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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
March 12, 1999

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, March 12, 1999, at 8:00 a.m. at the Comfort Inn and Suites, 105 Talmadge Street, Kearney, NE. 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 8:05 a.m. Members present: Karen Warner, Richard Jussel, Jean Sanders and Wally Seiler. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Richard Miller, and Sally Snyder. Guests: State Advisory Council on Libraries members.

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

Approval of the Minutes of the January meeting: A motion was made to approve the January minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Warner - aye; King - absent; Jussel - aye; Sanders - aye; Seiler - aye.


Chair Karen Warner welcomed members of the State Advisory Council on Libraries to the meeting.


A copy of a letter was received from Senator LaVon Crosby thanking the Nebraska Library Association for giving her the Library Champion Award. Senator Crosby was recognized for her support of libraries, and in particular her support for additional state aid funds to support Nebraska library services.

A copy of a letter written by Donna Peterson, Director of Lincoln Public Schools, Library Media Services, to the Legislature's Appropriation Committee to support the Library Commissions budget request was received and noted.

A message was received from Pam Scott, Panhandle Library System Administrator, stating that during a discussion with a Panhandle area library media specialist a comment was made that [she] was very fortunate to have a state library that works hard for librarians in the state.


Karen Warner reported that she attended the Nebraska Library Legislative Day activities in Lincoln on February 17. Karen observed that the event was a successful day with 27 senators attending the noon luncheon. Karen also noted a very informative afternoon program on relationships with local government officials. Karen indicated that she also sent a letter of congratulations to Senator Crosby.

On a personal note, Jean Sanders reported that she would be doing a book signing in Grand Island. Jean also reported that she helped deliver cards (14 reasons) to the Senators on behalf of the Nebraska Library Association.

Wally Seiler reported that a television program production crew featured Alliance and the community's approach to economic development. The program was designed to let people see what towns who decide to do things for themselves can accomplish, the Alliance library project was featured.

Richard Jussel expressed appreciation to the Council and Commission for holding the March joint meeting in Kearney.


Commission Budget Hearing: The Commission came up for its biennium budget hearing on March 2. Rod reported that in addition to his testimony, Jeanne Saathoff and Brenda Ealey testified in support of the Commission's budget request. Jeanne and Brenda testified on behalf of the Nebraska Library Association. An issue specific to the Library Commission's operating budget request was the $50,000 requested to replace the DataTrek library automation software. Governor Johanns recommended funding for the automation software. However, the appropriations committee did not include funds in their preliminary budget recommendations.

Nebraska Legislative Day: The Nebraska Library Association's Library Legislative Day went very well, and was well attended.

Contract Discussions: Contract discussions are continuing with the regional library systems. The next contract committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 16th.

The Nebraska Development Network: The NDN gave its annual Public Service Award to the Library Commission. The Commission was one of several organizations receiving recognition at the Network's annual meeting banquet on March 1. Governor Johanns was the banquet keynote speaker.

Status of Commissioner Vacancy: Rod Wagner reported that several individuals have been contacted concerning their interest in the Commission vacancy from the eastern regional area. It is likely that an appointment will be made within the next couple of weeks.

OCLC: Jay Jordan, the OCLC President and Chief Executive Officer, will be coming to Lincoln on April 8. There will be a reception and dinner that evening. Mr. Jordan will speak about OCLC and his vision for OCLC's future.

CatExpress: A number of Nebraska libraries have been participating in a project to evaluate a new product called CatExpress. CatExpress is a new web-based cataloging service designed for small libraries. OCLC has determined, based on the success of the product evaluation, that CatExpress will be offered for availability to eligible libraries beginning July 1, 1999. It appears that most of the Nebraska libraries which have participated in the evaluation will continue to use it after July 1. The Commission will provide initial funding support for these libraries with the expectation that these libraries will continue to use the product and budget for it after the first year.

The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services invited a small group of individuals to a meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 5 to participate in a focus group discussion on the LSTA national leadership grants for continuing education and training. Rod Wagner was one of the individuals invited to participate. The Institute has approximately $4 million dollars to make available nationally for competitive grants in the area of research and demonstration projects, and training and educational projects.


There was no discussion regarding the financial reports.


There was no unfinished business.


Rod Wagner asked that his travel request be approved to attend the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies meetings and National Library Legislative Day event in Washington, D.C., from May 1 - 4, 1999. A motion was made to approve the travel request. Motion carried to roll call vote: Warner - aye; King - absent; Jussel - aye; Sanders - aye; Seiler - aye.


Chair Karen Warner adjourned the meeting at 8:45 a.m.

Maria Medrano-Nehls, Secretary

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.