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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

November 2, 2000


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, November 3, 2000 at 9:30 a.m., at the Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Homepage.


Chair Wally Seiler called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Karen Warner, Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Wally Seiler, Robert King and Velma Sims. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, and Nancy Busch. Guests present: Kathy Tooker and Nancy Meyer

Approval of Agenda: Approval of Agenda: Rod Wagner mentioned that there was a mistake on the agenda; the financial reports are for August and September not September and October. A motion was made to approve the agenda with the corrections. Motion carried on roll call vote: Warner - aye; Rogge - aye; King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; and Sims - aye. Motion approved.

Approval of the Minutes (September 1, 2000): A motion was made to approve the May minutes. Motion carried on roll call votes: Rogge - aye; King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel -aye; Sims - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.


Guests were welcomed and invited to comment.


Rod Wagner reported that there was no correspondence for discussion.


Chair Seiler reported that the Panhandle Library System sponsored W. Michael Gear and his wife Katherine O'Neil Gear for a book tour of several towns. The Gear's are archeologists and did a wonderful presentation. If anyone is interested in having them do a presentation, they are paid for by their publisher. Their address can be obtained from the Panhandle Library System office.

Kristen Rogge stated that she attended the MPLA/NLA/NEMA conference. The Auburn Public Library has entered into a formal partnership with the Nemaha County Development and Economic Development organization and is waiting for the county to develop concrete planning for a technology and resource training center. The county will put up the physical plant, which will include an expansion of the building, and they will handle the fundraising for this part of the project. The partnership will handle the content. They are looking for a planning grant to hire consultants and an architect. Kristen said they have done a wonderful job in recruiting technology to their county.

Robert King stated that the Holdrege Library hosted a Halloween party sponsored by a local insurance company. The local newspaper does not have Internet service and many companies are only sending ads over the Internet. The newspaper is working with the library to intercept these ads for them.

Richard Jussel stated that the Kearney Public Library sponsored a speech about Willa Cather by one of her relatives. The library has also been hosting quilt shows and providing quilting lessons for young people.

Velma Sims stated that she attended the MPLA/NLA/NEMA conference. In Fremont, there is a flurry of activity in preparation for their centennial in another year. The Fremont Public Library is having a membership event later this month. They are also working on a new project called "Books for Babies".

Karen Warner stated that Norfolk recently had an evening with Mark Twain (as portrayed by Wally Seiler) that was a huge success and the Foundation made $1,300 from this event. The automation partnership with Northeast Community College, Columbus, and Norfolk has made a decision on which system they will purchase. They also received a Peter Kewit Foundation grant for this project.


Rod Wagner reported that he recently attended an open house and dedication of the new Tecumseh Public Library. The library has a quilt display through the end of December. Commissioner Rogge has a quilt on display at the library.

There was a recent article about the Online College Library Center plans and strategies. It talked about the changes made by OCLC. Karen Warner mentioned the netLibrary is getting lots of attention too. Rod mentioned that netLibrary is a company that sells electronic books. Nebraska is one of a few state libraries that has initiated a consortia purchase of a shared collection of electronic books.


David Eckmann has been hired to fill the Office Clerk III position for TBBS. Interviews were conducted recently for the OCLC Member Services Coordinator. A candidate has been chosen and will be offered the position today. We continue to recruit for the Network Service Director position.

Discussions have been held with regional library system administrators about insurance through the State of Nebraska's Health Insurance program. Rod, Nancy Busch, and Brenda Ealey met with Senator Lynch in September about this issue. Senator Lynch is employed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. His advice and assistance was sought concerning health insurance coverage for library system staff. The Department of Administrative Services will also be contacted to seek advice and assistance concerning health insurance for system employees.


Richard Miller and Rod Wagner attended an orientation in Seattle conducted by the Gates Foundation. Nebraska is among a group of states included in Phase 4 of the Gates Library Initiative. Nebraska's application for participation is due by the end of November. Libraries will not receive training and computer installations until mid-2003.

The September State Advisory Council of Libraries meeting was held in Sidney. The meeting was hosted by the Western Community College library staff. The next meeting will be held December 1 at the Nebraska Library Commission office.

Rod Wagner attended a conference in Aspen, Colorado, Facilitating the Revolution: Cooperatives and State Libraries as Instigators of Change. The conference included a discussion of what state libraries and library systems/networks could stop doing and what new projects could be initiated as a result. One of the commonly mentioned activities for termination was mediated interlibrary loans services - a matter currently under discussion in Nebraska between Library Commission and regional library system staff. A copy of the meeting report will be sent to Commission members.

Rod Wagner attended the RONDAC (Regional OCLC Network Directors Advisory Council) meeting in early October in Dublin, Ohio. Preceding the RONDAC meeting was a meeting of the Alliance of Regional Library Networks. The Nebraska Library Commission (NEBASE) is a member of the Alliance. The Alliance meeting concerned network services that are not related to their OCLC functions. The RONDAC meeting was held at OCLC's offices and included status reports and discussions of OCLC product and service initiatives, and OCLC's study of governance issues and re-structuring.

Rod Wagner attended the Western Council of State Libraries meeting in Santa Fe, in mid-October. The main meeting agenda item was discussion of the process and issues surrounding the upcoming re-authorization of LSTA. It was noted that Nebraska's Senator Chuck Hagel is on the Senate sub-committee that will oversee the re-authorization of LSTA. Nebraska currently receives a little over a million dollars annually in LSTA funding.

