STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON
Loren Corey Eiseley Branch Library, Lincoln, Nebraska
June 21, 2002
State Advisory Council members present: Susan Baird;
Becky Baker; Jim Bothmer, John Dale; Steve Davis; Karen Drevo; Nancy
Escamilla; Stan Gardner; Jeff Gilderson-Duwe; Mo Khamouna; Kathy Lute; Kay
Schmid; Tom Schmitz; Ruth Seward; John Seyfarth; Jane Wall; and Jeff Yost.
Commission members present: Richard Jussel, Wally
Seiler, Velma Sims-Shipley and Kristen Rogge. Commission staff members
present: Rod Wagner, Sally Snyder, Richard Miller, Shannon Behrhorst, and Pam
Guests present: Brenda Ealey, Sandy Herzinger, Kevin
Leapley, Jeanne Saathoff, and Ted Smith.
Welcome and Introductions
Chair Karen Drevo called the meeting to order at 10:36
Julie Simpson, branch manager at Loren Corey Eiseley
Branch Library, welcomed the group. Introductions were made around the room.
A motion to approve the agenda was made by Ruth Seward,
seconded by Tom Schmitz. Motion approved.
John Seyfarth moved approval of the March 7&8, 2002,
meeting minutes. Stan Gardner stated a correction was needed on page 7, to
say the Wayne State College library staff is unionized. Motion seconded by
Stan Gardner. Motion approved.
Library Services and Technology Act Reauthorization
- Rod Wagner stated that the Senate has a version of the LSTA reauthorization
legislation (S. 2611) first introduced in the House of Representatives. This
bill is very close to the House version. The main difference is that the
Senate version will increase the state based allocation to $680,000 (from
$200,000) and increase the funding authorization level to $380 million.
There are two
actions sought in regard to the LSTA. Additional co-sponsors are sought for
the legislation in the Senate. One action for the State Advisory Council and
the Commission would be to encourage Senators Hagel and Nelson to give their
support to the legislation. The second item is to encourage our Congressional
delegation to support passage of the LSTA legislation as soon as the
House of Representatives schedules action on the LSTA legislation.
In terms of appropriations, it appears the Congress is
likely not to complete appropriations until after the November elections.
Most likely, there will be a continuing resolution to fund programs on an
interim basis. Funding will probably be at about the same level as this
fiscal year. LSTA is in its final authorization period so Congress must take
action on it in order to continue the program past September 30, 2002.
libraries, the effort is to increase the amount of money appropriated for the
program called "Literacy Through School Libraries." That legislation includes
an authorized funding level of $250 million. There was only $12.5 million
appropriated for the program this year. The effort is to increase the
appropriation level to $100 million. If that should happen, each state will
receive an allocation.
A White House conference on school libraries was recently
held. Gary Hartsell from UNO was invited to attend and was a presenter at the
conference. The Institute of Museum and Library Services Web site contains
information regarding the event, including the presentations that were made,
and other documents. A conference video is also available from IMLS.
Rod Wagner gave an update on CIPA legal action. By
Federal court action, a portion of the CIPA was ruled invalid in regard to
public libraries. However, it is still in full force for schools. This action
has been appealed to the Supreme Court.
Gates Library Initiative - Richard Miller reported
that the Gates Foundation will be issuing a list of public libraries that will
receive computers and what equipment will be provided to each library. The
Commission has been helping some libraries appeal their decision regarding
free computers. Three of the libraries have received word that their appeal
has been successful and they will receive free computers. Commission staff has
developed guidelines for libraries that wish to participate in the Gates
program through the purchase option. These libraries can apply to the
Commission for LSTA funds to cover half the cost of the computer. There are
currently about 42 libraries that have appealed and have asked for a purchase
Richard Miller reported that Continuing Education and
Training Grants will be the next grants available in the Commission grant
cycle. The applications are due July 15 and announcement of the awards will
be August 15. The Commission has included a provision stating the grant
awards will depend upon the results of the Legislature's special session.
Network Task Force - Rod Wagner reported that the state project to select
a prime contractor to provide for uniformity, services and pricing for
telecommunication services for various government entities was not successful.
