA was funded at $146 million for FY 98, a $10 million increase.
We don't yet know how much of this will come to Nebraska, but we estimate
a 7% increase. Later we will discuss how much of this funding will be discretionary
for expenditure in Nebraska. The Institute of Library and Museum Services
has now hired a person to handle the library part -- Elizabeth Sywecz (deputy
directory to handle the library section; she is from NY state).
Sally Snyder noted that Evalu Neff has been moved over to the library
division. Jane Heiser also moved over from the Department of Education.
Trish Skaptason also.
ESEA Title VI has been funded at $350 million by the House rather than
the $310 passed by the Senate. Some child literacy funding is also working
its way through the system. On the Reading Excellence Act we don't yet
have all the information on who may apply, but it appears to be aimed at
schools initially. With the emphasis on partnerships at the federal level,
however, others may be involved.
Rod Wagner participated in a September 97 meeting in Arlington, VA on
evaluation of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), sponsored
by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA). COSLA has begun
talking about goal areas under LSTA -- what is important for states to
begin thinking about. Nothing will be prescribed. There was quite a lot
of discussion on the term, "underserved." Some feeling there should be
a national definition. A consulting group is also working on a document
related to the roles of state libraries, a replacement for state library
standards written years ago. We may want to talk about this in SACL at
If you wish to look at the full text of LSTA, it is on the Internet.
Long Range Plan Implementation: "Libraries for the 21st Century:
Nebraska Library Commission Library Services and Technology Act Five Year
Plan" was sent to federal government in August. We were asked to send more
detail on needs assessment and later received word on approval of the plan.
The current full text is on the NLC homepage. We are not producing another
print edition because the intent is to keep it a "living" document, up-to-date
on the homepage, rather than printing new versions. If anyone does not
have access by this means, NLC can print it off the homepage for those
who need it.
The NLC has formed goal teams lead by three team leaders -- Jo Budler,
Dave Oertli, and Richard Miller -- to determine which activities should
be continued, ended, and which partners should be involved . Richard spoke
about what "New and innovative library service arrangements" means in Goal
2 (page 8),and goal 4 (page 10), and goal 5c (page 13), for which NEMA
should be listed as a partner. Nancy noted that as the work progresses,
the actual partners will be listed. On the NLC homepage, Phyllis Brunken
suggests we add, "Last revised . . . ." so people know what is the latest
Jeanne Saathoff complemented the NLC and staff on undertaking this necessary
Library System Retreat Follow-up:
Jeanne Saathoff indicated that
the retreat offered a good sharing of ideas with many levels of experience
by participants including trustees. Those who came just for the afternoon
session said they wished they had come for the morning session as well.
Richard Miller noted that the morning session aimed at new system board
members resulted from last year's retreat which asked for a separate session.
Phyllis Brunken recommended use of two publications, " Educators' Standards
for Technological Competency"; and "Information Literacy Student Standards"
because they relate to a number of the long-range goals. Jeanne Saathoff
noted that public libraries are encountering many users who don't have
these skills either. Nancy had said that it would be useful to get these
two publications to our public libraries. Phyllis Brunken noted that there
are new standards related to reading competencies for students -- from
the state level.
Nancy Busch and Richard Miller answered questions about the facilitated
retreat we will be holding with the Systems in February.
Sally Snyder mentioned that there is another
database trial about to begin with some starting January 15, some February
1, and some March 1. These include the African American database, Informe!,
and the International Index to Music Periodicals with a total of eleven
different databases. This information can be downloaded from the NLC homepage.
The NEBASE advisory Council has recommended that e-mail messages be sent
out reminding people to send success stories to Kathy Tooker, chair of
the NLA Legislation Committee for use during the upcoming legislative session.