Yet another October meeting was the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies meeting held in Springfield, Illinois. The Illinois State Library hosted the meeting. Included was a half-day workshop on the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA). This proposed legislation was developed as model legislation for introduction in state legislatures. It is a controversial measure because it changes many current practices and policies related to software use. A concern for many organizations and consumers, including libraries, is that the UCITA tips the balance toward the software industry and doesn't provide for customer rights. It does not seem likely that this issue will come up in Nebraska, at least in the 2001 legislative session.

The COSLA meeting also included discussion of the LSTA re-authorization. FY 2000 - 2001 LSTA appropriations have not been made. Funds are currently available through a Congressional continuing resolution that provides for short term funding pending enactment of appropriations bills. This delay carries good news and bad news. The good news is that there likely will be some increase in the LSTA appropriations level; the bad news is that every Internet software filtering piece of legislation has been included in the appropriation measure. The filtering provisions would require all libraries receiving e-rate discounts or LSTA monies to install Internet filters.

MPLA/NLA/NEMA Tri-Conference

Rod Wagner stated that the conference was good and well attended. The 2001 NLA-NEMA conference will be held in Kearney.

Network Services Update

Network services staff has arranged trials for a few online databases requested by libraries. The trials will determine interest for obtaining price quotes. During the first quarter of 2001, staff will review current licenses and consider new products for licensing.

NebrasKard Project Update

One of the sessions held at the tri-conference was the NebrasKard; there was good attendance at the session. The session was intended to do two things - the first was to provide background information (history, purpose and basic policies), the second was to have table discussions (small group) that could ask questions, voice their concerns and make recommendations. There were people from out-of-state who talked about activities in their state. The next step is to present the collected information to the NebrasKard advisory committee, then we begin work on the implementation plan. Rod stated he would like to present the implementation plan to the Commissioner's at the January meeting.

Discussions with Regional Library System Administrators re Back-Up Interlibrary Loan Service

Rod Wagner stated that Commission staff recently met (via conference call) with the System Administrators concerning interlibrary loan service back-up services for the next biennium. The current contract with regional systems specifies that interlibrary loan service arrangements will be reviewed prior to the start of the next contract period. Regional interlibrary loan services have been delegated to the systems since the mid-1980's. In recent years, the use of interlibrary loan services has steadily decreased. The regional approach was intended to provide for a service provider from within each region. That is no longer the case. Bellevue Public Library, for example, provides interlibrary loan service for both the eastern and panhandle library systems. Service providers need a certain amount of revenue to sustain their services. With declining activity, transaction costs have increased.

The Library Commission staff offered to provide this service statewide. There are four systems that would like the change and two that would prefer to retain their current service arrangements. The dilemma for the Library Commission is that as a state agency it should serve the whole state or not provide the service at all. A goal is to equip and train library staff so that they can perform their own interlibrary loan transactions. A new web-based interlibrary loan service for small libraries is expected to be available by mid-2001. This service would allow most, though not all, libraries to handle their own interlibrary loan transactions. A decision needs to be made by early January in order that current service providers can be informed in sufficient time before current contracts end.

Library Commission Centennial Plans and Activities Update

Nancy Busch stated that one of the centennial activities is the centennial website. There has been good feedback about the information on the site. The Commission hopes to keep this site for preservation of information from the Commission and libraries across the state. There will be a series of speakers for the centennial celebration. The plan is to have an event to coincide with the Commission/SACL joint meeting in March; another speaker will be featured at the NLA-NEMA conference in Kearney. There will also be a couple of sessions at the conference. An attempt is underway to identify some interesting photo's that would make interesting pieces to exhibit.

Biennium Budget

Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, and NLA representatives have scheduled a meeting with Governor Johanns to discuss the Commission's biennium budget request.


Chair Seiler stated that handouts for August and September were included in the packet. Robert King asked if the rent is $35,000 a month. That amount was confirmed. Rod responded that state policy is to rent office space in downtown Lincoln, rather than to purchase property. A number of state agencies are housed in the Atrium building.


There was no unfinished business.


State Advisory Council on Libraries Appointments

Rod Wagner requested that SACL appointments be deferred until the January meeting. A few nominations have been received but staff members have not met to review nominations. The people leaving the council will be recognized at the December meeting. Commissioners Rogge, Sims, and Warner agreed to attend the SACL meeting in December.

January Commission Meeting Date

Rod Wagner requested changing the meeting date to January 5 or 19th due to the ALA Midwinter Meeting dates. It was decided to change the meeting date to January 19, 2001.

A motion was made to approve the travel requests. Motion carried on roll call vote: Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Sims - aye; Warner - aye; and King - aye. Motion approved.

March Commission/State Advisory on Libraries Council Joint Meeting Date

Rod Wagner requested changing the meeting dates to March 22 and 23 or March 26 and 27. It was decided to change the meeting date to March 22 and 23, 2001 in Lincoln.

Out-of-State Travel Request

Rod Wagner requested permission to attend the COSLA meeting and the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Washington, D.C. January 13 - 16. A motion was made to approve Rod's out-or-state travel request. Motion carried on roll call vote: King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Sims - aye; Warner - aye; and Rogge - aye. Motion approved.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.

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.