STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON
June 30, 1995
Present: B. Baker, M. Battistella, V. Bialac,
J. Birnie, P. Brunken, D. Crews, L. Cundiff, S. Davis, D. Dragos, K. Marek,
G. Mier, S. Person, J. Saathoff, T. Strom, R. Voeltz, S. Wiegert, S.
Commissioners: F. Lovell, Dr. R. McPherson, R.
Norman, J. Sanders, M. Vollbrecht.
Staff: N. Busch, E. Miller, J. Minges, D. Oertli,
M. J. Ryan, S. Snyder, A. Sternburg, R. Wagner.
Welcome and Introductions
The joint meeting of the State Advisory Council
on Libraries and the Commissioners was convened at 9:38 a.m. Welcome was
given by Rod Wagner. Introductions of all present were given.
Council Chair Sally Wise suggested the agenda
be amended to include a report on the changes that will occur with
Online. The agenda was approved as amended by acclamation. Richard
Voeltz moved and Verda Bialac seconded the minutes be approved as received.
The motion carried.
Home Page(s) Presentation
Annie Sternburg gave a demonstration of two home
pages on the Internet that Library Commission staff have created. Annie
Sternburg, Joanne Corson, Vern Buis and Cindi Hickey have worked on these
projects. Annie first demonstrated the Nebraska Library Commission home
page. The address is http://nlc.state.ne.us/nlc.html for anyone who
is interested in accessing it. Annie noted the home page is always under
construction and to please let her know if you are aware of something that
is missing. The home page contains the following sections: Our Mission
and Goals, Our Services, Our Staff, Our Library Commissioners, How to Reach
Us, News (under construction), Upcoming Events (under construction), Library
Commission publications, Nebraska Regional Library Systems, Nebraska Libraries
on the Internet, Nebraska State Agencies, Other State Library Agencies.
The address for the state home page is
and it contains easy access to basic state information. The state home
page contains the following sections: Welcome from Governor Benjamin E.
Nelson, Office of the Governor, State Agencies, State Funded Colleges and
Universities, State Agency Information Products, Other Nebraska Resources,
Other State Information Servers, and Nebraska State Government Directory.
The Nebraska state government directory has search capability to locate
a state employee phone number.
Vern is developing a Nebraska library directory
that will allow the user to search for the city and learn the librarian's
name and phone number, or search for the librarian's name. It may be available
by this fall.
Phyllis Brunken noted the challenge grant received
by ESU #7 (Educational Service Unit). Ten students will be trained to create
home pages for their schools and public libraries. The home pages should
be up and available this fall. A U.S. West sponsored grant for teachers
will allow them to design Nebraska educational resources to be available
on the Internet. ESU #7 has a home page, it contains the copyright laws
for educators, software copyright guidelines for educators. The Department
of Education points to other home pages, the ESU #7 page should be available
Nancy Busch updated the Council and Commissioners
on the state budget. A summary handout was distributed. All state agencies
had to identify 10% of the budget to be cut if the the state experienced
a revenue shortage. These were called modifications. At our budget hearing
in February we had to justify putting the 10% back. The Library Commission
identified Reference and Information services, Federal documents, interlibrary
loan service, and Current Awareness Service as those to be affected if
the budget were cut. The Library Commission did have all of the 10% added
back into the budget. Salary increases were also included in the budget
as well as a small increase for inflationary cost of travel and operating
expenses. The Library Commission received approval to spend the projected
Nebrask@ Online revenues from the fee-based services, an
estimated $50,000 for the first year and $75,000 for the second. The Commission
did not receive any increase in state aid for public libraries or for system
services. We are anticipating slightly fewer federal funds as well. The
Governor had recommended funding for toll-free access to Nebrask@
Online, but the Legislature did not. No new items the Commission
requested were funded. Salary increases for Commission staff were fully
Federal Programs Status
Rod Wagner reported on the status of the federal
library programs. He noted there has been good progress toward establishing
a new federal library program to replace the Library Services and Construction
Act (LSCA). It is not all good news but people are optimistic. There had
been concern that the federal library program would end due to the changes
in Congress. A coalition has been working for several years on developing
a proposal for new federal programs to replace LSCA. It emerged from the
1990 Library and Information Services. The participants felt it was time
to rewrite the federal library program. There have been good results working
with various members of Congress. Bills were introduced in both the House
and Senate to continue a federal library program. The two bills are not
quite the same, but contain similar concepts. The House Bill is HR 1617
and the Senate Bill is S856.
