STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LIBRARIES
Present: Dr. E. Baker, M. Battistella, V. Bialac,
J. Birnie, P. Brunken, D. Crews, L. Cundiff, K. Hughes, J. Leader, S. Mason,
G. Mier, P. Sheridan, C. Speicher, S. Wiegert, S. Wise.
Commissioners: M. Curtiss, T. Harvey, Dr. R.
R. Norman, J. Sanders, M. Vollbrecht.
Staff: N. Busch, B. Goble, M. Jackson, B. Johnson,
E. Miller, J. Minges, S. Snyder, E. Van Waart, R. Wagner.
Visitors: K. Marek, S. Ooton, K. Tooker, D.
The joint meeting of the State Advisory Council
on Libraries and the Commissioners was convened at 10:03 am by Council
Chair, Jeanne Leader. Welcome was given by Rod Wagner. Introductions of
all present were given.
Proposed Issues for 1994 Council Consideration:
Rod Wagner reported the Commissioners at their
last meeting selected some issues for the State Advisory Council for discussion
recommendations throughout 1994. These issues are: Federal and State
Federal and State telecommunications, and information technology. The Council
will discuss these issues and how to address them during the year at their
separate meeting this afternoon.
Governor's Information Technology Conference:
Rod Wagner noted that several people at the meeting
today had participated in the Governor's Information Technology Conference
held Monday and Tuesday, March 7 and 8. Approximately 400 people in all
attended the conference. It was organized by the newly created Information
Technology Commission. This Commission is looking for ideas from a broad
spectrum of people for recommendations they will put together and present
this fall to the Governor and the Legislature.
Nancy Busch, a facilitator of one discussion group,
stated the groups met in the morning and then were reconfigured for the
afternoon discussion group. Jack McBride was the Information Technology
Commission representative in her group. There were some similarities with
the 1991 Nebraska Information Partnerships meeting as far as topics and
partnerships discussed. There was a better mix from the private sector
at this meeting. One of the main values of the group was the sharing of
what was happening in different parts of the state and the people involved
in the projects.
Kathy Tooker stated she had a similar experience
at the conference. People were referring to libraries as places that are
and that could provide information technology. Her afternoon group were
all looking to libraries for providing information via technology. Some
of her group members had not considered partnerships before, but once they
got started they couldn't stop.
Kate Marek commented that those of us in the library
field think of information technology as "our" issue, this conference was
organized by non-library people. All the people who attended were interested
in information technology and were knowledgeable about what is going on.
Kate also stated Bob Manley spoke to the group on Monday and he was excellent.
Nancy Busch mentioned the sessions were taped and it is expected a transcript
will be sent to the participants. Kate stated one focus of the conference
was to get Nebraskans involved economically with information technology.
Bob Manley's point was it must come from within communities rather than
from outside in order for it to be successful.
Phyllis Brunken commented it is in our own best
interest for Nebraska citizenry to become involved, if not decisions will
be made for them. It is better to be part of the process. There is willingness
to form partnerships, but legislation is a roadblock we need to address.
Phyllis also stated one of the representatives from U.S. West reminded
the group that Internet is just one little step of sharing information,
it is a dirt road and in the future we will have a true super highway.
Jim Minges commented that the people attending
the conference were very open to the role of libraries in information
One issue is whether librarians throughout the state are alert to their
potential role and are prepared to be an active part of partnerships and
to be informed on the issues. The role is open to librarians if they choose
to take it. Another issue is the high emphasis upon entertainment and the
cable TV aspect and how big that is going to be. A recent article in
Week magazine discusses that is where corporate money is going.
Phyllis Brunken stated a service in Omaha has
been announced to begin in the fall. Our task is to sensitize Omaha so
demands will be for other aspects besides entertainment and home shopping.
We also need to keep aware of the legislation and rules and regulations
so cable will continue to comply with requirements.
Joan Birnie commented that she came away from
conference with the realization they are on the right track in her county,
having established partnerships in the area. The conference confirmed that
they are doing the right things to be prepared. It was also good to learn
what the state is doing so locally they will not duplicate what is there
but plug in to what is available.
