STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
Grand Island Public Library, Grand Island, Nebraska
March 7 & 8, 2002
State Advisory Council members present: Susan Baird,
Becky Baker, Jim Bothmer, John Dale, Steve Davis, Karen Drevo, Nancy
Escamilla, Stan Gardner, Maggie Harding, Mo Khamouna, Kathy Lute, Ken Oyer,
Tom Schmitz, Ruth Seward, John Seyfarth, and Jane Wall.
Commission members present: Robert King, Richard Jussel,
Karen Warner, Wally Seiler, and Kristen Rogge. Commission staff members
present: Rod Wagner, Sally Snyder, and Richard Miller.
Guests: Steve Fosselman and Kathy Tooker.
Welcome and Introductions
Karen Drevo called the meeting to order at 1:32 p.m. on March 7, 2002.
Introductions were made and Steve Fosselman, Director of the Grand Island
Public Library, welcomed everyone to the Grand Island Public Library.
A motion to approve the agenda was made by Ken Oyer,
seconded by Ruth Seward. Motion approved.
corrected set was distributed, with approval deferred until tomorrow.
was welcomed as the newest member of the State Advisory Council. Nancy has
worked at the Scottsbluff Public Library for 16 years, currently as an
Interlibrary Loan Assistant; she serves on the Panhandle Library System board,
and is a School Board member for the Gering School District.
Biennium Budget Update - Rod Wagner
reported that the Governor released his budget recommendations last week. The
Governor's recommendations are based on the trend of tax revenues falling
short of projections. The Library Commission would receive a 3% state funds
budget reduction as part of the Governor's proposed across-the-board state
fund reductions for most state agencies. This is in addition to the 5%
reduction enacted last fall. The Governor's budget includes a number of
recommendations to close the revenue gap and the Legislature's Appropriations
Committee will forward their recommendations to the full Legislature soon. A
budget hearing is scheduled for tomorrow for all state agencies to have an
opportunity to comment on budget reduction proposals. Nancy Busch will
testify on behalf of the Nebraska Library Commission.
Rogge stated that Senator Landis made the remark that what we're seeing now is
the result of a sluggish economy, and will not see relief anytime soon.
Legislation (Nebraska Legislature) - Rod Wagner
reported on two library specific bills. 1) Senator Tyson's bill to allow
cities & counties to finance major library technology purchases using bonds
(same legislative bill as last year); 2) allow municipal utilities' excess
funds to be used for library expenses. The revenue committee killed both
bills. A bill, introduced last year, will allow employees of the regional
library systems to participate in the state employees' health insurance
program. This bill was advanced by the banking, commerce and insurance
committee and is up for first round debate. Since it is not a priority bill
it may not be acted on this year, or it could be attached as an amendment to
another insurance bill.
a Difference @ Your Libraryâ„¢ Project - The library visits have been a good
experience for Library Commission staff. The presence and
involvement of community leadership is a significant library service success
factor, and that is true regardless of the size of a community. The State
Advisory Council will be asked to provide input on the new long range plan due
at the end of July.
Services and Technology Act Reauthorization Status - Rod Wagner
reported that the ALA Washington Office has been issuing updates on the status
of LSTA reauthorization. LSTA legislation is on a fast track in the House where it received unanimous approval by the authorizing
sub-committee. Nebraska Congressional Representatives have been contacted
and asked to sign on as co-sponsors of the LSTA legislation. Representatives
Osborne and Terry have signed on.
committee that has LSTA oversight has scheduled a hearing on LSTA for April 10.
The bill has stayed close to what was requested by the library coalition, with
some fine-tuning. The appropriation request was to go from the current level of
$168 million up to $500 million. The other significant change is an increase in
the base allotment for each state from $200,000 to $500,000. This latter change
is especially important for Nebraska and other smaller states because the larger
portion of LSTA state allocations is based on population.
Foundation Library Program Status - Richard Miller
reported on the status of the program. The Gates Foundation Web site is now
included as a link on the Nebraska Library Commission Web site.
