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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

January 19, 2001


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, January 19, 2001 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.


Vice-Chair Kristen Rogge called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Karen Warner, Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, and Robert King. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, and Nancy Busch.

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

Approval of the Minutes (November 3, 2000): A motion was made to approve the November minutes. Motion carried on roll call votes: Rogge - aye; King - aye; Jussel -aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.


There were no persons present other than Commission members and staff.


Rod Wagner mentioned correspondence that would be reported on later in his report.


Commissioner Rogge reported that she attended the Southeast Library System board meeting. The meeting focused on greater leadership roles in community affairs, the need to work more with library friends groups and overall promotion of the things the library has to offer.

Commissioner Warner reported that she attended the Northeast Library System board meeting and heard great things about the Community and Library Advocacy workshop. There was also discussion on the interlibrary loan service program arrangements. Stan Gardner stated that Wayne State would continue to offer the service no matter what decision is made and the fee will be $5 per request.

Karen Warner further reported that Carol Speicher, Northeast Library System administrator, stated that the list of libraries that have new additions, planning remodeling projects, or planning new buildings is longer than the list of libraries that are not doing any projects. Karen stated that there were questions about when the training grants would be awarded. Rod Wagner stated that many of the libraries awarded have already been called. A list was distributed of libraries receiving continuing education and training grants.

Commissioner Jussel stated that the Kearney Public Library recently updated its automated system.

Commissioner King reported that the Hastings library was ranked 227 out of 737 libraries with similar population in a recent study. Their helpfulness and friendliness was listed as reasons for their ranking.


Rod Wagner reported that the Gates Foundation had contacted the Commission to indicate the Nebraska application was in order. Rod reported that permission had been obtained to submit the application without signatures as it had to be signed by the Governor and other state officials and that required additional time to process. Foundation permission was granted to submit the signature page separately and at a later date to complete the application process.

There will be an Architecture and Builders Project Discussion meeting this month that Richard Miller arranged. The meeting will include the regional library system administrators. Richard invited architects and builders to hold a discussion regarding considerations for library building and renovation projects.


Rod reported that a candidate for the Network Services Director position had been interviewed. However, the individual decided later to withdraw from consideration. Effort will continue to seek qualified applicants for the position. Ellen Van Waart left the Nebraska Library Commission to accept a position as Director of Learning Resources for the Western Iowa Community College based in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Recruitment is underway to re-fill the Continuing Education Coordinator position.


COSLA and ALA Meetings - Rod reported that the COSLA meeting preceded the ALA Midwinter meeting in Washington D.C. The Institute of Museum and Library Services hosted the COSLA meeting. The main topic of the meeting was the LSTA re-authorization. LSTA reauthorization is expected to be introduced during the current Congressional session. It appears that the various library groups that are part of the LSTA reauthorization coalition have agreed to all the primary considerations and that changes in the LSTA would be minimal. The main issue is funding and the effort will be to seek a significant increase in the LSTA funding.

There is a formula that provides every state a base amount. The remainder is distributed according to population. There appears to be consensus over a funding model.

The LSTA 2001 fiscal year appropriation was made in late December. Along with the appropriation was passage of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA requires schools and libraries that participate in the E-rate Telecommunications discounts and that receive any federal LSTA or ESEA funds must install software filters for Internet access. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is developing guidelines to implement the CIPA provisions for LSTA funded programs.

Internet software filters were the top discussion at both the COSLA and ALA meetings. A number of presentations were presented on this issue. Despite the controversy and concern regarding the new Internet filtering requirements, schools and libraries were encouraged to proceed with e-rate applications for the coming year.

Rod continues to Chair the COSLA Network Committee and one of the things that committee has done for the past several years is conduct a survey among the state libraries in regard to their activities in relationship to licensing online databases. It is useful to see what other states are doing, what services they license, and how much money they are receiving from state sources.

COSLA has joined the eBook Forum, an international organization formed to collaborate on development of standards and promotion of electronic books. COSLA and the American Library Association, the Library of Congress and the Digital Library of California are the only library related organizations currently participating in the new organization. The COSLA Network Committee is exploring the possibility of a national event to bring together state library representatives and others to discuss digital libraries (also referred to as electronic or virtual libraries). The event would address successful projects, issues and trends, policies, models, and best practices).

Rod reported on ALA meetings that he had participated in such as briefings on legislative activity, and the Children's Internet Protection act. Rod reported that the exhibits were helpful in making contact with representatives of vendors that the Library Commission and Nebraska libraries do business with, especially those offering online database services. He also had an opportunity to see a demonstration of the Online Computer Library Center's Web-based interlibrary loan service that is expected to be available this summer. Rod was asked to serve on the ALA Nominating Committee for the 2002 elections. The committee is responsible for developing a slate of candidates for election to the ALA Council and office of President. Rod also attended a meeting of the states involved in the Communities and Libraries project. There are eight states involved in the project.

