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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

January 11, 2002


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, January 11, 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 9:30 a.m. Members present: Karen Warner, Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, and Velma Sims. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Mary Geibel, Dave Oertli, and Nancy Busch. Guest present: Kathy Tooker

Approval of Agenda: A motion was made to approve the agenda. Motion carried on

Approval of the Minutes (November 9, 2001): A motion was made to approve the November 2001 minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Rogge - aye; Jussel -aye; Sims - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.


There was no discussion.


Rod Wagner reported on an article from the Center on Rural Affairs. Rod also reported that Laura Bush has introduced a $10 million funding initiative to address the recruitment and retention of librarians. This proposal will be included in President Bush's FY 2003 LSTA budget recommendation. Rod also mentioned an editorial piece in the Omaha World Herald regarding the 50th anniversary of the Talking Book and Braille service.


Chair Jussel reported that the Kearney Public Library is in the process of hiring a new Assistant Director.

Kristen Rogge reported that Southeast Community College has an on-line and CD library that includes many topics and class courses. The Auburn Public Library has now installed software so that patrons may access those courses on-line.

Velma Simms reported that the program "Books for Babies" has been implemented and supported by the Fremont Public Library, Library Board, and Friends group. The Friends group held their annual event in December.

Velma Sims asked Kathy Tooker to report on activities in the Eastern Library System region. Kathy said that the System recently held its first Library Directors' group meeting. Of the 32 libraries in the system, 14 were represented. The ELS has also held Bibliostat training, with 23 of the 32 libraries receiving training. Several libraries have stated that they are either planning or going to build or remodel their facilities.

Karen Warner reported that she has been working with the Tilden Public Library to host the State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting in September 2002. Karen is speaking with the Wahoo Foundation Board about things they are doing in Norfolk to raise money. Wahoo is in the early stages of planning a new library building. Norfolk Public Library is having an evening on Lewis and Clark.

Talking Book and Braille Service

Dave Oertli, Director of the Talking Book and Braille Service, stated that the TBBS is in the middle of a "Take a Talking Book" outreach campaign. This is a four-month campaign targeted at Nebraska seniors and their family members. The campaign is being conducted through radio stations, television stations, and mailings. Public Service announcements were mailed to 101 radio stations and 17 television stations. Brochures and posters were mailed to 210 newspapers and 250 senior centers.

TBBS is celebrating its 50 anniversary this year. January 1, 1952, the Nebraska Public Library Commission created a division for the blind. Nebraska became the 28th Talking Book Library. The program began with a collection of 400 items. By July of that year, the collection had grown to 1,100, and today the collection is at 49,000. Over 4600 Nebraskans are currently enrolled for services. There is an advisory committee for TBBS; it is a sub-committee of the State Advisory Council on Libraries. The advisory committee consists of 9 members that meet twice a year. There purpose is to represent the needs of users, and make recommendations concerning programs and policy issues.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped conducts a consulting visit every two years. Mary Moore visited the TBBS in September. The visit went very well. Ms. Moore observed that the Nebraska TBBS was the first library in the national network to implement the EDAT system. The EDAT system is technology that allows downloading an analog tape. When it is being downloaded, it is saved on a "wav" file, and while it's in the computer, staff can manipulate it to add announcements, improve the sound, and move things around. When done, staff send it to duplication and it comes out as a standard cassette tape.



Rod Wagner reported that Kathy Dukes, who works in TBBS, was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident. It will be some time before she will be able to return to work.

Public Library Statistics Program

The Bibliostat program is a computer program that aids in the collection and compilation of library statistical data. Training is currently being given so that libraries can send their statistical reports electronically. Librarians have given a positive response to the new program.

Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant

Nebraska is part of a multi-state grant program including Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas. Rod stated that the project will result in some fascinating work. The Nebraska Library Commission will have an administrative and coordination role for Nebraska's participation. Beth Goble is the project director for the Nebraska part of the grant. Other Nebraska participants include the Nebraska State Historical Society, Chimney Rock Historical Site, Oregon Trail Museum Association, Scottsbluff National Monument, Omaha Public Library, and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln libraries. The benefits of this project go beyond its immediate one concerning trails; it will provide important training and development of staff expertise in digitization projects.

Grant Programs

Rod stated that news releases were mailed earlier regarding different grant announcements. Rod stated that scholarship grants did not receive as many applicants as expected. At this time, 4 scholarships are expected.

Making a Difference @ Your Library Project

Nancy Busch reported that 70% of the libraries have been visited. As libraries are visited, information is recorded. When all of the visits are completed, the information will be used to complete the five-year evaluation report and the Commission's long-range plan. Nancy and Sally Snyder will visit each of the six regional library system offices.