Electronic Access to State Government
Rod Wagner noted there have been several articles
recently in the Omaha and Lincoln papers about electronic access to state
government information. A few weeks ago some Library Commission staff members
and some representatives of other state government agencies made a trip
to Topeka to see the Information Network of Kansas. The Kansas model is
very different from the one in Nebraska. They have created a state board
which contracts with a private entity to supply computer access to a variety
of state government information. It is operated through revenues received
from subscribers and user of the network. We wanted to look at the applications
they are using and to hear from some of the agencies involved in it to
learn what their experience with the network has been. Attending from Nebraska
were representatives from the state Central Data Processing Division, the
state court system, and the Department of Economic Development. One of
the appealing aspects was a recent arrangement whereby libraries can use
the service for a fixed cost of $15 per month. Other subscribers pay about
40 cents per minute for access plus a possible per record charge. Nebraska
has some agencies, such as the Secretary of State's Office and the Department
of Motor Vehicles, which may offer access to records they have through
computer access. These services are not currently available. A citizen
wanting information has to contact the agency directly and probably pay
a fee of some kind for a paper copy of the document(s). Lawyers, insurance
agents, bankers, and other people find electronic access to those records
to be very efficient and are willing to pay a fee for the service. It will
cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up for those kinds of services.
Through Nebraska Online we have been trying to identify and make
available a variety of state government information and we plan to continue
to provide access to certain information. There are some records and databases
a fee service would help assure availability to those who are interested.
At this point we are just asking people for input and ideas for a Nebraska
version. No decisions have been made. Senator Priester and some other Senators
have promoting legislation that would made the Legislature's databases
available through the Internet and by other means. This could improve access
for Nebraskans if it is implemented as indicated.
Nebraska's Regional Library Systems
Kathy Tooker, Administrator of the Eastern Library
System, presented statistics and demographics about the Library Systems.
The Library Systems were formed over ten years ago. There are some similarities
and some differences among and between the services provided by the six
systems. A one-page handout was distributed which contained a map of the
systems and listed each system's population, square miles, and number of
Northeast Library System contains: 13% of population,
17% of area, 20 counties
Eastern Library System contains: almost 40% of
pop., 4% of area, 7 counties
Southeast Library System contains: 24% of population,
11% of area, 15 counties
Meridian Library System contains: 10% of population,
25% of area, 17 counties
Republican Valley Library System: 9% of population,
20% of area, 20 counties
Panhandle Library System contains: 6% of population,
22% of area, 14 counties
The number of libraries in each system listed
on the map refers to all types of libraries: public, academic, special,
and school districts (not individual schools).
Kate Marek, Administrator of the Southeast Library
System, presented the history of library systems in Nebraska. Cooperation
has not always been a part of library thinking. In the 1960s and 1970s
a trend developed toward cooperative library efforts and resource sharing.
Regional Library Networks were established in Nebraska as a result of this
trend. The Networks were led by regional
coordinators who were state employees based in
different parts of the state. The Networks had some weaknesses. Three major
weaknesses were: a lack of autonomy since the coordinators were state
and the boards of directors were advisory, and the focus was on public
libraries rather than all types of libraries.
In 1983 the Library Systems were established.
In 1984 the Library Systems began to receive funding from the state. The
six systems are separate and independent but the missions are uniform:
"To improve library services to citizens of Nebraska through improving
libraries." Key points about library systems are:
- They work to improve library service
- They are funded by the Library Commission for
- The funding is about 2/3 state funds and 1/3
- They have a multitype focus, working with all
types and sizes of libraries
- They have governing boards elected from the
- Each system has a full time administrator to
administer programs, provide leadership, and help set
The Library Systems were developed because there
was a need for library development based in the regions of the state.
Dee Yost, Administrator of the Republican Valley
Library System, presented information on continuing education provided
by the systems. In the last year the systems collectively provided over
250 hours of continuing education events. Continuing education is offered
in a variety of formats and on a variety of topics. Formats included brunches,
retreats, institutes, half day or one day workshops, evening or pre-conference
events. Over 800 librarians, media specialists, trustees, friends of libraries,
paraprofessionals took advantage of the courses. Topics included image,
children's services, CD-ROM resources, helping teachers teach, Internet,
storytelling, long range planning, censorship, marketing the public library,
marketing the school media center, customer service, Americans with
Act, copyright, legal and medical reference, book repairs, staff evaluation,
opportunities on-line, summer reading program, collection development,
MARC records, cross-culture communication, whole language in the library,
and grant writing.
Professional collections are also housed in each
library system and are available for loan to librarians in the system area.