Both bills contain some reduction in funding compared
to current amounts received through LSCA. A major difference in the two
bills: the Senate bill would establish a new Institute of Museum and Library
Services. The House bill keeps administration of the program with the
of Education (DOE). The bill provides for continuation of administration
of the federal library program if the DOE is discontinued.
The House initiatives have eliminated the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) program enacted a year ago for school
library resources, and the Higher Education Act programs for libraries.
The new Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), if it is passed, was
not intended to address those areas. Some members of Congress think LSTA
is the only federal library program needed.
The new approach is to enact block grant programs
which give states more control over the use of funds, with less federal
controls. Safeguards have been written into the program. The funds go to
each designated state library agency, in both versions of the bill. It
appears likely that both bills will pass. If they do, a joint Senate and
House committee will work together to reconcile differences and develop
a bill both can pass.
The coalition of various library organizations
has held together and worked to find compromise for all groups. The ALA
Washington office has worked hard and been very helpful. ALA put more funds
and efforts in lobbying and results have been seen.
There is one remaining year of LSCA. Funds are
expected to be appropriated later this summer. The Title II funding for
construction and technology may be under threat again. There is a strong
opinion LSCA will be appropriated for FY 1995-1996, and that the new bills
will be enacted and future appropriations will be continued at some reduced
but still significant level. There is support from both Democrats and
for library programs.
Long Range Plan
Sally Snyder noted the draft copy of the Long
Range Plan was due in Washington by July 1, 1995. An update was sent to
Washington with the Annual Program for 1996. Changes included in the update
were primarily for clarification. The children's services section was changed
somewhat as requested by Mary Jackson and the new Children's Advisory
A copy of the update will be mailed with the minutes of the meeting.
Nancy Busch noted that suggestions of the State
Advisory Council were incorporated into the document. Thank-you for giving
us input. We did not do a major revision of the plan since a different
federal program is in the future. A copy of the Long Range Plan will be
on the Library Commission home page. An executive summary is planned for
the next issue of N-Compass. A full copy of the document will be
available upon request.
Public Library Guidelines Revision
Jim Minges reported on the ongoing update of the
Public Library Guidelines. The committee has met twice to date. Members
of the Public Library Guidelines Committee are: Rhonda Manning, Hyannis
(Grant County Library); Ruth Strassler (Chair), Neligh; Julie Senden, West
Point; Becky Baker, Seward; Phyllis Extrom, Holdrege; Carol Reed, Kearney;
Ted Smith, Norfolk; John Dale, Lincoln; Harold Goff, Lyons (Trustee); Sharon
Osenga, Meridian Library System; and Jim Minges, Barbara Johnson, and Ellen
Van Waart of the Library Commission. A one-page handout was distributed
which lists the committee members and some of the goals and criteria for
A revision is needed because the current guidelines
are several years old, and the current ones are not all easily verified
or easy to understand. The earlier guidelines were as much an educational
document as a set of standards. The current set does not contain much about
technology. The preliminary thoughts of the committee are listed on the
The committee is looking at each guideline and
asking: can it be understood? can it be monitored? Some current guidelines
will probably be removed and addressed in some other way.
The committee is considering two levels of
One would require meeting all of the "required" guidelines, the second
level would be based on meeting some other guidelines. The Library Commission
would allocate aid according to the level of accreditation the library
has attained. A new section will be written to deal with technology
The committee will be asking for input from the
library community. Their goal is to bring a draft document to the Spring
meetings in 1996 for discussion. After input from the Spring meetings,
a final document will be developed to present to the Public Library Section
at the NLA convention in the fall of 1996.
Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse Evaluation
The Library Commission in early May decided to
conduct an evaluation and review of the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse
program and services. It was established in state statute in 1972. The
Clearinghouse covers all of our federal and state document depository activities.
With many new developments occurring in
information it is a good time to review the program. An internal staff
team is directing the process. A letter was sent to directors of depository
libraries in Nebraska and their staff to inform them that the process is
underway and that we will request input from depository libraries. We will
also gather input from the library community and state government agencies.
