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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

November 3, 2006


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, November 3, 2006, at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Love Library Instruction Room. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Homepage.

Chair John Dale called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Members present: Jean Ahrens, John Dale, Patrick Gross, Mary Nelson, and Velma Sims-Shipley. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, and Laura Johnson. Guests: Nancy Escamilla and Cindy Gitt.

Approval of Agenda:

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

Approval of the Minutes (September 7, 2006):

A motion was made and seconded to approve the September 2006 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: John Dale - aye; Pat Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; and Jean Ahrens - aye. Motion approved.


Nancy Escamilla and Cindy Gitt were in attendance.

Correspondence and Communication

Rod Wagner shared a letter from Joan Birnie, Past NLA President, thanking the Nebraska Library Commission for its support of the Dinner and Dialogue sessions held in several locations across Nebraska.

Chair's Report and Commissioners' Comments

John Dale reported that he accompanied some Lincoln City Libraries staff to Des Moines, Iowa, to visit the new public library facility. John also attended one of the Dinner and Dialogue sessions and attended the NLA - NEMA conference in Omaha. John was pleased to see that there was a session on the trustee manual at the conference and that each person was given a copy of the manual. John also acknowledged the helpful pocket guide to the trustee manual.

Jean Ahrens reported that she attended the Dinner and Dialogue session at Ft. Robinson and attended the Nebraska Book Festival in Lincoln. Jean mentioned that Scottsbluff public library will once again host a Prime Time Family Reading program.

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that she attended the NLA - NEMA pre-conference program in Brownville and attended the NLA - NEMA conference.

Pat Gross reported that he visited the South Sioux City public library. Pat also visited the Ponca public library and found that they are almost finished paying for their library building project.

Mary Nelson reported that she attended the Dinner and Dialogue session in North Platte. She also attended the NLA - NEMA conference and observed that there was an interesting mix of sessions, some on the light side and some of a more serious nature. The mixture of both kinds of sessions made for an especially enjoyable conference.

Director's Report

Personnel - Rod Wagner reported that Laura Johnson recently joined the Nebraska Library Commission staff as the new Continuing Education Coordinator. Laura comes to the Commission from the Council Bluffs public library. Laura previously worked in several Illinois libraries and systems. Laura was at one point named the Illinois Reference Librarian of the Year.

Dinner and Dialogue - Rod distributed a report prepared by Martha Gadberry, Dinner and Dialogue program facilitator. The report will be available to those who attended the Dinner and Dialogue sessions and accessible to the public. The report will be given to the League of Municipalities as well as Senator Roger Wehrbein, sponsor of a resolution for an interim study on public library boards, and Senator Ray Janssen, Chair of the legislature's general affairs committee. Discussion was held regarding the final report. It was noted that the cover page should spell out the Trustees, Users and Friends section rather than use the section's acronym (TUFS). It was also noted that some of the wording suggested or exaggerated problems and that the invitation and attendance figures could be misleading.

NLA/NEMA Conference - Rod Wagner reported that there were mixed feelings about the new conference location (Omaha's Qwest Center). The facility is spacious with ample room for small and large program sessions. The vendors had the impression that not many people where visiting their booths. The two keynote speakers (Nancy Pearl and Stephen Abram) where quite a contrast and both gave excellent presentations. The Library Commission booth had many visitors and conference attendees made good use of the Commission's computers for checking e-mail and viewing web pages. Commission staff members were presenters or helped arrange a number of conference sessions.

COSLA and Western Council of State Libraries Meetings - Rod Wagner reported that he attended both meetings. The COSLA meeting was held in early October in Little Rock, Arkansas. Among the activities was a continuing education program led by Julie Todaro based on Tom Friedman's book, The World is Flat. The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) was among the topics discussed at the COSLA meeting. The federal library program is celebrating its 50th year (beginning in 1956 as the Library Services Act). There was discussion of the reauthorization of the LSTA which is due in 2008. COSLA will have a lead role in promoting legislative re-authorization. The COSLA meeting included a tour of the Clinton Presidential Library. Keith Fiels, Executive Director of the American Library Association, attended the COSLA meeting. Fiels reported on several ALA projects including development of a paraprofessional certification program. The paraprofessional program is being developed in cooperation with the Western Council of State Libraries and draws from the Western Council's multi-state certification project. The ALA is collaborating with the Western Council on a grant application for funding to initiate the project nationwide. Fiels also spoke about the advocacy training that ALA offers.

Rod attended the Western Council of State Libraries meeting in Hawaii in mid-October. The meeting was hosted by the Hawaii Public Library System which also serves as Hawaii's state library administrative agency. The meeting included tours of the public library system's oldest and newest library facilities, and a visit to a library that specializes in Hawaiian and pacific island culture and history. Presentations were given by Hawaii Public Library System staff. Stephen Abram met with the Council and gave an after dinner presentation.

The Western Council of State Libraries is finishing its continuum of library education project. The Council has taken steps to put in place a program among the twenty-one western states to provide certification and share training for library practitioners.

COSLA and the Western Council of State Libraries will hold their fall meetings in Omaha in October 2007.

Nebraska Center for the Book - Rod Wagner stated that the Nebraska Book Festival, held October 6 & 7, was successful. The Nebraska Center for the Book will hold its annual meeting on November 5. John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, will attend and speak at the meeting. The annual meeting will be held at the Great Plains Art Museum.


The September financial report was included in the meeting packet.


There was no unfinished business.


Out-of-State Travel Request - Rod Wagner requested approval to attend the COSLA meeting and the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle from January 19-23, 2007. A motion was made and seconded to approve the out-of-state travel request. Motion carried on roll call vote: Pat Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Jean Ahrens -aye; and John Dale - aye. Motion approved.

2007 Events and Schedule - Rod Wagner stated that Nebraska Library Association Legislative Day will be held on February 14, 2007.

FOLUSA workshops will be held March 27, 2007 in North Platte and March 28 in Fremont.

National Library Legislative Day will be held May 2.

ALA Annual conference will be June 22-26 in Washington, D.C. COSLA and Western Council of State Libraries meetings will held in Omaha in October 2007.

Thinking Outside the Borders Institute will be held October 22-23, 2007 in either Lincoln or Kearney.

NLA/NEMA conference will be held October 24-26 in Kearney.

Next Commission Meeting

The January meeting will be held January 12, 2007 at the Nebraska Library Commission.


Chair John Dale adjourned the meeting at 9:25 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.