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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

November 2, 2000


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, November 12, 2004, beginning at 9:30 a.m., at the Nebraska Library Commission. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Homepage.

Chair Kristen Rogge called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Jean Ahrens, Patrick Gross, Mary Nelson, Kristen Rogge, and Velma Sims-Shipley. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, and Richard Miller. Guest: Kathy Tooker.

Approval of Agenda:

A motion was made to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jean Ahrens - aye; Patrick Gross - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; and Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Motion approved.

Approval of the Minutes (September 12, 2004):

A motion was made to approve the September 2004 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Patrick Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; and Jean Ahrens - aye. Motion approved.


Kathy Tooker stated that Legislative Day will be February 23, 2005. John Seyfarth and Kathy Tooker have been meeting with state senators and plan to meet with many more to discuss including regional library system employees in the state employee insurance benefits plan.

Kathy Tooker stated that the Eastern and Southeast library systems recently held their 10th Annual Youth Services retreat and had their largest attendance. The regional systems, with a grant from the Commission, chartered a bus and took people to the MPLA conference in Denver. There were 16 people who shared the bus ride to the conference. Many said they would not have been able to attend without the bus ride. The regional library systems plan to do this again next year when the conference will be in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Correspondence and Communication

Rod Wagner stated that he included in the packets a letter from Chuck Peek, President of the Nebraska Center for the Book, expressing his appreciation for the Library Commission's support of the NCB's activities.

Chair's Report and Commissioners' Comments

Kristen Rogge reported that Richard Booth, the founder of the Booktown concept, recently visited Brownville.

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that for years, in Fremont, they have tried to get library cards for all the school students. Many students do not live within the city limits and so were not eligible for library cards. This year the local newspaper and the radio station got together and raised funds to provide every student with a library card. Tonight the Library Friends group will host dessert in the stacks.

Pat Gross reported that Wayne has never had a Library Friends group but will be starting one. Pat reported that he visits home daycare to read for the Grandma/pa program sponsored by the library. The Lewis and Clark program is still very active. Hal Stearns, a Lewis & Clark scholar, conducted the last session at the Wayne public library.

Jean Ahrens reported that the Scottsbluff public library started a Prime Time program. Prime Times is a family reading program sponsored and funded by the Nebraska Humanities Council. The books are bilingual. The program encourages families to read together. This is a 6 week program and the first session included 39 people. The second had 54 people in attendance. Parents must attend with their children. Jean stated that Nancy Escamilla, Scottsbluff PL library assistant, organized a youth program this summer which had great attendance and ended with a battle of the bands. The program was a huge success and the kids are still talking about the battle of the bands.

Mary Nelson reported that she attended a Republican Valley Library System board meeting. At the meeting, Susan Franklin, RVLS Administrative Assistant, thanked Pam Scott and Richard Miller for their assistance while the office is without an Administrator. The board is still searching for an Administrator. Hastings Public Library has purchased baskets, similar to shopping baskets used in stores. The baskets can be checked out so that patrons can carry their books home in them.

Director's Report

Rod Wagner passed around a photo book with pictures from the National Book Festival held in Washington D.C, in which Mary Jo Ryan, Devra Dragos and Chuck Peek represented Nebraska and photos from the Smartest Card event with Governor Johanns.

IMLS Librarians for the 21st Century Grant - Rod Wagner stated that the grant award was received and the grant period begins November 1.

Music CD Distribution to Schools and Libraries - Some libraries have reported that they received music CDs from the lawsuit settlement. Each Nebraska public library should receive about 40 music CDs. The distribution was arranged by the Nebraska Attorney General's office.

Chief Officers of State Library Agencies & Western Council of State Libraries Meetings - Rod Wagner reported that he recently attended these meetings in Rapid City, SD. For many state librarians, this was the first time they had been in South Dakota. Rod stated that he was the co-chair for an all day continuing education program on state libraries and digital government. Also discussed at the meeting was the status of LSTA funding. The Western Council meeting was devoted mostly to the grant that the Western Council received a year ago from the IMLS. The grant is for a multi-state educational project for librarian practitioners.

NEBASE Annual Meeting - Rod Wagner stated that 80 people attended the NEBASE meeting on November 5. The meeting was held at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln. The meeting was devoted to presentations on Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) products and services.

Nebraska Center for the Book - Rod Wagner stated that the Nebraska Center for the Book held its annual meeting last Sunday. New members were elected to the board at the annual meeting. The 2005 Nebraska Book Festival will be held at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, has been invited to participate in the festival.

The Jane Geske award was presented to the Nebraska Writing Project at the Nebraska Center for the Book annual meeting. The Nebraska Writing Project involves teachers and authors working with students from elementary to high school age to improve writing skills. Also, Jackson Fischer, a Lincoln, Nebraska youth, was among the winners in the National Letters about Literature contest. Jackson read his award winning letter at the annual meeting.

