STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON
June 13, 1996
Present: B. Baker, V. Bialac, J. Birnie,
D. Crews, L. Cundiff, D Dragos, B. Hansen, M. La Croix, J. Leader, S. Mason,
G. Mier, J. Saathoff, T. Strom, K. Tooker, R. Voeltz, S. Wiegert, S.
Staff: D. Boone, J. Budler, N. Busch, K.
Keller, S. Snyder, E. Van Waart, R. Wagner.
Welcome and Introductions
The meeting was called to order at 10:05
a.m. by Vice-Chair Jeanne Saathoff. Introductions were given around the
table. Lupe Mier arrived and presided over the remainder of the meeting.
The agenda was amended to included recognition
of Sharon Wiegert's birthday. The amended agenda was approved by
Jeanne Saathoff noted the minutes should
be amended to indicate the March meeting was held in Kearney, not Lincoln.
Dick Voeltz moved the minutes be accepted as amended, Sharon Mason seconded
the motion. The motion carried by acclamation.
Federal Programs Status
Rod Wagner updated the Council on the status
of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). LSTA is a part of the
Careers Act of 1996; which concerns employment & job training related
federal programs. The overall act is progressing very slowly. There is
concern the Act will not be passed prior to the adjournment of Congress
this fall. LSTA section of the act is now, for the most part, agreed to
by all interested parties. The only remaining significant issue is the
minimum allotment for states. Some states want the minimum to be high enough
to provide significant federal funds for lower populated states. The larger
states would like to reduce the minimum in order to have more funds allocated
on the basis of population.
If the LSTA legislation is not acted upon
this year, other actions are being contemplated. The appropriations process
allows for a one year continuation of LSCA. This is less desirable because
if LSTA is not passed, the work will have to start all over with the new
Congress, and the work of this year would not count.
The President and Congress came to agreement
and funds for the current fiscal year have been appropriated. This allowed
the Library Commission to recently announce information about Title
II construction and technology grant program.
Title II and Title III funds were reduced from last year. Title I funds
increased from last year.
The House and Senate are both working on
budget resolutions for the next fiscal year. The assumption is the Careers
Act will be passed and the funding approved, including LSTA. Unfortunately,
some related programs, such as the National Endowment for the Arts and
Humanities, may be phased out.
The universal service provisions of the
federal telecommunications law include provision for special telecommunication
rates for schools, libraries and rural hospitals. The Nebraska Public Service
Commission regulates, to some extent, the telecommunication policies in
Nebraska. They will have some involvement in determining the regulations
or policies regarding the special telecommunication rates that will go
into effect during 1997. The American Library Association (ALA) has a web
site dealing with all the universal service provisions. A copy of a list
of sites was distributed.
A joint Federal Communications Commission
and state board is receiving input on the universal service provisions.
They will issue their recommendations in November 1996. The Federal
Commission will release their final order on universal service provisions
in May of 1997. ALA been a leader in promoting favorable rates for libraries.
The Nebraska Public Services Commission is well informed about this issue.
One commissioner, Lowell Johnson, has special interest in the provisions
and in libraries.
Rod Wagner noted one big issue affecting
the state aid campaign is property tax legislation enacted by the Legislature
this past spring. Schools and public libraries will be affected significantly.
The legislation imposes budget limits on local government subdivisions,
school districts, municipalities, etc. The Legislature has issued some
challenges to Nebraska state and local government to find ways government
can be restructured or jointly administered to share services and reduce
costs prior to 1998, when the limits on property taxes take effect. There
will be a combination of budget limits and property tax limits. The legislation
efforts and state aid campaign can relate to this challenge.
The Legislature did not act on LB 590 during
the last session. The proposed legislation had evolved over the past few
years, beginning as a fairly ambitious set of proposals that included the
concept of multi-community or multi-county library district, a library
federation concept, and rewriting of the public library laws. It evolved
into a fairly straightforward and simple proposal to make it easier to
organize county libraries. The Legislature ran out of time and chose not
to deal with this issue. Now we have to take another look at what we want
to do and put it into perspective considering the Legislature's action
on property tax and budget limits.
The LB 1375 task force has been created
to look at issues regarding electronic access to state government information.
They are now conducting research to learn what agencies are doing. December
1, 1996 is the deadline for their recommendations to be submitted to
It is expected public meetings will be held, perhaps this summer or sometime
in the fall, as an opportunity for public input. Expectations are this
will result in better understanding of what is happening in Nebraska and
Ellen Van Waart updated the Council on
the public library guidelines revision. The committee has been working
for one and a half years. A draft document was mailed to all public libraries
and board presidents this spring. A session at the Spring Meetings asked
for feedback from those attending. There was excellent discussion and good
feedback. Feedback was also solicited in phone calls, letters and via
The guidelines committee will meet on July
22-23 to incorporate feedback. The final draft will be ready for the fall
NLA/NEMA convention. The Public Library Section of NLA will vote on approval
at that time. Anyone who has suggestions or ideas are encouraged to send
them to Ellen Van Waart or other committee members before the end of July.