Information will be gathered from other state library agencies on their
programs, including recent statutes of other states that address electronic
information. The process is just underway. The September meeting of the
Council may want to include a discussion of the Clearinghouse to provide
input from the Council.
National Science Foundation "Electronic Library
Nancy Busch distributed a summary of the retreat
held at the Library Commission in April as part of the National Science
Foundation Electronic Library Project planning grant. The grant was received
by the University of Nebraska and the Library Commission to look at issues
around developing a statewide electronic library. Activities that were
a part of this planning process included forming a steering committee.
A survey was sent to over 1,200 libraries in Nebraska to gather information
on the types of information people want to access electronically. A survey
also requested information on training offered in the state for Internet
The planning retreat held in April at the Library
Commission was a major activity of the grant. Over 50 people from various
libraries and agencies attended. Speakers at the retreat included Susan
Fayad, director of Colorado's network, speaking on issues they are encountering
in Colorado. Robert Denicola, spoke on copyright issues in the electronic
age. There was a lively discussion on that issue. Janet Poley summarized
the discussions on different topics held in small groups throughout the
two day retreat. Her comments are included in the planning retreat summary
distributed to Council members earlier.
The steering committee met in early June to discuss
the result of the planning retreat and the survey and to consider what
happens next in terms of the statewide electronic library. One possibility
is to develop a Nebraska electronic libraries' home page. It would provide
a place for any Nebraska library to have a presence. Plans are to develop
a prototype of it for the fall NLA/NEMA conference. The summary and a copy
of the survey results were sent to over 1,200 Nebraska libraries.
An implementation grant application was submitted
in April to the National Science Foundation. The application proposes to
build a prototype electronic library in Nebraska that is only related to
math and science. Grants will not be awarded until late this summer. More
that 100 grants were submitted, they will fund 24 or less, so it is quite
competitive. A final report on the planning grant will be written in September
and will include recommendations from the steering committee about how
the concept will be furthered in the state. Overall, the grant has had
a good impact in bringing people in the state together to look at
Update on NE Online
Rod Wagner gave an update on Nebrask@
The target date for discontinuing the current Nebrask@ Online
system is August 1, 1995. The enhanced Nebrask@ Online is
being readied to be put into place at that time. Access to Nebrask@
Online through the Internet will be provided. Libraries currently
without access to the Internet may sign up for access via Nebrask@
Online. The grant funds for providing toll-free access to
Online are nearly depleted. Grants received from the Nebraska Telephone
Association, the Nebraska Energy Office, and Small Business Administration
funds allowed the Library Commission to pay the cost of toll-free access
to Nebrask@ Online. The fees libraries and other users will
pay beginning August first will go toward the actual expense of providing
the telecommunications system. The ultimate goal is to equalize cost among
everyone in Nebraska.
Electronic access to driver's license records
was the first system on the new Nebrask@ Online. Many databases
and records from the Secretary of State's office are close to being available
through Nebrask@ Online. Nebraska attorneys and others would
like to see the state's Rules and Regulations available online. A high
priority for Nebrask@ Online is working with the Legislature
to provide online access to statutes, legislative bills, hearings, agendas,
and other information.
Discussion is still underway concerning objections
by insurance companies to paying the higher fee for driver's license records.
Farmers Mutual Insurance Company has initiated a protest with the State
Attorney General Office challenging whether the state can legally charge
the additional $1.00 per record for electronic access to driver's license
records. The controversy concerning the other bidder for Nebrask@
Online network manager services has been resolved.
Talking Book and Braille Service Tour
Council members were given a tour of the Talking
Book and Braille Service by Dave Oertli and Diane Greenlee.
The meeting reconvened at 1:20 p.m.
Sally Wise, Council Chair, noted the next meetings
of the Council are scheduled for September 15 and December 8. Plans are
to hold the December 8 meeting as a teleconference, if the video conferencing
system is available for booking on that date. The Commissioners March 1996
meeting is set for March 14 & 15 in Kearney. Council members can mark
their calendars for that meeting. It will probably convene in the early
afternoon on the 14th.
Council Round Table Discussion
Dena Crews, Chadron Public Library, reported
(CWEIS) and ChadronNet have filed papers for incorporation and are searching
for a vendor. Cambridge, Chadron and Lincoln are involved with NebraskaNet.
