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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

November 8, 2002


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, November 8, 2002 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 Richard Jussel called the meeting to order at 9:32 a.m. Members present: Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Robert King, Wally Seiler, Velma Sims-Shipley, and Karen Warner. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, Maria Medrano-Nehls and Shannon Behrhorst.

Approval of Agenda: A motion was made to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Warner - aye; Rogge - aye; King - aye; Seiler - aye; Sims-Shipley - aye; and Jussel - aye. Motion approved.

Approval of the Minutes (September 6, 2002): A motion was made to approve the September 2002 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Rogge - aye; King - aye, Seiler - aye, Jussel - aye, Sims-Shipley; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.


No public participation


No correspondence to report.


Richard Jussel congratulated Wally Seiler for his award of the Nebraska Library Association's Trustee Citation.

Kristen Rogge stated that she felt the NLA/NEMA conference was exceptional this year. Kristen also reported that the Auburn City Council refused to raise the salary of a senior library staff member, who has 12 years of service. Their reasoning was that they had given all the other city employees a 2.5% pay increase and could not in good conscience give the library employee more, even though she is the lowest paid city employee.

Rod Wagner stated that Nebraska statutes are very clear that the Library Board determines the library staff salaries, but in many cases the City Manager or City Council disregard state provisions.

Velma Sims-Shipley stated that the community of Valley voted not to build a new library.

Wally Seiler thanked everyone who attended the NLA Trustee, Users, and Friends section luncheon that honored him. Wally stated that he is back on the Alliance Library Board completing the term of a member who resigned.

Karen Warner reported that she recently attended four library association conferences in four different states. Karen attended the MPLA conference in Fargo, North Dakota. The next MPLA conference will be held in Lake Tahoe in 2003. Karen recommended that the NLA TUFS Section Trustee award should be presented at the Thursday night award banquet.

Robert King reported that the Holdrege Friends of the Library have decided not to build the new circulation desk until after the holidays. The library received $15,000 from the family of a library supporter and the Friends donated $15,000.


Personnel - Rod Wagner reported that Barbara Johnson, a former long time Library Commission employee, passed away. Memorial contributions can be made at the Holdrege Public Library. Memorial contributions will be used for children's books.

Sally Snyder has returned to work part-time, and is currently working on the LSTA annual report.

NLA/NEMA Conference - Rod Wagner reported that many Library Commission staff members contributed to the NLA/NEMA conference. Beth Goble was the co-chair of the local arrangements committee. Beth was assisted by a number of other Commission staff who helped with various conference activities. Commission staff gave presentations at the conference. The Commission's booth in the exhibit area was a strategic spot to talk with conference participants. The Commission sponsored Dr. Bob Martin, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the keynote speaker for the Thursday opening general session.

Gates Foundation Library Initiative - Rod Wagner reported that Nebraska's participation in the Gates library program is going well. There is a high level of participation among Nebraska public libraries. Training and installation of computers will begin in December and continue into the late winter of 2003.

Library Personnel and Recruitment - Rod Wagner reported that a task form has been formed and met on November 1. The group has contributed ideas for promoting library service careers, including resources for use in high schools and colleges.

Another suggestion that came out of the Task Force meeting was a designated recruitment week to publicize library service careers. A report from the meeting will be available soon.

Rod stated that the Task Force report will be on the December State Advisory Council on Libraries agenda. Since the Task Force was created as the result of a State Advisory Council recommendation, its activities will be reviewed at each Council meeting. The Task Force should complete its work by June or August.

Panhandle Library Services Coordinator - Rod Wagner reported that the position has been advertised. There is no application deadline. The position will remain open until it is filled. Nancy Busch and Pam Scott will work with the Panhandle Library System board in the recruitment and selection process.

Status of LSTA Reauthorization and FY 2003 Appropriation - LSTA authorization ended at the close of September but funding has continued. The President, Senate, and House of Representatives have proposed different levels of funding for the LSTA. Funding is provided under a Congressional Continuing Resolution until Congress completes action on federal appropriations. Appropriations likely will not be completed until after the new Congress convenes in January. LSTA appropriations will likely be at about the same level as for the past fiscal year.

Nebraska Guidelines for Young People's Library Service (revised) - Rod Wagner included the Guidelines as an information item for this meeting. The revised Guidelines were approved by the Library Commission's Youth Advisory Board and by the Nebraska Library Association's School, Children's and Young Peoples Section. There were a few changes made in the Guidelines, primarily those that relate to library technology issues. The Guidelines will be on the January Commission meeting agenda as an action item. Richard Jussel suggested clarification of "they" on page 7, 2nd paragraph. The paragraph reads "Libraries or library boards who would restrict the access of minors to materials and services because of actual or suspected parental objections should bear in mind that they do not serve in loco parentis.

Nation Book Festival - Mary Jo Ryan, from the Library Commission staff, and Joan Birnie, Past President of the Nebraska Center for the Book, attended the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Mary Jo and Joan staffed the Nebraska exhibit. Each state was invited to send a representative and display items from their state. There was a large turn out and children asked many question about Nebraska. Each state was asked to create a rubber stamp representative of the state. The stamps were used with a map of the states created for the festival. The Institute of Museum and Library Services provided up to $1,000 to each state participating in the festival, to be used to defray expenses.

2003 Nebraska Legislative Issues - The next legislative session will be the long session and will include the biennium budget. Governor Johanns will announce his budget proposals some time toward the end of January or beginning of February. Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch and Doreen Kuhlmann will be meeting with the Governor's budget staff on November 15 to discuss the Commission's budget request.

Library Skills Education - Deb Robertson of Northeast Community College proposed offering library skills classes in the community colleges across Nebraska. A meeting was arranged with Deb in August that included Library Commission staff and regional library system administrators. The August meeting led to a meeting in Kearney on October 10 that included representatives from Nebraska community colleges. It was agreed by those attending the October meeting that planning will proceed toward the development of library skills course offerings through the community colleges. It is expected that courses could be offered leading to a certificate or academic degree. A meeting will be held January 15-16 in Kearney to begin development of a proposal for consideration by Nebraska community colleges for library skills education. The course offerings could replace or supplement the current basic skills classes offered by the Library Commission with the assistance of the regional library systems. The program would go beyond what the basic skills courses have to offer and could offer training to someone in any kind of library.

Nebraska Community Foundation Workshops - These workshops have been offered across the state the last two months. Although attendance has not been what was hoped for, the workshops have been well received by those who have attended them.


September and October Budget Reports - Financial reports were included in the meeting packets. There was no discussion.


No unfinished business to report.


December 13th State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting - The State Advisory Council will meet in Lexington. Information will be sent next week.

Out-of-State Travel Request - A motion was made to approve the Director's travel request to attend the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies meeting and the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 23 - 27, 2003. Motion carried on roll call vote: King - aye; Seiler - aye; Sims-Shipley - aye; Jussel - aye; Warner - aye; and Rogge - aye. Motion approved.


Chair Richard Jussel adjourned the meeting at 10:38 .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.