A video conference is scheduled for June 28, 1-3 p.m. CDT as an additional
opportunity to comment. All sites except Chadron are reserved for it.
State Aid Campaign
Nancy Busch updated the Council on the
state aid campaign. The campaign has come a long way from the first proposal
at the Council's meeting last December. The State Aid Steering Group met
in April and a copy of those minutes were sent to all Council members.
Discussion of the campaign was held at
the NLA Spring Meetings in May, including the $5 per capita idea (which
would result in approximately $8 million total). Some input received indicted
the need for more vision regarding the campaign and needs within the state.
This resulted in scheduling a Visioning Retreat for July 26, which will
be held in Lincoln. (Note: since this meeting of the Council, a second
Visioning Retreat has been scheduled for August 16 in Alliance.) Invitations
will be sent out soon to the library community. The purpose of the Retreat
is to bring together people in the library community to discuss the future
of library and information services in Nebraska. A smaller group of Public
Resource Library Group and Regional Library System representatives will
meet on July 17 in Kearney to discuss the property tax issue and the larger
units of public library service as aspects of the overall campaign.
It is also hoped that shared leadership
for the campaign will come out of these meetings. To be successful, the
leadership needs to be broad based. All Council members are welcome to
attend any State Aid Steering Group meeting.
A resource sharing retreat will be held
August 22-23 in Lincoln. The Library Commission is issuing invitations
to library community representatives and will pay their way to attend.
This issue relates to the state aid campaign as well.
Our overall hope is that all these efforts
result in a vision and theme that will excite and unite us all.
Introduction of new staff
Jo Budler introduced Diana Boone, OCLC
Member Services Coordinator.
Biennial Budget Planning and Long Range
Plan - Discussion
Nancy Busch asked the Council members to
think about what are the important questions we should be asking about
the future of library and information services, and to review the Council's
Challenge to Nebraska libraries. The Council will divide into two groups.
Each group will discuss the questions issue, and also look at the State
Advisory Council on Libraries charge for 1994 to determine if it needs
revision, promotion, or other action.
The Council broke into groups at 10:45
The Council reconvened at 11:40 a.m.
Impact of electronic resources?
on physical facilities
How to guarantee quality of
How do we interpret the information?
How do we train/educate ourselves to use
How do we cope with the transitory nature
How do we ensure equal access? universal
Are we going to be allowed to interpret
Should we offer value judgments?
What do we have influence or control
How will change affect our boundaries? (-library
- government units?)
How do we establish libraries, library service,
as a priority
How do we identify what our publics
How do we involve public in making
How do we market our choices?
What about the non-information providing roles
How do we reveal existing
Challenge to Libraries
Needs to be more reflective of broader
Needs to be more inclusive
Libraries are a priority in a functioning
Service based on customers changing
Social/Fabric role of libraries
Communal role - community building
How do we pay for all
How do we prioritize service?
By what criteria?
How do we educate funders?
How do we educate users on need for more than
How do we customize information for
How can we educate our users as to our level
of effort in finding information?
How can we cost out our services?
How can we involve users in testimonies to
What formats do we need to consider?
What do our users want?
What do people have at home/school?
How can we effectively use available
How can libraries be flexible enough to face
What local effort financing will share be
in light of property tax restrictions?
Where will money come from?
How to decide what is most important?
Who do we need to work with for better service
How can we better access/share information
on what others are doing?
Are we visible in our communities?
Why do fire and police departments get more
money than libraries?
How can we better communicate with decision
What needs do libraries satisfy?
What are the concerns in communities and how
can libraries address these concerns?
What stories are there to relate the value
Challenge to Libraries
Relevant but only a part of what we do
Expand 2nd sentence. It is too limited, define
and broaden, give examples.
"Information access" - means what?
1st sentence addresses "Equity"
Second sentence addresses
last sentence addresses "Electronic
Partner - Cooperate
Integrate in communities
Lupe Mier and Devra Dragos volunteered
to work with Commission staff to revise the challenge statement.
The September Council meeting is scheduled
for Thursday, September 19. The date has not yet been set for the December
Dick Voeltz moved and Verda Bialac seconded
the meeting adjourn. The motion carried.
There being no further business, the meeting
adjourned at 11:51 a.m.
(3 handouts from Rod re: universal service provisions)
(handout copy of draft guidelines)
Nancy: lots of good questions to help us
focus us educating ourselves, public and funders about the issues that
focus on information providing roles and electronic
info towards end
non-electronic roles: community building
roles etc. how are perceived and the impact. improving libs includes improving
lib service. future may be more about service, not libraries.
statement needs to be updated and reframed.
we are in a different place now. much broader challenge now.
observations: strong focus on community
and customer/user questioning. what do we know about our communities and
customers, and unserved. what do people have in homes, kids have at school;
take it into account when we plan. how better communicate w/ our communities
and w/ people in decision-making capacities.
challenge is ok as far as goes, some things
left out. matched up equity, efficiency, electronic access with 3 sentences
in statement. need to update and expand the statement so matches better
UPT concept (universal pipeline of
Lupe Mier: Steve Ooton will chair the state
aid campaign meeting this afternoon. All Council members are welcome to