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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes


Nebraska Library Commission

March 10, 2006



The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, March 10, 2006, at the Lexington Public Library. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Web site. 

Chair Velma Sims-Shipley called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. Members present: John Dale, Mary Nelson, Velma Sims-Shipley and Carol Spencer. Staff present: Rod Wagner and Maria Medrano-Nehls. Guests: Nancy Escamilla, Patricia Gross, Matt Williams, Maggie Harding, Cindy Gitt, Jan Boyer, John Seyfarth, Nancy Catlin, and Kris Rogge. 

Approval of Agenda:  A motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: John Dale - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; and Carol Spencer - aye; Motion approved. 

Approval of the Minutes (January 6, 2006): John Dale asked that the spelling of Lincoln Mayor Coleen Seng's name be made in the minutes. A motion was made with the correction and seconded to approve the January 2006 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: John Dale - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; and Carol Spencer - aye. Motion approved.  


Chair Sims-Shipley welcomed all of the guests in attendance. Rod Wagner introduced and welcomed Matt Williams who is the new Kearney Public Library Director. 

Correspondence and Communication

Rod Wagner reported that Joan Birnie, Nebraska Library Association President, sent a letter recognizing the Commission for its support of NLA activities. The Commission provides funding to the Nebraska Library Association for advocacy activities including library legislative day and a keynote speaker for the annual NLA - NEMA conference.  

Chair's Report and Commissioners' Comments   

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that Valley public library held a promotion to raise money for a new library by holding an open house to view a newly remodeled artistic home. The event was well attended.  The Omaha public library is exploring the idea of providing a link through its online catalog to a private online bookseller. Under the plan, patrons unable to get a copy through the library could buy the book online through the private seller. The library would receive a small percentage of the sale price from the online seller and use the money to buy materials. 

Carol Spencer reported that the Becton Dickinson Company gave a $1,000 gift to the Broken Bow public library. The money will be used to replace an old public access computer. The PAWS program is going very well. The activities packs are now being used.  

John Dale reported that he attended the Southeast Library System board meeting at York College. John also attended Nebraska Library Legislative Day. He stated that legislative day was well planned and well attended and he was glad to see the many senators that present for the luncheon and program. John will be participating in an assessment for the Hastings public library.     

Mary Nelson passed around a document that her library Friends group created to encourage more people to become friends of the library. Mary attended the Republican Valley Library System board meeting at the Grant library. She also attended the recent digitization training offered by the Library Commission. 

Director's Report

LSTA Grant Awards - Rod Wagner reported that 15 grant applications for LSTA funds were received. All of the applications were approved. Grant awards total $216,000.  

State Budget Request - Rod Wagner reported that the appropriations committee unanimously approved the Commission's budget request for an online encyclopedia subscription and supplementary online educational resources. The committee included the Commission's budget request in its recommendations to the legislature. Even if the legislature approves the request the Governor can veto it.  

Gates Rural Library Sustainability workshops - Rod Wagner reported that Pam Scott is the lead person on this project. Pam has arranged eight workshop locations. The goal is to have participation from 80% of Nebraska public libraries. The Gates Foundation grant provides funds to cover participant travel expenses, lunches and refreshments. The workshops will include information about OCLC's WebJunction, computer hardware and software upgrade and maintenance, advocacy, staff and patron training, funding, outreach and discussion of library trustee initiatives.  

Public Library Trustee Legislative Issues - Rod Wagner reported that a legislative bill concerning public library boards was expected to be introduced in the Nebraska legislature. However, a bill was not introduced. The League of Nebraska Municipalities may seek an interim study on public library board responsibilities that would be conducted by the legislature. The Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Library Association are open to working with League representatives to address their concerns.  

March to May Events - Rod Wagner noted several events scheduled March through May involving the Library Commission. Some of the events coming up include the Letters about Literature award ceremony to be held on March 21; National Library Workers Day on April 4; NLC Network Services will host a Vendors Day on April 12; Disaster Preparedness workshop will be held May 1 and 2 in Lincoln and May 3 and 4 in Scottsbluff; and National Library Legislative Day will be held May 1 and 2.  

Financial Report

The February financial report was included in meeting packets.    

Audit - The Commission was recently audited. The Commission has not had an onsite audit since 2001.  The audit report notes four issues related to financial transactions - principally related to segregation of duties among agency personnel involved in financial transactions. Procedural changes have been made to address these issues. 

2007-2009 Biennium Budget Planning - Rod Wagner stated that this is the year state agencies prepare budget requests for the next biennium budget period (2007 - 2009). Budget requests will be due on September 15. Budget work will begin in the spring. The budget will be discussed at the July Commission meeting with final action at the September meeting. 

Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business to report. 

New Business

May Commission Meeting Date - Rod Wagner asked if the May meeting date could be changed in order that he could attend a Western Council of State Libraries meeting scheduled for the same date. It was agreed that the meeting date will change from May 12 to May 19.  

Out-of-State Travel Request - Rod Wagner requested approval to attend an American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom "Law for Librarians" program in Chicago, April 4-6; to attend the COSLA meeting in Washington D.C., April 29 - 30 and to attend National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C., May 1 and 2.    

A motion was made to approve the Director's out-of-state travel requests. Motion carried on roll call vote: Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; and John Dale - aye. Motion approved.


Chair Sims-Shipley adjourned the meeting at 9:50 a.m. 


Maria Medrano-Nehls, Secretary 

All attachments are available upon request. If you would like a copy, please contact Sue Biltoft at the Nebraska Library Commission, 800-307-2665 or 402-471-2045.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.