Pre-application workshops are scheduled in each of the regional system areas.
Foundation will mail application documents the week of March 26 and
applications must be postmarked by April 22 or before. The Foundation said it
was a simplified application form, but it is still challenging for some. A
"heads-up" letter was mailed to all public libraries this week to let them
know what is coming.
appeal the data determined by the Gates formula (they are using 1990 census
data) if library representatives believe there have been significant changes
since 1990. Libraries should participate in the application process and the
appeal process at the same time. Libraries may participate in the program
through a purchase option if a library does not qualify for a cash grant.
This will allow them to purchase a computer with their own funds and still
participate in training and receive technical support. They would get the
computer (no peripherals), training, technical support for a year, and
upgrades of all software loaded on the computer.
will prepare a tip sheet to help with the application process, which will be
available at the application training sessions. The list of eligible
libraries will be posted on the Commission's Web site following receipt of the
final list from the Gates Foundation. Based on the initial list, 158 libraries
are eligible for the one-computer grant, 20 for two-computer grants and 13
libraries for a four-computer grant. Currently 61 libraries are eligible for
the purchase option only. The Library Commission is considering an offer to
cover half the cost of the computer package for public libraries not eligible
for a grant. The estimated value will approach $1.6 million for Nebraska.
Trails Multi-State Digitization Project - Rod Wagner
reported that Nebraska is part of a four-state Institute of Museum and Library
Services National Leadership Grant project. The project involves digitization
of "western trails" related source documents, a subject common to the four
states. Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas are the other participants. The initial
training sessions have been successful. The expertise and training obtained
through this project are significant benefits. The Nebraska Library
Commission is working with UNL Love Library to create a web site for
Nebraska's contribution to the project. This two-year project is just now
and Retention - The question was raised as to why the ALA took so long to form
a taskforce on recruitment and retention. There is also a great concern that
ALA is doing something only for professional positions; and yet the great
majority of library directors and staff do not hold MLS degrees.
It was suggested
that Nebraska establish a taskforce of its own to translate what ALA says into
something that makes sense for Nebraska. Between NLA and NLC such a group
could be developed with representation of all types of libraries. It was also
suggested that a survey on salaries be conducted. It will be important that
follow-up be completed after the survey.
were made to work with the League of Municipalities, train board members about
local financing, and development of an effective marketing strategy.
Steve Fosselman and Staff - Presentation and Tour of the Edith
Abbott Memorial Library
and his staff provided a tour of the library. Mr. Fosselman reported on the
needs-based, phased-in core serves which is the approach used by the Grand
Island public library to address community needs. This program has resulted in
budget increases of 13 to 14% per year.
The Grand Island
Public Library's activities are consistent with goals and objectives of the
Nebraska Library Commission. The Abbott Sisters Research Center is the latest
library project. Next week staff and board members will be traveling to
Lincoln to attend the signing by Governor Johanns of a proclamation
recognizing March 20 of each year as Abbott Sisters' Day. The "Family Place"
project, which includes a grant from the Nebraska Library Commission, is a
$100,000 renovation project to build a new computer lab in their reference
section. A new building is slotted for 2006-2007.
The Library Commission has awarded four scholarships - two to
University of Missouri - Columbia students, and two to University of Illinois
- Urbana students. These scholarships are open to any Nebraska resident
pursuing a master's degree in library science.
Rod Wagner reported there are 45 Nebraska libraries that have signed
on to participate in the project. A brief survey asking the librarians about
their experiences with the NebrasKard is being developed.
LSTA Grants -
The due date for grant applications was changed from February 25 to March 11.
As of today, 26 applications have been received, 9 from libraries that have
never applied for LSTA grant before.
Book Reviews -
An agreement was signed with Nebraska Educational Television on February 25,
2002. The agreement is for a Beta test of 50 book reviews, 25 in QuickTime and
25 in MP3. The Commission is also contacting nine major publishers asking
about copyright issues related to this project.