The Nebraska Information Technology Commission formed a task force to develop
recommendations for addressing the telecommunication services needs for
government, educational, and health care entities. Ted Smith, Norfolk,
is the library representative serving on the task force and Jeanne Saathoff,
Kearney, is the library alternate. A draft report is available on the Nebraska
Information Technology Commission Web site. There is still time to make
comments on the report. The final report will be presented to the NITC in
State Legislative Update - Rod Wagner reported
that the Library Commission's state funds appropriations have been reduced by
8% as a result of the October 2001 special legislative session and the 2002
regular session. These budget reductions were the result of across-the-board
reductions that were made for most state agencies. The Governor vetoed 50% of
the Library Commission's state funds in the library aid program during the
2002 legislative session. However, these funds were restored by the
Legislature as part of a package in an override of the Governor's budget
A special session of the legislature will convene on July
30 for further budget cuts. State tax revenue may be as much as $200 million
below projections by the end of June. The Governor has asked agencies to
limit spending and to not implement any new services. Funds are being
released to agencies on a restricted basis at a rate of 8% per month.
Jeff Yost asked if we are at risk of losing LSTA funds if
we have another budget cut. Rod Wagner stated that we are currently in that situation. There is a state maintenance of
effort provision (MOE) and if a state falls below that level there is a
provision that could lead to a reduction in federal funds. The federal fund
reduction is to be proportional to the state fund reduction. There is also a
waiver provision that allows the Institute of Museum and Library Services to
not reduce a state allocation. Many other states are experiencing the same
budget problems as Nebraska. The Appropriations Committee is aware of this
issue. The state MOE will be based on state expenditures as of September 30,
2002, for the past (federal) fiscal year and will be compared to state library
expenditures over a three year period.
Rod Wagner stated that the Nebraska Library Commission is
prepared to communicate very quickly when specific budget details are known.
The Library Commission is well past the point of being able to cut back
purchases, keep positions open, etc., to make up budget deficits. A question
was asked whether the Commission knows what will happen if certain cuts are
made. Rod Wagner responded that no decisions have been made at this point.
Those decisions will be made depending on the actions of the Governor and
Legislature. Governor Johanns has said that he will not propose any more
across-the-board cuts. The cuts will be for specific programs.
A question was asked if there was anything that can be
done that would help our position besides contacting senators. Rod stated the
key people at this point are the Governor and his policy and budget staff, the
Appropriation Committee members, and the other members of the legislature.
Nancy Busch stated that the University of Nebraska has done a good job in
having local people come in and talk about how the University has helped
agribusiness, etc. - not necessarily quantifiable, but anecdotal. It is
important for the senators to hear this kind of information.
Library Personnel Issues and Project
Rod Wagner reported that he had contacted the Nebraska
Library Association and Nebraska Educational Media Association presidents to
ask for recommendations of persons to serve on a task force to address library
workforce issues. The specific areas for a task force to address include:
Recruiting people into library service jobs;
Retaining library personnel;
Compensation for library personnel (Rod noted that incoming ALA
President Mitch Friedman has made this his theme and priority).
It was noted that it may be necessary to form more than
one group to address these issues: one on recruitment and education, the other
on retention and compensation which are closely related.
Rod Wagner mentioned that there is a $10 million
initiative proposed through the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences to
address library personnel retention and recruitment. Funding for this purpose
was included in President Bush's FY 2003 budget for the IMLS. Information on
this program proposal can be found on the IMLS Web site.
Lunch & Discussions
Five-Year Plan Evaluation: Making a Difference @
Nancy Busch stated that the five-year evaluation report
was sent to the IMLS. The report contains information gathered during the
Making a Difference public library visits. Not all visits had been completed
by the time of the report. Though, the great majority had and all of the
libraries that received LSTA project grant funds were visited prior to
completion of the report. A copy of the report was sent to the Governor and
to the Commission's budget and fiscal analysts (Department of Administrative
Services and Legislative Fiscal Office).
Public Forum (Long Range Plan)
Rod Wagner thanked everyone present for attending the
public forum and explained the discussion would be based on current and future
Nebraska library service needs. State library agencies must develop a
five-year plan as a requirement for receipt of Federal LSTA funds. The long
range plan must be submitted to the IMLS by the end of July.
The Nebraska Long Range Plan for Library Services
2003-2007 - Rod Wagner stated that the draft long range plan
has 4 major goals. Nancy Busch stated the long range plan is an
extraction of what was learned from the communities and libraries that
received LSTA grants the past 5 years.
