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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

December 11, 1998


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, December 11, 1998, at 9:30 a.m. at the Nebraska Library Commission, The Atrium, 1200 "N" Street, Suite 120, 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 Karen Warner called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Karen Warner, Robert King, Jean Sanders, Wally Seiler, and Richard Jussel. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Richard Miller, Nancy Busch, and Elaine Miller. Guests present: Kathy Tooker.

Approval of Agenda: It was moved by Richard Jussel and seconded by Jean Sanders to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: King-aye; Sanders-aye; Seiler-aye; Jussel-aye; Warner-aye.

Approval of the Minutes of the September 4, 1998 meeting: It was moved by Wally Seiler and seconded by Robert King to approve the minutes of the September 4, 1998 meeting. Motion carried on roll call vote: King-aye; Sanders-aye; Seiler-aye; Jussel-aye; Warner-aye.


There was no public comments.


There was no correspondence


Karen Warner reported that she spoke at the dedication of the Hartington Public Library's addition. The Northeast Community College Library is in the process of building an addition. The size of the library will double. Karen asked the other commissioners to report on their respective areas.

Jean Sanders reported that sales on her book are going well, and she is now working on her new book.

Richard Jussel reported that he has been busy with teaching and other responsibilities at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Wally Seiler reported that Alliance is busy with their public library building project. Despite a number of setbacks plans are to move in mid-January.

Robert King reported that Holdrege Public Library System has a new library director: Jeff Gilderson-Duwe.


Personnel Update: Jacque Crocker is the new staff assistant in the administrative services area. Susan Knisely is the new online services librarian. Jan Mares has resigned her position in the Talking Book and Braille Service. Dan Hogan held a half-time circulation clerk position in the Talking Book and Braille Service and has now taken Jan Mares's full-time circulation clerk position. This leaves a half-time circulation clerk position open in the Talking Book and Braille Service. This is the only current vacant position.

Nebraska Universal Service Advisory Board: Rod Wagner reported on the Nebraska Universal Service Advisory Board that he has served on for the last year. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide advice to the Nebraska Public Service Commission. Legislative Initiative 414, on the November ballot, concerning the telephone service access charges, was one of the issues of interest to the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board developed recommendations regarding a measure, similar to the initiative, introduced by the Public Service Commission. The Advisory Board also considers issues such as equity in pricing for telecommunication services (rural - urban) , competition, the libraries and school discounts, and rural hospital telecommunications services.

Western Council of State Libraries Meeting (11/22-11/24): Rod Wagner attended the Western Council of State Libraries meeting in Maui, Hawaii. The meeting included a forum with several national library leaders, including Betsy Sywetz, Deputy Director of the Institute of Museums and Library Services; Bill Gordon, the new executive director of the American Library Association; and Ann Symons, current president of the American Library Association. Major issues facing libraries are the recruitment and retention of library staff, concern about library higher education, the educational opportunities for people who may be moving into the library profession, the role of libraries in non-traditional education off campus based programs, libraries and the aging population, and cultural/societal changes. Several western states have public library certification programs that provide basic skills training similar to the Library Commission. There was interest in sharing training materials among different states. Rod was asked to work with South Dakota and Montana State Libraries in putting together recommendations for a Western Council program on continuing education for library personnel.

State Advisory Council on Libraries Meeting: The State Advisory Council on Libraries met on December 4. Part of the meeting included a teleconference program from the College of DuPage, The Library as Consumer. This meeting was a wrap-up session for the year. Topics and issues from the past year were reviewed. Reports were given concerning the Library Advocacy Program that the Advisory Council, Library Commission, and the Nebraska Library Association are to be involved in over the next eighteen months. Richard Miller gave a report on the Public Librarian Certification Program evaluation. The Advisory Council discussed issues that they would like to address in 1999.

Governor's Mansion Library Reception: The Governor's Mansion Library Reception was held on November 19, 1998. Commissioners Jean Sanders and Wally Seiler attended the reception. Laureen Reidesel, past president of the Nebraska Center for the Book; Burns Davis, Nebraska Library Commission; Mary Clark, Lincoln City Libraries Heritage Room; Geri Cox, Nebraska Writers Guild; and Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission, contributed help toward the Mansion Library. Commissioner Jean Sanders' new book Notable Nebraskans was contributed by the Library Commission to the Mansion Library.

Telecommunications Services Discounts for Libraries: Recently the Schools and Libraries Corporation began to issue letters to applicant schools and libraries to inform them that their applications have been approved for funding. The corporation has said they will send out funding commitment letters as they work through the applications and approvals are made. The only Nebraska public library receiving a funding commitment letter thus far is the Beatrice Public Library. In the next few weeks more approvals should arrive for Nebraska libraries. All of the Nebraska libraries that have applied should eventually receive notification that their discounts have been approved. The time period for the next round of discounts for library and school applications will begin in July 1999. The current funding period goes from January, 1998, through June, 1999.