Topics previously suggested are Making a Difference @ Your â„¢, library
project evaluation, LSTA long range plan, biennium budget proposal
(September), library personnel and related issues, NebrasKard, and progress &
tracking of Gates Foundation library project.
called, meeting to resume March 8, 2002
resumed on March 8, 2002 at 9:15 a.m. by Chair Karen Drevo.
moved to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. Ken Oyer seconded the
motion. Stan Gardner stated a correction was needed to change Ford Center to
Ford Motor Company. Susie Baird noted a correction on page 9. The minutes
were approved with the noted corrections.
Kathy Lute -
reported that Paxton has torn down the old library building and is ready to
begin construction of a new library building. Paxton will be using a room in
the high school during construction. Ogallala is also planning a new library
Jane Wall -
reported that she is the NEMA Scholarship & Award chair. NEMA is planning a
summer institute. They will invite 20 people for a 3 day institute to bring
new people into the organization. NEMA received many applications for their
Maggie Harding -
reported that current NLA membership is 666; this is the highest membership
level this early in the year. The all time high was 925 in 1997. The 2001
NLA membership was over 700. A new corporate membership section was
introduced, and will be offered to prospective exhibitors for the convention.
The membership committee is now looking into offering discounts at bookstores,
motels and restaurants for NLA members.
John Dale -
reported that Lincoln's two new branch libraries opened on February 2. Turn
out was excellent at each opening. February circulation statistics showed
that each branch is very close to similar numbers of over 37,000. If this
activity continues, it could put Lincoln City Libraries at over 3 million
circulations for the year. Lincoln City Libraries also has budget issues. The
library budget is $6 million+ for the year. The city has a tax revenue
shortfall of around $5 million. John is not sure what the impact will be for
the library. Omaha is looking at remodeling several branches. They took
major cuts and reduced service hours due to budget cuts.
John Seyfarth -
The spring children's program in Papillion is going strong. A Spring meeting
presented by three NLA Roundtables will be held in Aurora.
Kathy Tooker -
reported that Lyons, Bellevue and Wahoo are planning to build new libraries.
Lyons library representatives are currently meeting with architects; Bellevue
is planning a new building. Wahoo has land secured for a new library and has
begun fundraising. The regional library systems are providing training at the
LAMA Institute on Friday March 22. This program is funded by a Continuing
Education grant from the Nebraska Library Commission.
Ken Oyer -
reported that they lost about 100 square feet of library space. The former
work/storage room had to be emptied.
Jim Bothmer -
reported that admissions are down at Creighton University. Creighton has
implemented a hiring freeze. There will be no staff salary increases for the
Steve Davis -
reported that Kearney has hired a library building consultant for a year and
held public hearings for adults and one for young people. The public library
board sees a need for expansion of the library. NEMA and NLA/SCYP provided a
workshop on "Technology Rich Learning."
- reported that Diana Gross (Gilbert the Opossum) did a workshop in the
Panhandle. Every 4th through 6th grade in Scottsbluff
will be meeting, so that by the time the kids graduate from high school. they
will have met an author.
A Summer Reading
Program workshop has been scheduled. Scottsbluff received a "millennium grant"
from the Humanities Council. Deb Carlson was chosen as employee of the year
from City of Scottsbluff; she is the first person from the library since 1989.
Five new book
clubs have started up in the Panhandle area in the last several months. The
average age of book club members is 50; these are voters and advocates for the
A librarian from
Mongolia recently visited the library in Scottsbluff; She will return to
Mongolia and open up a Japanese library. Libraries there are not free.
school district was a big winner in school aid this year; with a $700,000
increase, but the school district had an increase of 100 students. They are
currently looking for modular units for each elementary school. Lobbying for
more money for the media centers is very difficult; Nancy is winning over the
school board members by setting very old books in front of board members.
There will be a 3 - 5 % cut in the Gering School District budget next year.