Access to Internet will be provided through the project.
Becky Baker, Seward Public Library, reported that
Connect Seward is moving along. Their plans include 20 phone lines into
the server at Concordia. LT&T prefers to have all calls go to Lincoln
first and then bounce them to Concordia for local Seward information. That
means all the revenue would go to LT&T. Negotiations continue with
this project. Seward received a challenge grant for the project, the rest
is being funded by donations at this point. Seward Public Library also
received LSCA Title II automation funds from the Commission through the
system grant project. They are using the funds to purchase a CD stacker.
Kate Marek, Southeast Library System, noted the
library systems are giving grants for technology, and also wrote cooperative
grant applications to the Library Commission for LSCA technology funds.
At first the applications were for automated circulation and catalogs.
The past two years they have also requested funds for CD-ROM workstations.
The library systems are also supporting the CD-ROM union catalog project
from their budgets. A CD-ROM version of the catalog is limited if librarians
want to expand the number of MARC records listed. Several library systems
have given Internet grants in the past year and would like to continue,
but funding for systems has been flat for the last five years and so the
amount available is limited. Library systems are also working to offer
Internet training for librarians and library staff.
Jeanne Saathoff, Kearney Public Library, reported
their automation is up and operating very well. They are using the last
of the Kiewit grant funds for a self-checkout system. An LSCA Technology
grant from the Library Commission is for two KidsCat stations in the children's
department. The library also received a Kearney Keno grant. They would
like to network the popular Mackintosh computers in the children's department.
Kearney FreeNet is up and running. It is a local network, with information
pages and local e-mail service. There will be Internet e-mail available
on a limited basis. It will be paid for with federal funds and some city
funds. The hardware and server is in the Technology Center at the public
library. The library trained many members of the public on the use of the
system. They are still trying to get Internet in place.
Troy Strom, City Administrator of Fullerton, reported
they are looking into the feasibility of connecting into the high school's
Internet connection. The public library received a grant from the Kiewit
Foundation for computer purchase. It will be compatible with the high school
computer so students can use it for school work. Fullerton and Genoa will
be going to the county board together to request a county budget amount
Verda Bialac reported the Omaha Public Library
is in the process of getting onto the Internet. They have not yet chosen
a provider. Currently they are loading information access into the Dynix
system so all the branches can access full text articles. Fax machines
are now located in every branch and each subject department of the main
library. They are planning to install 4-6 computer centers. Each will be
a stand alone computer connected to the Internet for public use. The guidelines
for use have not yet been developed. In addition, five locations will be
getting self-checkout units.
Laura Cundiff, Clay Center Public Library, noted
their library has two computers and a CD-ROM reader purchased with LSCA
funds and matching local funds. They are in the process of getting a fax
machine for the library and plan to purchase a scanner. They will use one
phone line for the computer and the fax machine. The library board feels
there are not that many people wanting to use an Internet connection. They
are only open 3 or 4 hours in the afternoon. They will stay on Nebrask@
Online, and are waiting to see what is next.
Sylvia Person, Holdrege Middle School, reported
Holdrege has formed a community group which has conducted a survey and
compiled information. The public library has a new computer. The school
has fiber optic laid and it should be operational by the fall. Training
will be an important issue. She has been working with 104 students this
summer and they are very excited about the Internet access.
Steve Davis, Kearney school system, noted Kearney
is working with the local cable company for fiber optic capability. The
high school and middle school should have direct connections by the fall.
The local school district funds are paying for it so far, they continue
to apply for grants.
Sharon Wiegert, Papillion Public Library, reported
the town's bulletin board is very successful. Internet is extremely successful.
The charge for city residents is $50 per year for the Internet connection
and an extra $10 a month for SLIP (graphics) connection. Non-residents
pay $10 month per household or $50 for six months. There are three stations
at the public library for Internet access. The Summer Reading Program included
an Internet class for children at no charge. They had 40 children attend
classes, with ten to a class. The library received a $200,000 Kiewit challenge
grant for a new library building. They applied for Junior Women's Club
community improvement grants and used the funds to buy an ellison dye cut
machine for signs.