Reference and Interlibrary Loan Service

Rod Wagner reported that the Commission's statewide interlibrary loan support service has had an impact on staff but it is going well. Libraries have given positive feedback. Any problems that occur are addressed promptly. Lisa Kelly, reference services coordinator, stated that 310 libraries have requested ILL service thus far. The peak is expected in March.

NebrasKard Report

Rod Wagner reported that a meeting of the advisory committee is needed. The NebrasKard was implemented last July and now seems like a good time to get the committee together to review the program. There is a good core group of libraries that have signed up as NebrasKard participating libraries. More of Nebraska's larger libraries are needed to help make the program successful.

Nebraska Center for the Book

Rod Wagner reported that the first Nebraska Center for the Book board meeting of the year will be held February 9th in Fremont. This will be the third year for the Nebraska Book Awards program. The Nebraska Book Festival will be held at the University of Nebraska - Kearney in September.

State Telecommunications Project

Rod Wagner stated that sometime ago he reported on the Department of Administrative Services project to seek a prime contractor to provide for telecommunications services for Nebraska governmental entities with uniform pricing. The DAS Division of Communications issued a Request for Proposals. Five bids were received but none was responsive to the specified services. The Nebraska Information Technology Commission is now expected to re-group and develop a new strategy to address telecommunications needs.

Nebraska Universal Service Fund

Rod Wagner reported on a meeting of the Nebraska Universal Service Fund Advisory Board that was held earlier in the week. A major topic was the growth of the fund and its use. The amount of funds collected has exceeded projections. Since it was intended that funds be collected at a level needed to support specified services, the advisory board has recommended that rates be adjusted to reduce the fund balance and maintain the level needed to cover the fund's purposes.


Rod Wagner reported that financial information was included in the meeting packets mailed to Commission members. The financial reports were updated to reflect the budget reductions made in 2001. Expenditures are in line with the reduced funding levels. Federal LSTA funds are expected at near the same level as last year - a continuation of flat funding that has been the trend of the past several years. Rod reported that state auditors will begin work at the Library Commission next week.


There was no unfinished business to report.


2002 Federal and State Legislative Issues

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) must be re-authorized this year or it will expire. The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) court action is still underway. CIPA has provisions that require use of filtering technology in order to receive e-rate or LSTA funding for Internet service.

Senator Tyson reintroduced his bill from last year that permits cities and counties to issue bonds for financing major public library technology purchases. Bonds could be issued for up to $250 thousand and for not more than five years. A public vote would not be

required and the expenditures would not be restricted by levy or budget lid limits. The same objections to the bill are expected. However, libraries do need financial options for major technology purchases. Senator Tyson has kept the issue on the agenda. The Nebraska Library Association has planned and arranged annual legislative day activities, and good attendance is expected. Maxine Moul will make an afternoon presentation, following the luncheon. Senator Nancy Thompson will participate in the morning briefing. Special recognitions will be given to youth who have or are involved in library services.

State Advisory Council on Libraries Annual Report (2001)

Rod Wagner stated that a State Advisory Council on Libraries annual report was included in meeting packets. The report highlights the Council's meetings, issues, and actions during 2001. The 2002 Council will have a lot of continuity with only one membership change.

State Advisory Council on Libraries 2002

Issues - Rod Wagner stated that issues for 2002 will include recruitment and retention of library personnel, LSTA reauthorization, the biennium budget, long range plan, and other state issues (e.g., telecommunications).

State Advisory Council and Library Commission Joint Meeting (March)

Jane Wall, SACL member from Grand Island, is looking into a place to hold the March joint SACL - NLC meeting in Grand Island.

State Advisory Council on Libraries Appointments

Rod Wagner recommended the appointment of Nancy Escamilla, from Scottsbluff, to fill the vacant Council position. A motion was made to appoint Nancy Escamilla to the State Advisory Council on Libraries. Motion carried on roll call: Jussel - aye; Sims - aye; Warner - aye; and Rogge - aye. Motion approved.

Out-of-State-Travel Request

Rod Wagner requested permission to travel to New Orleans to attend the COSLA meeting on January 18 and American Library Association Midwinter Meeting immediately after the COSLA meeting, and to attend the Western Council on State Libraries meeting in Phoenix on March 12 & 13. A motion was made to accept Rod Wagner's out-of-state travel request. Motion carried on roll call: Sims - aye; Warner - aye; Rogge - aye; and Jussel - aye. Motion approved.

Rod Wagner updated the Commissioner's on upcoming events they might be interested in attending: in May, the National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C., and June, the American Library Association Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Director's Performance Review

The Director's annual performance review was conducted with a motion for approval of a salary increase. Motion carried on roll call. Warner - aye; Rogge - aye; Jussel - aye and Sims - aye. Motion approved.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.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.