Jeff Gilderson-Duwe stated that staff of the Nebraska
Information Technology Commission and the State's Chief Information Officer,
at a meeting with library representatives, said they were trying to build
infrastructure and that the library community needed to decide how it would
use a telecommunications network. Rod Wagner said that a need is an
interface for access to online library information resources, and which will
allow libraries to share information via technology.
A suggestion was made to use a large portion of LSTA
funds to develop and provide a portal that will provide a link to libraries
and provide access to libraries' electronic catalogs.
In order for people to get an idea of how this would
work, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe said that he developed a model Web page that
contains: 1) A feature to allow people to search library catalogs across the
state; 2) a mechanism for delivery (how do I get the book?); 3) centralized
access to the shared databases and promoted to the public; 4) a "best link"
section; 5) centralized e-book access; 6) Ask a librarian 24/7 service; and 7)
tie in to the NebrasKard program.
Other suggestions to reaching these goals were:
Need more equalized access to the above things;
A search engine that would search all of the library
sites in the state;
Goals that mesh with what any school media person
would look at;
Balance the above with why people love libraries,
Pool resources and find new ways to provide service.
Improved salaries would be a plus,
NLA and their efforts will be key to the situation,
Public officials and board members need to get better
information to become more supportive,
Studies should be available that can be used to
support this need,
Strengthen and enhance the library systems, they have
the ability to be the grassroots approach for their areas,
Continued accreditation and certification process,
Appropriate salaries required for library
Helpful to have tools available that can help people
make their case to the local council members for better salary and benefits
for library staff.
Continue the LAMA programs,
Consider online education opportunities,
Do not repeat CE topics so often but offer additional
Ongoing training for those currently in library field
is also needed beyond certification requirements.
Increase amount of scholarship available per student,
Better promotion of NLC and NLA scholarship
Provide support for those who are pursuing library
Appeal to people new to the field or interested in
Recruit by demonstrating the joys of the profession,
Contact high school counselors to promote library
science as a career,
Develop summer employment program to hire high school
students to work in library during summer and potential recruitment for the
Utilize the Workforce Development Summer Youth
Employment Program and the Upward Bound program,
Work with the school to develop a high school program
to offer a course in libraries as an elective for the students, or
There is also a need to provide services to customers
who are non-English speaking. The minority population has grown in the last
five years and will continue to grow. We should seriously look at this need
as our minority population continues to grow.
Prioritize uses of LSTA funds.
It was suggested that it was not the best use of funds
to give grants at 60% of requested amount to all applicants. There is a
need to accomplish a larger purpose.
Commit majority of LSTA monies to a portal to provide
online access & for delivery of materials.
Piggyback on existing NDE network & increase bandwidth
Databases get more for our money when we have
Cooperation with corporations and foundations to
assist in funding the visions we have. A five-year goal, describing what we
want to accomplish in five years that will make a difference in people's
lives and use the plan to present to organizations when we ask for
assistance in accomplishing goals.
Broadband access in every Nebraska community.
Submit one statewide E-rate application for state &
use funds for access.
Encourage libraries over the next few years to
purchase web accessible automation programs.
Provide invaluable continuing education opportunities
that are especially helpful for smaller library staff and boards.
School libraries also rely on the databases, would
like to see them expanded so schools have access to the E-library and
Infotrack. If K-12 education gets a heavy cut in the special session the
databases will be even more important.
The future clientele of libraries are in the schools
right now. They will become tax payers and we hope will have positive view
Mentoring advocacy programs will be very important in
the next five years. It is important to develop more sources of scholarships
for MLS students.
In future, online applications for things will be more
prevalent. Different generations are going to want different formats (print
League of Municipalities as a possible partner
Certification standards should be investigated and
A motion was made that the SACL Chair send letters
encouraging Senators (Hagel and Nelson) to co-sponsor the LSTA reauthorization
bill. Jeff Gilderson-Duwe moved, seconded by Stan Gardner. Motion approved.
Chair Drevo asked everyone to e-mail a paragraph for
roundtable items, post the message to the group and all can respond if
Next meeting will be held September 20 in Tilden.
A motion was made to adjourn. Susan Baird moved, seconded
by John Seyfarth. Motion approved. Meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m.