Devra Dragos, Beatrice State Developmental Center,
reported they received their LSCA grant for the client collection. There
is no computer in the library yet. They do have a computer for online searching
with FirstSearch. The library is going to get a CD-ROM reader for the
collection. They are working on access to the Internet. They can get there
through PROFs but not to WWW. The LT&T offer is also available in Beatrice.
Beatrice Public Library has received grants to put in technology.
Richard Voeltz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
reported the University is working on getting the capability for web access.
Training is currently underway for staff to use the web.
Lupe Mier, Bellevue Public Library, noted their
automation system is up and running. They are looking to expand services:
would like access through Dynix for gateways to catalogs of other libraries.
They will also establish Internet connections and are considering whether
to connect through the college or direct from the public library. A computer
center for children will be set up in the future. Computer software is
now a line in the budget, $9,000 this year. The city is looking at grant
possibilities for archiving meeting minutes, in particular the city minutes
from approximately 1836 to the present.
Maureen Battistella, Wayne State College, reported
that beginning July 1 they will have Netscape access to the Internet. This
is a tremendous training responsibility for the library. Dial access for
the public, the 4 current lines will expand to 16 ports for access to the
Internet. GPO and Geographic information systems will soon be available.
They have received funding for 6-8 multi-media workstations for the library.
Wayne is in the process of building a new public library building.
Phyllis Brunken, ESU #7, noted they have received
an assistive technology grant to be used for students with special needs.
The Legislature passed LB 860 which allows schools access to weatherization
funds, the funds can be used for Internet costs. Platte Campus Community
College has a channel on the local cable system for education.
Joan Birnie, Broken Bow Public Library , reported
the library in the past has received grants from the Commission for automating
circulation, CD-ROM public access computer, fax machine, and a one-way
satellite video. Broken Bow has had a community technology committee for
about one year. The committee plans to develop an electronic bulletin board,
the county is also interested. There are eight different prefixes in Custer
county and four different telephone companies. That makes it difficult
to have countywide access to the bulletin board. A volunteer high school
student is developing a Web page for Custer County.
Sally Wise, Schmid Law Library, University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, noted they are putting up a CD-ROM network within the
law school for the use of professors, students, and anyone who comes into
the library. The Law Library also received a grant to provide part-time
hours for a staff person to work with the bar association in the use of
technology in the process of law, and to give information to the law school
so students know how technology is being used in the field.
Rod Wagner distributed a handout listing the Title
II grant recipients in Nebraska for 1993, 1994, and 1995. It is a public
library program. Nebraska is one of only a few states using Title II funds
for construction and technology, most state use Title II funds only for
Nancy Busch suggested that the next time we request
state funds, the Library Commission may want to consider requesting an
on-going fund for library technology, such as was done with the Public
Resource Library Group automation fund in the past. A compilation like
this handout could be used to show what has been happening in this area.
Kate Marek, Southeast Library System, noted that
public access to libraries' catalogs would be very useful. Jeanne Saathoff
asked how we could initiate this type of project. Nancy Busch stated maybe
we could work with a group of volunteers from the Council to think it through
for next years' budget request. Volunteers for this group: Jeanne Saathoff
and Sally Wise. Anyone else interested should contact Nancy Busch. Other
suggestions for this project included:
The Kiewit Foundation supported the original public
resource library automation project and was helpful in getting state funds.
They may be interested in participating again.
A gateway program for Nebraska would probably have
Internet connections as well.
The Commission may want to look at using Title II
funds for this type of statewide project in the future, and seek Kiewit
or other matching funds.
A delivery system will also be a factor. If patrons
have access to catalogs, they will also want the material(s) as soon as
This group can be the leadership to encourage libraries
to move into technology, acknowledge many libraries will be at different
places at different times, and will access different things in different
Form a committee to brainstorm ideas and bring them
to the September Council meeting. Council members need to challenge themselves
to think about how each may participate, and also any ideas for discussion
at the September meeting.
Phyllis Brunken moved, and Dena Crews seconded,
that the major task for the State Advisory Council on Libraries for 1995
will be to investigate the possibility of establishing a statewide technology
fund to be applied to individual projects or a state project, and include
it in the next biennium budget request. It should be an action plan for
the State of Nebraska. The motion carried.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned
at 3:15 p.m.