The collections include videos for staff development, software demonstrations,
and print materials. Most of the 250 hours offered counted toward public
librarian certification and library board certification. All of the system
administrators have served as instructors and/or facilitators for the Basic
Skills Courses. The amount of continuing education events has increased
in the last years. This gives new librarians and people who had greater
distances to travel more opportunity to attend events. Part of this is
because of the new technology which allows satellite programs and
The system review verified that the systems are doing an excellent job
of providing continuing education opportunities for member libraries and
librarians are very appreciative.
Carol Speicher, Administrator of the Northeast
Library System, presented information on resource sharing among Nebraska
libraries. Because many small libraries cannot share their holdings and
don't know the holdings of other libraries, the systems have set up resource
centers. Libraries can contact the resource center to obtain information
on interlibrary loan materials and to borrow materials. The resource centers
also answer reference questions and subject requests. In Nebraska, the
systems contract with libraries to provide the resource center services.
Many of Nebraska's libraries are now using NEON, the Nebraska specific
OCLC database. Libraries are encouraged to use NEON, they are then more
self-sufficient and service is faster. Libraries are also using Union CD-ROM,
it contains holdings of participating libraries. The librarian can make
a loan request directly from the lender library. There are fewer reference
and subject requests now than there were in the past. Part of that is due
to additional continuing education training. Librarians are using their
own resources to answer more reference questions. Nebraska Online
and its resources are another reason librarians are better able to answer
questions at their library.
Steve Ooton, Administrator of the Panhandle Library
System, set up a computer demonstration and presented information on technology
and consulting. System administrators consult with librarians on a number
of topics. As an example, in the last ten days Steve Ooton answered questions
on: fixed fields and MARC records, layout for an elementary school media
center, Friends of the Library organizations, Internet access, microfilm
periodicals for public library, circulation and catalog software upgrades,
CD-ROM specifications for grants and for budget process for libraries,
barcoding and data entry and staying sane, custody and control of public
library's accounts, personnel, community ad hoc meeting on multi-function
building to include the public library, locating a used card catalog for
a small library.
The library systems have been very involved with
technology in libraries also. Recently they have been trying to make a
real integration of all the new technologies into what the local libraries
are doing. The four areas of most activity are: general library automation,
resource sharing, internal resources, external resources. Library automation
includes administration and management; display, publicity items; circulation
systems, and online catalogs. Resource sharing includes NEON and OCLC;
Union CD project; fax machines, modems, etc. The Union CD-ROM pilot project
includes 17 libraries and almost 250,000 items. The systems have also provided
minigrants for purchase of fax machines and modems. Internal resources
include CD ROM products such as electronic encyclopedia and magazine indexes.
The next challenge will be multi-media resources, particularly since they
are very equipment intensive. External resources include Nebraska
and Internet which involves learning the system; planning and promoting;
getting connections for all; building user skills.
Nebraska Internet Applications - Jim Emal,
IANR Communications and Computing Services
Rod Wagner introduced Jim Emal, University of
Nebraska -Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, presented
information he has collected on the use of Internet in Nebraska. Jim placed
a large length of paper on the wall, attached to it were sticky notes
the many people and agencies involved in Internet and how they connected
with each other. He started this project trying to represent to the decision
makers at UNL and to others that there are lots of players and people involved
with Internet. The poster paper allows managers and supervisors to get
an overview of who is involved and what they are doing.
People and Agencies listed on the chart
Department of Economic Development (DED) project
of global community
DED student navigator project (college students train
people to use Internet)
telecomputing project with Educational Service Units
ESU full motion video project
College Park, Institute of Agriculture -- numerous
ETV proposal to Corporation for Public Broadcasting
to provide local community network for access to Internet
N atural Resources Commission, planning to network
all the NRDs in the state and provide walk in service to the local
Public Libraries -- Internet access
Rod Armstrong, technology effort of the Governor,
chair of GIS Commission, trying to coordinate the distribution of huge
natural resources information surveys
NU Frontiers (UNL), connect students and others to
a communications system Internet (2 months old)
I nstitute of Agriculture gopher, tied to all state
extension gophers, link for people to Internet
DED gopher system, use to find information on Museums
(e.g.), and other topics, in Nebraska. The goal is to provide a vehicle
for people to find and use information available via Internet -- state
colleges, connection to Internet for students and faculty
Community colleges have the same dreams
Nebraska Department of Education has six or eight
projects. 3500 teachers are linked to Internet now. They just ran out of
money for the toll free number. There is now legislation to provide funding
There are probably 50 or 60 more projects underway
that are not listed on the poster.