Susan Baird -
reported that she had staff from the Nebraska Community Foundation visit
Alliance to talk about the "legacy challenge." She is trying to get all the
local foundations to move toward this approach. Governor Johanns is reviewing
the LB775 program. This is a step forward because many cities lose tax
revenues under this program but are never told by the Department of Revenue
why these changes happen. Susie indicated agreement with Senator Wickersham
on his concerns about how this legislation is being applied.
Ruth Seward -
reported that Lexington got four new Spanish-language computers using state
aid funds and as part of an earlier grant. She has contracted with a new
mentor who used to do computer training for President Fox of Mexico. They are
offering a 12-hour computer course and had 60 people sign up in one week. Ruth
was scheduled to testify for the National Science Foundation, but the
technology was not available on the Washington, D.C. end.
A new site has
been brought up for the building project; they hope to have a site chosen by
fall. The city foundation has a gala planned with proceeds to go to the
library building project.
Stan Gardner -
reported that Wayne State College is waiting for the Wayne Public Library to
sign-up people for NebrasKard before they start advertising it at the college.
He is requesting in next year's biennium budget an upgrade of the library's
automated system; there are numerous steps in this process because of the fact
that all three state college campuses are involved in the process. There has
been good success this year in faculty and students taking workshops in using
on-line resources. Stan hopes that faculty will modify computer literacy
courses to include information literacy.
College has created a professional Senate to try to ensure representation for
library staff because they are not considered faculty, nor are they unionized.
The library is going through a modified version of the North Central
accreditation that requires annual assessments, rather than the old method of
looking back a number of years.
Mo Khamouna -
reported that salaries are being cut at the college, but the library's budget
is being doubled next year, mostly for collection development. This is
probably due to the upcoming accreditation process. The Milwaukee Brewers
turf manager is working with the school's program. The library has signed up
to participate in the NebrasKard program; the public library has also agreed
to participate. Two card members have signed up so far. Mo found a source to
get an MLS degree tuition free; the catch - you have to speak Swedish. He is
still shopping around. The Ninghoff grant through the ALA - has to go to
Europe as a scholar.
Tom Schmitz -
reported the Lincoln Regional Center library is getting ready for the JCAH
accreditation process. The library has heavily weeded the fiction collection;
and updated the non-fiction collection. They were impressed with the HHSS
consortium process to update all the libraries. All HHSS libraries are on
their new automated library system except the Lincoln Regional Center, where
software is being checked out for compatibility. A NAIL meeting to discuss
institutional librarian's job descriptions has been delayed twice due to
Karen Drevo -
reported that the Norfolk Public Library building has reached the 25-year
mark. Dr. Stearns, a Lewis & Clark scholar, will speak at the library. The
Library Foundation received $500,000 from Johnnie Carson. The library will use
some of the money for new furniture and new carpeting. The library has been
asked to participate in the Annual Children's Day in Norfolk. The library
recently held a very successful Book Bingo event. The library will provide
storytelling at the new Art Center in Norfolk which is holding its annual
special arts festival.
State Advisory Council Vice-Chair
Ken Oyer moved
the nomination of John Seyfarth for vice-chair. Maggie Harding seconded the
motion. The motion was approved.
Resolutions, Action Items
moved to create a library personnel task force to examine issues discussed
earlier and return to SACL for discussion. Ken Oyer seconded the motion.
Recommendations were made to include representation of the Nebraska Library
Association, Nebraska Educational Media Association, and representation from
various types of libraries.
withdrew his original motion and introduced a new motion to develop a task
force to examine library personnel issues and return to SACL for discussion,
with representation to be comprised of members of NLA, NEMA, and librarians of
different types of libraries.
stated that the Council may want to give more definite direction to the task
force. The motion carried. A list of task force members will be presented to
SACL members at the next meeting for approval.
appreciation were expressed to Steve Fosselman for hosting the Council and
Commission meetings at the Grand Island Public Library.
The 2002 meeting
schedule was set for June 21 meeting: in Curtis (invited) or Lincoln;
September 13 or 20 meeting in Tilden; and December 13 meeting in Lexington.
The meeting was
adjourned at 11:40 a.m.