Universal Service Fund -- School and Library Discounts:
Miller handed out four documents and discussed this topic. John Dale questioned
how to break out library charges from a Centrex phone bills. Phyllis Brunken
noted that no one should get too comfortable about the 75 day window; the
vendors need at least 4 weeks to respond to the requests. Jeanne Saathoff
wanted to know what to do when the technology plan needs to change. The
answer is that the plans can be changed. We need to check on the Scottsbluff
figure for school lunch discounts -- 2% is too low. [N.B. The percentage
for this school district should have been listed as XXXXX.] Ken Oyer asked
how health care consortiums would be involved in the USF; in response,
Ellen Van Waart faxed appropriate information from the Commission for Oyer
to carry to his upcoming meeting of health care institutions.
LSTA Grants Program -- Discussion/Recommendations
Funds Available for Grants: Nancy Busch distributed the document,
"Nebraska Library Commission: Federal Funds FY 97-98" and discussed the
information. Of the total federal monies ($988,564), there is a breakout
according to Personnel, Operating, etc. for in-house expenditures ($502,003),
as well as an Aid category ($486,561) Slightly under half of the federal
aid goes out in aid to libraries, systems, etc. in the state. The various
titles of LSCA are broken out also, for Titles I, II and III. On the verso
of the sheet, the column "General" shows how much state funding is distributed
for the various categories (public libraries, regional library systems,
urban library systems, etc.). Monies are only distributed to accredited
libraries.(This is true for institutional libraries as well.). Total aid
available is $1,348,815, both state and federal. The Systems are the largest
single recipient of this aid and received approximately $30,000 additional
last year; the amount will be slightly higher next year. The best estimate
at this time is that $210,000 to $220,000 (of LSTA funds) will be available
for using, other than committed funds. If LB 95 is successful and provides
additional state monies, this would be a part of the discretionary funding
Ken Oyer asked about the "Total Cash" budget line. Nancy Busch explained
that some of this is NEBASE fees, Nebraska OnLine monies (which will be
going away), and some trust fund monies for the Talking Book and Braille
Service at the Commission.
Stan Gardner asked if NLC has a "rollover" fund. Nancy Busch said that
the Commission has to ask for permission to spend monies which roll over
from the first to the second year of the biennial budget, but the money
is not reallocated, per se. Concerning Nebraska On Line, the Secretary
of State's office took responsibility for this last year; we are still
using some of these monies to fund a position at NLC; this funding will
run out next year.
Principles, Criteria, and Evaluation: Nancy Busch asked for input
from the Advisory Council on what these should be. She sited the three
basic eligibility criteria for libraries applying for LSTA or other grants:
from the long-range program (page 15).
Stan Gardner suggested giving priority to those libraries which have
shown they have a partnership, or partnerships. This would exclude other
libraries, but would give an advantage to the former.
Nancy Busch noted that we need to clarify whether the term "Other Grants"
in part of the title for these eligibility criteria includes state aid
as well. For example, would that mean that libraries must have a "strategic
plan for library services approved by the NLC" in order to qualify even
for state aid? There ensued much discussion about strategic planning. The
discussion emphasized the importance of the need for this group and the
Commission to decide on criteria and that we need to recognize that we
are "all on the same team."
Several Council members noted a counterpart with what happened to schools
-- with consolidation. Some libraries, however, still cannot accept the
reality of what is going to happen next year when the tax lids really hit.
Stan Gardner asked if the Commission might have in place some plan when
this really hits, perhaps offering information about what is basically
needed in order to be a library. Perhaps we should switch to "minimum"
and "recommended" standards, rather than "basic" and "advanced" accreditation
guidelines for public libraries.
The meeting recessed at 11:45 a.m. for lunch.
The meeting reconvened at 1:00 p.m.
Legislative Goals and Strategies
Legislature's Interim Study on Public Library Finance and Governance:
Richard Miller reported on the Interim Committee hearing of the General
Affairs committee, and passed out two sheets related to this.
