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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

January 8, 1999


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, January 8, 1999, 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, Jean Sanders, Wally Seiler, and Robert King via speaker phone. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Elaine Miller, Jo Budler, Allana Novotny, Devra Dragos, Jeannette Powell, and Susan Knisely. Guests present: Pam Scott.

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

Approval of the Minutes of the December 11, 1998 meeting: It was moved by Jean Sanders and seconded by Wally Seiler to approve the minutes of the December 11, 1998 meeting. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jussel-absent; King-abstain; Sanders-aye; Seiler-aye; Warner-aye.


Network Services Report -- Jo Budler: Jo introduced network services staff. Jeannette Powell, staff assistant; Susan Knisely, online services librarian; Devra Dragos, OCLC member services coordinator and Allana Novotny, network services librarian.

For the past three years the Library Commission has been offering a variety of online database trials (of 3 to 5 months in duration) to all Nebraska librarians. The Library Commission has subscribed to 15 databases through OCLC FirstSearch with over 620 libraries participating. The Books in Print with Reviews database has over 250 libraries participating and the Health Source Plus database is being used by 64 libraries.

Specialized OCLC training in cataloging and interlibrary loan as well as training in the use of the licensed electronic databases are provided by network services staff. An Internet listserv was created to share information in a timely and efficient manner. At the present time, 400 librarians are participating on this listserv.

A series of six to eight focus group sessions are being planned across the state to evaluate how the database trials and subscriptions are affecting library service in Nebraska libraries.

Two years ago 31 libraries were given the opportunity to add their library's holdings to OCLC at no charge as part of the OCLC FirstSearch agreement. These 31 libraries have added more than 500,000 holdings to the WorldCat. The libraries are now allowed to be lenders in the Interlibrary Loan system.

The NEBASE membership meetings this year will be held in two locations, Chadron on May 24, and Lincoln on September 10. Jay Jordan, President and CEO of OCLC will be the keynote speaker at the NEBASE membership meeting in Lincoln. Mr. Jordan will also be visiting Nebraska on April 8 to meet representatives of OCLC member libraries.


A letter was received from First Lady Diane Nelson thanking the Library Commission for its donation of Jean Sanders's book Notable Nebraskans.

A letter was received from Kate Moore, acting Chief Executive Officer of the Schools and Libraries Corporation, regarding E-rate funding. (Attachment I.) The next round of applications will be just for libraries. There has been a lot of discontent across the country that libraries have not received equal treatment, in comparison to schools, in the processing of e-rate applications. A number of states have not had any libraries notified of funding commitments. At the present time Beatrice Public Library is the only Nebraska library to receive a funding commitment letter. It is a just a matter of time until all the applicant libraries will be notified.


Karen Warner reported that she attended a meeting regarding the regional system contracts at the Library Commission and will plan on attending the next meeting on February 18

Jean Sanders reported that her book Notable Nebraskans will be recorded on tape by the Nebraska Library Commission's Talking Book and Braille Service.

Wally Seiler reported that the new Alliance Public Library is finished but not all the furniture has arrived. The new library is open to the public.

Robert King reported that he has spoken with the new Director of the Holdrege Public Library, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, several times. The new director will be writing a column for the local newspaper concerning library issues.


Personnel Update: Elaine Miller will be leaving her position as Administrative Secretary from the Nebraska Library Commission effective January 29, 1999. The part time position in the Talking and Braille Service has been filled by Diana Dreith. Diana will begin work at the Commission on January 11.

E-Rate Update (telecommunication services library discounts): This item was discussed under item III. Correspondence and Communications.

Meeting with Dr. Bob Grover (Emporia State University): A meeting has been scheduled for February 19, with Dr. Bob Grover, dean of the school of library and information management at Emporia State University (ESU), and Dan Roland, director of off campus programs. The meeting will include discussion of graduate library and information science education needs in Nebraska and Emporia State University's program plans. ESU's second Nebraska based program will finish with graduation ceremonies in August, 1999.

Network Services Report -- Jo Budler: This item was discussed under item II. Public Forum.


Expenditure Financial Reports: The December 1998 Expenditure and Financial Report was received and reviewed by the Commissioners. (Attachment II.)


There was no unfinished business.