2001 State Legislative Issues

Senator Tyson has introduced a bill (LB 223) to provide for debt financing of public library technology. This bill will allow cities and counties to issue bonds for up to $100,000 for library technology purchases

Senator Bromm introduced a bill (LB 826) on behalf of the Library Commission that provides for inclusion of regional library system employees in the State of Nebraska health insurance program.

Rod stated that Nancy Busch previously provided information concerning the Governor's Budget recommendations. The Legislature's Appropriations Committee will consider the Governor's recommendations as part of its decision making in developing recommendations for the Legislature. The Appropriations Committee has five new members.


Rod stated that Pam Scott's report on Nebraska library e-rate activity was distributed to Commission members. Rod asked Pam to prepare the e-rate report for the Nebraska Universal Service Fund Advisory Board. Pam has been working hard to help the libraries complete their e-rate applications. It will be interesting to see if the number of libraries participating in the e-rate program will increase this year.

Governor's Proclamation

Rod distributed copies of the proclamation that will be signed by Governor Johanns for the Library Commission Centennial. The signing ceremony is scheduled for February 22, in the Warner Chamber at 10:30 a.m. There will be a similar activity in the Legislature. A legislative resolution has been drafted and will be requested for introduction to coincide with Nebraska Library Legislative Day activities on February 23.

Nebraska Library Legislative Day

The Nebraska Library Association will hold the annual legislative day event on February 23 starting with a briefing at the Capitol in the morning. There will be a luncheon at the First Christian Church across from the Capitol. Dr. Gary Hartzell, from UNO, will present an afternoon workshop for those attending legislative day.

Rod discussed the new process for state aid to public libraries and certification. State aid payments are now automatically issued. Payments are issued to accredited public libraries based on the information supplied in their annual library statistical reports. Once the requirements have been verified, libraries are sent a letter notifying them that the payment will be issued. Notification also indicates the amount of the payment to be made. Public librarian certification program procedures have also been changed so that when a person is due for re-certification and has met all the requirements a new certificate will be issued automatically. There is no longer a fee and no application is needed.

Interlibrary Loan Service

The current contract with the regional library systems specifies that regional interlibrary loan support services will be reviewed within the period of the contract. There have been several meetings with regional library system administrators to discuss these arrangements and future alternatives dating back to July 2000. There is no longer a common approach to interlibrary loan services among the regions. There is also declining service transactions due in part to online services, especially those provided through database subscriptions. It is the Library Commission's responsibility to coordinate these services on a statewide basis. The lack of regional service providers within each of the systems and the desire of one of the current providers to discontinue support service to the two systems that it currently serves led Commission staff to provide interlibrary loan support services beginning in July 2001. The approach will combine the Commission's current back-up reference service with back-up interlibrary loan service. Commission staff members are highly capable and ready to assume this function. Funding currently allocated for regional interlibrary loan service support will be re-allocated to pay for online ILL services anticipated through the Online Computer Library Center.


Financial documents were included in meeting packets.


NebrasKard Implementation Plan - The Advisory committee is planning to introduce the NebraKard at the NLA Spring 2001 regional meetings. The policy and procedure manual will be completed soon for posting on the Commission website. NebrasKard program documents will be available for the March State Advisory Council and Commission meetings.


State Advisory Council on Libraries Appointments

A motion was made to re-appoint Mo Khamouna, Tom Schmitz, and Jane Wall and to appoint as new members Margaret Harding, John Seyfarth, Kay Schmid, and Jeff Yost. Motion carried on roll call votes: Rogge - aye; King - aye; Jussel -aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.

LSTA Five Year Evaluation

Nancy Busch reported on plans for the LSTA Five Year Evaluation project. Nancy reviewed the information presented in the document that she prepared for the Commission meeting. The LSTA five- year evaluation is due in April 2002.

Nebraska Long Range Plan for Library Services

A Planning and Evaluation committee consisting of 20 staff members will be conducting library site visits and holding public forums to look at issues in different areas.

The project theme is "Making a Difference" and is intended to discover through site visits and forums the results of LSTA project funding support. The project will also gather information and ideas for development of a new state long range plan.

Out-of-State Travel Request

Rod Wagner requested approval to attend the COSLA Board and Committee Chair meetings, February 9-11 in Texas. Rod is not sure he will attend because their is an OCLC meeting right after that in Dublin, Ohio, that really needs to be attended. Rod also asked authorization to attend the OCLC meeting in Dublin, Ohio. A motion was made to accept Rod Wagner's out-of-state travel request. Motion carried on roll call votes: Jussel - aye; Warner - aye; Rogge - aye; and King - aye. Motion approved.

Director's Performance Review

The Commissioners conducted the Director's annual performance review. A motion was made to approve a 3.25% salary increase for Rod Wagner, effective as of January 1, 2001. Motion carried on roll call votes: Warner - aye; Rogge - aye; King - aye; and Jussel - aye. Motion approved


Meeting was adjourned at 11:54 a.m. (CST).

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.