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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

March 12, 2004


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, March 12, 2004, beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Omaha Public Library Millard Branch. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Homepage.

Chair Kristen Rogge called the meeting to order at 8:40 a.m. Members present: Richard Jussel, Mary Nelson, Kristen Rogge, and Wally Seiler. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Kit Keller, Sally Snyder and Richard Miller. Guests: Pat Gross, Gering High School; Jim Bothmer, Creighton University; John Seyfarth, Sump Memorial Library; and Theresa Jehlik, Omaha Public Library

Approval of Agenda:

A motion was made to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Richard Jussel - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye and Wally Seiler - aye. Motion approved.

Approval of the Minutes (January 23, 2004):

A motion was made to approve the January 2004 meeting minutes. Richard Jussel requested a correction to state that he did not vote at the January meeting as he was not present. Motion carried on roll call vote: Richard Jussel - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye; Wally Seiler - aye; and Mary Nelson - aye. Motion approved.

Correspondence and Communication

Rod Wagner stated that a copy of Chair Kris Rogge's letter to Senator Wehrbein regarding the state budget was included in meeting packets.

Chair's Report and Commissioners' Comments

Kris Rogge stated that Carol Connor, Director of Lincoln City Libraries, offered the use of some or all of the books used for the One Book - One Lincoln project. The second annual Brownville book festival is April 23. All the authors who attended last year will attend again this year.

Wally Seiler stated that he attended Nebraska Legislative Day and thought it was a success.

Richard Jussel stated that Kearney public library is attempting to buy the whole block it sits on in order to expand. Kearney hopes to begin the project by 2006.

Director's Report

Rod Wagner stated that he recently attended the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) annual Web-Wise conference and said that the conference was excellent. Dr. Robert Martin, IMLS Director, said the conference is the best thing IMLS does apart from the grant funds that it distributes. The conference showcased many of the digital grant projects IMLS has supported with National Leadership Grant funds. Conference proceedings and presentations will be available later.

Nebraska Virtual Library Project - Rod Wagner stated that NebraskAcess was made available to the public in January. The Commission is encouraging librarians and media specialists to promote NebraskAccess. A press release and other items are available for promotional use. Shannon Behrhorst and her staff will promote NebraskAccess at their Roadshow 2004 presentations across Nebraska.

Nebraska Legislative Day - Rod Wagner stated that Nebraska Library Legislative Day was well attended and many good things were said about the event. The NLA Legislative Committee and officers did their usual good job organizing and hosting the event. The Legislative Day youth recognition activity is a great way for senators and participants to recognize and meet youth from their area. Wally Seiler gave an excellent presentation on mentoring during the Legislative Day luncheon program. Mike Nolan, Norfolk City Administrator, gave an afternoon presentation on leadership.

National Legislative Day - Rod Wagner stated that National Library Legislative Day activities will be held May 3 & 4 in Washington D.C. Three Library Commission members along with Nebraska Library Association and Nebraska Educational Media Association representatives will participate this year.

Western Council of State Libraries Meetings - Rod Wagner reported that he attended the Western Council of State Libraries meeting in Seattle in early February. The main agenda item was the Western Council's National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum of Library Services. The project is funded for three years and involves development and coordination of educational programs for library practitioners in the western states' region. The meeting also included reports from the member state libraries. A common theme among the states is the continuing budget cutting of recent years.

Urban Libraries Council Program - Funding Public Libraries: Understanding Public Revenue Sources & Structure Choices - Rod Wagner reported that state library agency directors were invited to a public finance seminar. The seminar was held in Seattle following the Western Council meeting and preceding the Public Library Association Conference. The seminar was led by the City of Seattle's Chief Financial Officer.

Financial Report

LSTA Appropriations - The FY 2004 LSTA appropriation has been approved. The appropriation was made at a level sufficient to partially implement the increase in the base allotment for state library agencies. If LSTA is funded at the level recommended by President Bust for FY 2005, the full base allotment will be implemented. This would result in a further increase in Nebraska's allotment.

February Financial Report - Rod Wagner noted the financial reports included in meeting packets. Rod stated that the Commission's budget is within major budget categories for this period of the fiscal year.

Budget Status - Rod Wagner reported that the appropriations committee is likely to recommend to the full legislature that most state agencies receive a 1% state budget cut instead of the 2.5% reduction recommended by Governor Johanns in January and that state aid funds be reduced by .5% budget instead of 1% as recommended by the Governor.

2005-2007 Biennium Budget - Rod Wagner reported that this is the year state agencies must prepare and submit budget requests for the next biennium. Budget requests are due on September 15. The 2005 - 2007 biennium budget will be an agenda item for the May - September Commission meetings.

Unfinished Business

Public Library Accreditation Review Project Update - Kit Keller reported that there were no changes in the public library guidelines draft document since October but she continues to collect input. Kit has attended board meetings in all of the regional library systems to discuss the guidelines and receive comments. She attended the Nebraska Library Association Public Library Section spring meetings in 2003, and has attended meetings of the Public Resource Library Group. She will continue to attend meetings to collect input. The next public library accreditation round begins in July. Staff will request approval of revised guidelines at the May meeting.

State aid - Kit Keller reported that this is the 30 year anniversary of Nebraska state aid to public libraries. This year, 168 libraries qualified for state aid, with average per capita payment being $.77. These state funds can make a significant difference. They are intended to supplement local library operating budgets, providing funds for special purposes or needs that can't be met with local funds alone.

New Business

Out-of-State Travel Request - Rod Wagner requested approval to attend the COSLA spring meeting and National Library Legislative Day activities in Washington D.C. in May. A motion was made and seconded to approve the Director's travel request. Motion carried on roll call vote: Wally Seiler, aye; Mary Nelson, aye; Richard Jussel, aye and Kristen Rogge, aye. Motion approved.

A motion was made and seconded to approve travel expenses for Commissioners Nelson, Rogge and Sims-Shipley to attend National Library Legislative Day activities in Washington, D.C., in May. Motion carried on a roll call vote: Richard Jussel, aye; Mary Nelson, aye; Kristen Rogge, aye and Wally Seiler, aye. Motion approved.


Chair Rogge adjourned the meeting at 9:30 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.