State Advisory Council on Libraries Annual Report: The Advisory Council met four times during 1998. The March meeting was a joint meeting with the Commission. Sandra Riley, Columbus, served as the chair of the council. Susan Baird, Gering, will serve as the Council chair in 1999. The council started the year by identifying specific issues they wanted to address during the year. Some issues addressed during 1998 will be continued into 1999. The council adopted several resolutions concerning federal and state programs and policy issues, including the Government (federal) Publications Reform Act, Telecommunications Services Discount program (E-Rate), State Support for Library Services, and Community-Library Advocacy in Nebraska. At the December meeting the council discussed issues to be addressed in 1999. At the March meeting the Council may select issues for priority attention.

1999 Federal and State Legislative Issues: The federal Libraries Services and Technology Act (LSTA), 1999 grant application packets have been mailed. A news release was received from the Institute of Museums and Library Services regarding the federal fund allocations for 1999. (Attachment III.) Other federal legislature issues that will continue this year are copyright legislation, the Government Publications legislation, renewal of efforts to continue funding for LSTA, and continuing issues with the internet and censorship.

Of 153 bills introduced in the Legislature so far this session, at least two are of special interest to the Library Commission. LB 53 was introduced by Senator Brashear to provide a sales and use tax exemption for certain governmental photo copying expenses. The Library Commission received notification several months ago from the State Revenue Department stating that libraries needed to collect sales tax on photocopying. Senator Brashear's bill would exempt the State Law Library from collecting sales tax on photocopies at the Law Library. The Legislature could be asked to add other libraries under the tax collection exemption for photocopies used for library research. Senators Wickersham and Schimek introduced LB 87 to authorize creation of joint public agencies under the Interlocal Cooperation Act.

A meeting has been scheduled with Senator Roger Wehrbein for January 12th to discuss the Commission's budget request. Senator Wehrbein is the chair of the Appropriations Committee. Meetings with the other members of the Appropriations Committee will be scheduled in the near future.

Task Force on Public Library Service Funding: The formation of the task force was initiated as a result of a discussion with the Public Resource Library Group. There has been concern among some library representatives regarding the NebrasKard as part of the Commission's biennium budget request. Some of the library directors have expressed their concern that the card might pose a problem in their effort to receive additional local funding from outside their immediate service areas, such as those working toward county library service arrangements. A task force will be jointly formed by the Library Commission and the Nebraska Library Association to address the current constraints that public libraries have in regard to local funding from municipalities and counties, as well as state, federal, and private funding sources. Also, the task force will address the effects of recent state legislation that set property tax levy and budgets limits. The task force will develop goals, strategies, and recommendations for the Commission to consider and pursue through legislation policy development, or budget initiatives. A number of people have agreed to serve on the task force. Ron Heezen, Omaha; Ann Stephens, Fremont; Ted Smith, Norfolk; Brenda Ealey, Lincoln; Joan Birnie, Broken Bow; Shirley Flack, Scottsbluff and Richard Miller, Lincoln. Two more members will be sought to give additional representation from smaller rural libraries. Additional individuals will be identified to assist the work of the task force. These will be individuals who have special knowledge and expertise helpful in addressing the issues before the task force.

March Meeting Plans (with State Advisory Council on Libraries): A joint meeting of the Library Commission and the State Advisory Council on Libraries will be held on March 11, 12, 1999 at the Country Inn and Suites, 105 Talmadge Street in Kearney. The joint meeting will begin on March 11 at 1:00 p.m. The Commission will have a separate meeting on March 12 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. and then continue with the joint meeting until 12:00 p.m.

Out-of-State Travel Request: It was moved by Wally Seiler and seconded by Jean Sanders to approve the out-of-state travel request for Rod Wagner to attend the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies leadership and business meetings and the American Library Association Midwinter meeting in Philadelphia, PA from January 27 to February 2, 1999. Motion carried on roll call vote: Seiler-aye; Warner-aye; Jussel-absent; King-abstain; Sanders-aye.

Director's Annual Performance Review: It was moved by Jean Sanders and seconded by Wally Seilers to approve a raise for Rod Wagner equivalent to state employee pay policies effective July 1, 1999. Motion carried on roll call vote: Sanders-aye; Seiler-aye; Warner-aye; Jussel-absent; King-abstain.


Chair Karen Warner adjourned the meeting at 11:00 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 - Letter from Kate Moore, acting Chief Executive Officer of the Schools and Libraries Corporation

Attachment II - December Expenditure and Financial Report

Attachment III - A news release received from the Institute of Museums and Library Services

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.