Library Development Report -- Richard Miller:

State Aid to Public Libraries: There is a concern among some libraries in the state on how the formula for the population that each library serves is calculated. This involves a small number of public libraries which receive county funds. State aid is based on the population a library serves. A new formula for calculating the population each library serves is being considered.

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) -- Plans for fiscal year 1999 grants: This is the second year that the LSTA has been in effect since replacing the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA). Changes are being made in the grants for the 1999 year. Two-way video-conferencing training sessions will be held on January 21 at eight sites and January 26 at seven sites. March 5 is the due date for the applications. This year $200,000 will be used for competitive grants and $50,000 to $75,000 will be reserved for directed grants or target projects. January 4 is the target date for the Library Commission to send out applications for the 1999 grants. For the year 2000 the Library Commission is working on having an online application for the grants.

Nebraska Community-Library Project: The project is funded by the Viburnum Foundation and is sponsored by Libraries for the Future and Friends of Libraries U.S.A. to establish models of public library advocacy in communities with low levels of funding and potential for high levels of community support. The purpose of the statewide Advocacy Program is to build active support for public libraries throughout the state. A news release on the Advocacy Program was sent out on October 21, 1998. Two statewide advocacy training workshops will be held in 1999. Two local initiatives with individual communities: South Sioux City Public Library and Bellevue Public Library, will be launched in 1999. The Library Commission will have statewide training that will be provided through the Libraries for the Future program for all the communities. Leading this project will be Ellen Van Waart from the Library Commission and Maggie Harding, Executive Director of the Nebraska Library Association.

Certification of Public Librarians: Evaluation of "Basic Skills": The Library Commission has contracted with Debra Wilcox Johnson as a consultant for evaluation of the Basic Skills training and certification. Dr. Johnson was here on November 13 and 14 for meetings with Library Commission staff and the System Administrators. Dr. Johnson will be conducting focus groups throughout the state in the near future and will attend the Nebraska Library Association spring meetings in April to give a report on the evaluation project.

Statewide Video Licensing Agreement: The Library Commission has arranged an agreement with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation to license all 275 public libraries in Nebraska. The term of the agreement is from January, 1999, through June 30, 1999, with opportunity for renewal.

A partnership between the Library Commission and OCLC is making six computers available to Nebraska public libraries. The purpose of this project is to provide access to FirstSearch to a library in a community which otherwise would not be able to access this service. The following libraries will receive computers: Oshkosh Public Library, Yutan Public Library, Arlington Public Library, Hooper Public Library, Osceola Public Library, and Louisville Public Library.


Expenditure Financial Reports: The September, October, and November 1998 Expenditure and Financial Reports were received and reviewed by the Commissioners. (Attachments I, II and III.)


Election of Chair: It was moved by Robert King and seconded by Wally Seiler to elect Karen Warner as Chair of the Nebraska Library Commission. Motion carried on roll call vote: King-aye; Sanders-aye; Seiler-aye; Jussel-aye; Warner-aye.

Election of Vice-Chair: It was moved by Wally Seiler and seconded by Richard Jussel to elect Jean Sanders as Vice-Chair of the Nebraska Library Commission. Motion carried on roll call vote: King-aye; Sanders-aye; Seiler-aye; Jussel-aye; Warner-aye.


Library Services and Technology Act Program: There was consensus among Commission members supporting the Library Services and Technology Act grant program outlined by Richard Miller for the next round of grants.

State Advisory Council on Libraries Appointments: It was moved by Jean Sanders and seconded by Richard Jussel to appoint Michael Herbison (Kearney), Kathy Lute (Ogallala) , Ruth Seward (Lexington), and to re-appoint Michael LaCroix (Omaha), to the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries. Motion carried on roll call vote: King-aye; Sanders-aye; Seiler-aye; Jussel-aye; Warner-aye.

Meeting Schedule: The Commissioners choose to leave the Commission meeting schedule as previously approved. The next meeting will be January 8, 1999 at the Nebraska Library Commission office in Lincoln. The March meeting will be held in Kearney and will be a joint meeting with the State Advisory Council on Libraries on March 11, and 12, 1999.


Chair Karen Warner adjourned the meeting at 11:08 a.m.

Elaine Miller, Secretary

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

Attachment I - September Expenditure and Financial Report

Attachment II - October Expenditure and Financial Report

Attachment III - November Expenditure and Financial Report

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.