The people who are providing connectivity are
the ones usually speaking up in meetings. Each group providing a connection
are listed on the poster. These "hosts" include: US West, University
Lincoln Telephone Company, MidNet, commercial ramps (such as Compuserve),
ETV (planning to link ETV customers through the ETV system), Cox Cable
(and other cable companies), satellite digital services (the 18" satellite
dishes, Rural Electric A?, REA), FreeNet, and independent entrepreneurs.
Significant Interest Groups include: the committees,
such as the Governor's Technology Council; State Advisory Council on Libraries;
Library Commissioners; Senator Bob Kerrey; Department of Economic Development
(DED), Maxine Moul, Director; UNL Information Technology Management Council;
NETV committee and advisory group; Educational Technology Consortium advisory
group; state Higher Education Coordinating Commission; Nebraska Education
Technology Association (NETA) work with K-12; Steve Shafer, Nebraska State
Intergovernment Communication Systems Director; Don Macke, Director Nebraska
State Rural Development Commission; and INK - Information Network of
The Independents are people who don't really need
the rest of the poster, their audience and goals are different. Medical
Center, state highway patrol, sheriff's office, Department of Transportation,
Social Services, etc. Use a mainframe and have very specific audiences
and responsibilities. Main item is they require security and are concerned
about access by unauthorized persons.
All seeking to connect to the NII, National
Infrastructure. Internet is just one part of it.
The Legislature is a key player but they are the
hardest ones to get the time to meet with and for explain the situation.
Advisory council members needs to connect with them and explain the needs
of the community members. The state Legislators are hearing from lobbyists
and are hearing things in sound bites. We need them to see the whole
Jim Emal's poster is a good demonstration of how
intertwined projects and agencies are in connecting to the Internet. A
suggestion is now out that a single entity should provide the technology
for access of information from the Internet so every agency doesn't have
to have a technology expert to make information available.
The Internet is NOT free. Someone is paying the
bill for communications charges. The information on the Internet is being
provided by someone and eventually there will be charges for some of it.
Subsidies will not last forever.
Rod Wagner thanked Jim Emal for his presentation.
This afternoon asking Council to look at how to organize schedule for this
year to disc and recommend ideas for Ne moving forward.
Lunch was served in meeting room at 12:00. The
satellite program at 3:00 at NETV was announced. Council members and
viewed the video tape "Telecommunications works for Nebraska" during
The separate meeting of the Council was called
to order by the chair, Jeanne Leader, at 1:10 pm. Additions were made to
the agenda. Phyllis Brunken moved and Lupe Mier seconded the agenda be
approved as amended, the motion passed. Verda Bialac moved and Laura Cundiff
seconded, the minutes be approved as received, the motion passed.
Proposed Issues for 1994 Council
The Commissioners have proposed three topical
area for the Council to discuss this year. The topics are: federal and
state legislation, federal and state telecommunications issues, and information
technology. Discussion was held on the three topics and related issues.
The Council accepted the three topics as ones they will discuss during
Phyllis Brunken recommended that legislation be
the issue for the June meeting and telecommunications for the September
meeting. The Council should divide into sub-groups for discussion at the
June meeting separate legislative issues into different groups. It is important
the Council receive information prior to the meeting. Updates at each Council
meeting should include any new information on legislation, as well.
The Council agreed the focus of June meeting will
be Legislation. Also, everyone should come prepared to talk about what's
happening in your area, both concerning the legislation topic and the
It was also suggested that Chris Hoy attend one
Council meeting and give presentation about what he does. Other issues
for meetings include information on the progress of the Resource Sharing
Committee issues. Lupe Mier stated the Council should study this issue
as well. There will be a report from the Resource Sharing Committee at
the June Council meeting.
Strategies for 1994 Council Agenda
Small group discussions or discuss as a whole
group, what is the preference of the Council? Sally Wise suggested we have
one group look at legislation and list what is currently out there with
a summary of content, then the group as a whole discuss issue. Copies of
bills should be sent to all council members prior to meeting.
Election of Vice-Chair
Verda Bialac nominated Carol Speicher, Carol declined.
Verda withdrew the nomination. Phyllis Brunken nominated Ken Hughes. Joan
Birnie seconded. It was moved nominations cease. Ken Hughes was elected
Vice-Chair by acclamation.
1994 Council Meeting Dates
The proposed meeting dates for the 1994 Council
The dates were approved as proposed. There is
the possibility of using two-way video communication for one of the meetings.
It might be best to use it for the December meeting.
Lupe Mier moved the meeting adjourn, Phyllis Brunken
seconded, the motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 2:25 pm.