LB 95 -- Appropriations: Concerning LB 95, Sen. LaVon Crosby
will again try for funding for this legislation, which, although it was
vetoed, is in the mainline budget bill -- so no new legislation needs to
be introduced. NLC does have a deficit request for about $35,000 to cover
a position currently funded under Nebraska On Line funds which will run
out. Nancy Busch suggested that all should watch for information from the
Legislative Committee of NLA.
Information Technology Commission: Nancy Busch reported on the
creation on October 19, 1997 by the Governor to make sure the state is
spending money wisely on technology. He appointed Lt. Gov. Kim Robak, Sen.
Bob Kerry, and others to this group. Three subgroups: Education, Government,
Community have been identified for the work of the group. Nancy Busch says
that she and others have served on a similar group (the Education Technology
Consortium) for nine years, trying to get control of technology. There
is some question about what this group is really going to do. The focus
may very well be on the "bigger players." Rod Davidson (head of NETV) explained
that this group will concentrate on hardware decisions so that we are not
all doing satellite, etc. The best thing we can do is to try to keep acquiring
additional state funding, without becoming too involved in these various
attempts to "control technology." These things always play out at the local
level, no matter what is said on the state level, noted Nancy Busch.
1997 Activities: Nancy Busch asked the group to suggest what
it sees as important activities of the Advisory Council during 1997 for
reporting to the Commission. Members identified the following:
* Increased awareness of the presence and importance of all types of
libraries in Nebraska in the Unicameral, even though it didn't ultimately
succeed last session.
* The advocacy workshops which preceded the effort were important.
* Examining the mission of this group, and adjusting the bylaws. * Having
a lot of good issues brought to the Council this year, with much good discussion.
* Being made aware of and thinking about the movement from LSCA to LSTA
during this year.
* Good discussion about communication in and from the group.
* People becoming more aware of the SACL, and of the issues addressed
in "Access to Electronic Information."
* Addressing the issue of promoting PR campaigns for libraries, at the
recommendation of Stan Gardner.
* Attendance and participation of the SACL chair at the System Retreat.
Agenda for 1998 (Schedule and Topics):
At its November 14, 1997
meeting, the Commission made some appointments to the SACL, several of
whom are second term members. Devra Dragos, Sylvia Person, Troy Strom,
Kathy Tooker, Richard Voeltz, and Jeanne Saathoff were each appointed to
a second three-year term. (Note: Devra Dragos will not be able to serve
because she has joined the staff of the Commission.) Two new appointments,
also for three year terms are: Jane Wall (Media Specialist at Grand Island
High School), and Wally Seiler (Alliance Public Library board member).
There are still several vacancies on the Council. Phyllis Brunken recommended
Jayne Palmer, of ESU 2 since several Council members noted have useful
it had been to have Phyllis' ESU expertise on the Council.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 1998 and is usually a two-day
meeting held jointly with the Commission, last year in Kearney. Kearney
was again favored, but members want to avoid the 10th through the 14, because
of the Public Library Association national conference in Kansas City. Recommended
agenda items included: a report from Randy Moody and Kathy Tooker on what
is happening at the session, an update by Allan Wibbels at the ESU in Kearney,
a session on the impact of property tax lids by Bill Locke, and potential
changes in state aid to libraries. The distance learning system in Kearney
may be a good tour for the group, and the possibility of meeting at the
ESU was discussed. Dates we are looking at: Thursday and Friday, March
19 and 20, 1998. Michael LeCroix volunteered Creighton University for the
June meeting. March will be the last meeting as chair for Jeanne Saathoff;
Sandra Riley will be new chair at that time.
Thanks and Farewells: People leaving the Advisory
Council are Phyllis Brunken, Laura Cundiff, and Devra Dragos. They received
applause from the group for their contributions. Jeanne Saathoff says she
really has enjoyed coming to Advisory Council meetings because of the camaraderie, building advocacy and going out and advocating for libraries.
The Council adjourned.
Richard Miller, Scribe