Skip To Talking Book & Braille Service Content Skip Navigation

Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

March 8, 2002


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, March 8, 2002 at 8:00 a.m., at the Grand Island Public Library, Grand Island, 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 8:00 a.m. Members present: Karen Warner, Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Robert King, and Wally Seiler. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Richard Miller and Sally Snyder. Guests present: Steve Fosselman and Kathy Tooker.

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

Approval of the Minutes (January 11, 2002): A motion was made to approve the January 2002 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jussel -aye; Seiler - aye; Rogge - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.


Chair Richard Jussel welcomed Steve Fosselman and Kathy Tooker to the meeting.


Rod Wagner reported that a letter to Rep. Tom Osborne requesting his support for the Museum and Library Services Act was included in the meeting packets. A similar letter was sent to other members of the Nebraska U.S. Congressional delegation. Rod also reported that he received a letter from Marty MaGee. Mary is one of the four recipients of the MLS scholarships awarded by the Nebraska Library Commission. Marty wrote to express her appreciation for the scholarship award. Also, included in the packets is a document from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which lists LSTA state allotments. The document was included to show the amount received by Nebraska in comparison to other states. The LSTA allotments include a base amount for each state of $200,000 and per capita amount.


Richard Jussel stated that he completed several forms for the State Auditors as part of the agency audit process. Richard also reported that libraries in his area are discussing long range plans and needs.

Karen Warner reported that there are several libraries in northeast Nebraska that are planning to build new libraries

Wally Seiler reported that Susie Baird was recently appointed to the Alliance Public Library Board. At the last library board meeting, Wally asked a librarian that if she were dealing with the budget cuts for the Commission what would she do. The librarian stated that she would keep the training offered by the Commission but would cut some of the databases.

Robert King reported that Richard Miller and Rod Wagner recently visited the Holdrege Public Library.


Personnel -

Rod Wagner gave an update on Kathy Dukes, who was injured in a pedestrian/vehicle accident. Kathy continues on medical leave. He also reported that Cathy Hatterman, another staff member, was recently involved in an auto accident and will be on medical leave for a few months.

Biennium Budget

Rod Wagner reported that the Legislature's Appropriations Committee is holding a hearing today regarding budget issues. Nancy Busch will attend the hearing this morning and testify regarding the Commission's budget. In order to avoid further staffing reductions, the Library Commission will need to further reduce other operating expenses: library materials, travel, publications, contractual services, etc. Reductions in state aid assistance will also be necessary, based on the Governor's budget recommendations. The largest budget cuts will be in operations. The Commission's 3% cut (per Governor Johanns's proposal) equals nearly $75,000. The Governor is recommending a cut of $45,396 in state aid funds. These state fund reductions are in addition to the 4% state funds reduction for the current year and 5% for next year that were made during the October 2001 special legislative session.

An issue that has emerged is the Library Commission's maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement for receiving federal LSTA funds. The Governor's proposed budget reductions would result in expenditures falling below the MOE for FY 2003. Commission staff has been researching the LSTA provisions to determine the potential federal fund loss should Nebraska fail to meet the MOE requirement. Contacts have been made with the Institute of Museum and Library Services regarding calculation of federal fund reductions in regard to the MOE.

The Library Commission was awarded a grant from the State Records Board to purchase laptop computers and equipment for wireless Internet to be used for mobile training.

State Legislative Issues

- There are two specific library related legislative bills before the Legislature this session. The first bill would allow for general obligation bonds for purchase of public library technology and the other bill would allow regional library system staff to participate in the state employee health insurance program. Neither is a priority bill, and thus the chance is slim that they will be acted upon this session


January and February Budget and Expenditures - The February report reflects budget reductions per the 2001 special legislative session.

Audit - A copy of the audit report was mailed earlier. There were three specific issues noted in the report. The first was in regard to $13 owed by a former employee who had a negative sick leave balance when she resigned and left the Commission staff. The second item was in regard to the Talking Book and Braille Service trust fund. The auditors recommended that the Commission use trust funds before using state funds for purchase of equipment. The third item concerned LSTA grant projects and that some projects had not received on-site visits. All of these issues have been addressed by staff. In regard to the LSTA grant projects, Rod Wagner noted that with the five year LSTA evaluation project, all Nebraska libraries will be visited by the end of May 2002. Libraries that have received federal LSTA grant project funds have a set of questions concerning the outcomes of those projects.


There was no unfinished business to report.


Out-of-state Travel

Rod Wagner requested approval to attend the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies meeting in Washington D.C. and National Library Legislative Day, May 4-8, 2002. A motion was made to approve Rod's travel request. Motion carried on a roll call vote: Rogge - aye; King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; and Warner - aye.

Rod Wagner asked if any Commissioners would like to attend the National Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C., May 6-7, 2002. Commissioners Rogge and Jussel expressed their desire to attend. A motion was made to approve travel for both Commissioner Rogge and Jussel. Motion carried on roll call vote: King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Warner - aye; and Rogge - aye.


The next Library Commission meeting will be held May 10, 2002 at the Nebraska Library Commission. Rod Wagner thanked Steve Fosselman for hosting the Commission and State Advisory meetings at the library. The Commission meeting was adjourned at 9:00 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.