Nebraska Library Association/Nebraska Educational Media Association Conference - Rod Wagner stated that the conference included many good presentations, and the conference was well attended. Rod said the Hispanic Voices @ your library preconference was one of the best programs he has ever attended. The Library Commission was honored to sponsor Mary Pipher as the Friday keynote speaker. Next year the conference will be held in Lincoln.

2005 One Book One State Project - Rod Wagner stated that the Cather Foundation had taken initiative for a statewide book discussion project in 2005. The statewide project is part of the Cather Foundation's 50th anniversary celebration. The Foundation selected Willa Cather's My Antoniá as the book chosen for the project. Information about the project was included in the Commissioners' meeting packets. Libraries will be asked to participate in the project by making books available and hosting book discussions. The Library Commission is among the project partners and will be helping with dissemination of information and project promotion - including mailings of promotional materials to libraries.

NCLIS Consumer Health Information Award Ceremony - Rod Wagner stated that the award ceremony for the McGoogan Library of Medicine was held October 22 in Omaha. The UNMC representatives were very appreciative of the well deserved award.

Gates Foundation Grant Applications - Richard Miller stated that at the end of October he sent some rewrites of the original applications for four Gates Foundation grant applications. If the Commission is awarded the full amount, the grants will total over $250,000.

Youth Grants - Richard Miller stated that 47 grant applications were received from 42 libraries. The total amount requested is $98,000. The Commission has $49,000 available for grants. Of the 47 grants, 28 were for Teen Space projects and 11 for Every Child Ready to Read projects.

Solinet Training - Richard Miller stated the training grant from the Gates Foundation was used to contract with Solinet to conduct 10 training sessions across the state. Sessions were on basic PC troubleshooting, FrontPage basics, advance Frontpage, how to create PowerPoint presentations and how to teach adult patrons to use the Internet. Richard said he has seen a real change in librarians resulting from the training provided through the Gates Foundation. Librarians are demonstrating technical knowledge and confidence.

Library Technology Support Taskforce - Rod Wagner said that a library technology support taskforce was formed and met on September 28. The taskforce was formed in response to a State Advisory Council on Libraries recommendation. The group had lots of good ideas and discussion. At the meeting, Richard Miller reviewed his conversations with representatives of several other state library agencies. Richard had sought out information from other states and their approach to library technology support issues. Task force representation includes individuals who have information technology experience and job responsibilities, and representatives of the regional library systems, Nebraska Library Association, and Library Commission.

2005 State and Federal Legislative Issues - Rod Wagner stated that legislation is expected again to seek inclusion of regional library system employees in the state of Nebraska insurance programs. EndowNebraska legislation will be re-introduced this year to seek incentives for contributions to Nebraska non-profit organizations. Legislation to authorize joint technology and other capital purchases by local government entities will be re-introduced. This bill includes a provision for public libraries that will permit debt financing for major technology purchases. As always, the state budget will be the biggest issue during the legislative session. The state's economic situation has improved and the revenue forecast has been updated to show an improving economy. While revenue increases have improved the budget outlook, budget decisions will continue to be difficult.

Rod stated that federal funds are still uncertain and dependent on what action Congress may take before the end of the year. The hope is that Congress will enact an appropriations bill at either the House or Senate level. If an appropriation bill is not passed, funding will continue under a continuing resolution at last fiscal year levels.

Financial Report

Rod Wagner stated that September and October reports were included in the meeting packets. Rod stated that there was a high expenditure in the computer hardware line item due to the purchase of a new mobile computer laptop network. The purchase of the computer network also applied as the Commission's match for one of the Gates Foundation grants. There was a question at the last meeting about the accounting and auditing expense. State agencies are charged fees by the Dept. of Administrative Services Accounting Division for transactions. The Commission is also charged for auditing services by the State Auditors office for audit of federal funds.

Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business.

New Business

2005 Nebraska Legislative Day - Rod Wagner stated that Nebraska Library Legislative Day is scheduled for February 23.

National Legislative Day - Rod Wagner stated that National Library Legislative Day activities will be held in early May in Washington D.C. It would be good to have one or two Commissioners participate.

The American Library Association annual conference will be held in Chicago in June, 2005. The conference is a good opportunity to catch up on and learn about many library related issues, trends and services.

2005 Library Commission Meeting Schedule - The Commission's pattern has been to meet the second Friday of every other month, unless another event requires a change in the meeting date. Rod Wagner asked that the January meeting date be changed from the 14th to the 7th. It was agreed that the January meeting be held on the 7th. The Commissioners expressed a desire to hold a meeting or two somewhere other then Lincoln. It was suggested that when the SACL group meets in the western part of the state that the Commissioners meet at the same place and date.

Out-of-State Travel Request - Rod Wagner requested approval to attend the COSLA meeting and ALA Mid-Winter meeting in Boston, MA, from January 14-18, 2005. A motion was made to approve the request. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jean Ahrens - aye; Patrick Gross - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; and Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Motion approved.


Chair Rogge adjourned the meeting at 11:45 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.