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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
May 11, 2001

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, May 11, 2001 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 Wally Seiler called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Karen Warner, Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Velma Sims, Wally Seiler, and Robert King. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, and Nancy Busch.

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

Approval of the Minutes (March 23, 2001): Karen Warner asked that the minutes be corrected to indicate that the contribution from Johnny Carson to the Norfolk Public Library Foundation was $500,000, not $50,000. A motion was made to approve the March 2001 minutes, with correction. Motion carried on roll call votes: Rogge - aye; King - aye; Seiler -aye; Jussel -aye; Sims - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.


There were no public representatives present.


There was no correspondence to report.


Chair Wally Seiler reported that he attended National Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C. with Rod Wagner, Brenda Ealey and Joan Birnie. Wally stated that it was a great experience to participate in Legislative Day activities. Wally stated that they had the opportunity to meet with staff from each of the Nebraska Congressional delegation offices. Wally also mentioned that he recently attended a brown bag session at the Alliance Public Library and discussed the book The Trial of Standing Bear.

Karen Warner reported that while in Broken Bow she spoke to Joan Birnie who stated that she had enjoyed her trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the Center for the Book annual idea exchange and Library Legislative Day Congressional office visits. Karen stated that she recently visited the Gothenburg and Cozad libraries and was very impressed by them.

Robert King reported that the Holdrege Friends of the Library held a book sale and raised $691 during the two and a half day event. The Holdrege Library is preparing for its Summer Reading Program and has developed a children's web page.

Richard Jussel reported that central Nebraska libraries recently helped Oconto refurbish their library, which was destroyed by a tornado. The libraries helped with the clean-up and donated books. Kearney is planning a future addition to the public library.

Velma Sims reported that the Fremont Friends of the Library recently held their book sale and raised over $7,000. They recently held an event to celebrate the Fremont Public Library's centennial year. Fremont is attempting to find ways to help the people who live outside city limits use the library.

Kristen Rogge reported that she attended the recent Southeast Library System Board meeting. Kristen reported that there was some discussion concerning the interlibrary loan service changes. Kristen also reported that she recently visited the Kearney Public Library and Technology Center.



Shannon White was recently hired as the new Network Services Director. Shannon will begin her duties June 12.

The recent appointment of Pam Scott to the Continuing Education Coordinator position leaves open the library consultant position that Pam previously occupied. Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, and Richard Miller will be reviewing the position description before advertising the vacancy for recruitment.

A study of a selected group of State Personnel System job classifications will result in some changes on the Library Commission staff. However, it is not expected that these changes will have a significant effect on the Commission's salary budget.

Biennium Budget and State Legislation

The Legislature has approved state agency appropriations for the next biennium. Governor Johanns will be reviewing appropriations and will announce his veto decisions. Nancy Busch distributed a document outlining the Nebraska Library Commission budget. It was noted that Senator Nancy Thompson, in particular, had promoted a state funds increase in the Library Commission's budget.

Karen Warner suggested a letter from the Commissioners be sent to Senator Thompson thanking her for her support.

National Library Legislative Day

Rod Wagner, Wally Seiler, Brenda Ealey, and Joan Birnie attended the National Library Legislative Day briefings, a reception held at the Library of Congress, attended the Nebraska Congressional Delegation Tuesday morning breakfast, and then visited each of Nebraska's Congressional offices. Rod stated that the visits are a good opportunity to meet in person Congressional staff who have responsibility for library and education related issues as part of their staff responsibilities. This tends to be helpful when legislation comes up and contacts need to be made on these legislative issues. The visits are also a good opportunity to brief Congressional staff on the issues that Nebraska libraries have the greatest concern.

Library Services and Technology Act Reauthorization and Appropriation

the strategy and effort this year will be achieving a significant increase in the federal funding level for the LSTA. When reauthorization legislation is introduced a change in the funding formula will be sought that will increase the base level. The proposed change will benefit the smaller states, like Nebraska, and still assure that larger states do not lose funds. The intent is to seek funding levels that will benefit all states. Under the current formula, funding increases tend not to benefit smaller states because the bulk of the funding goes to the larger populated states.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization

This legislation would increase funding for school library media services with funding available for purchase of books, electronic resources, and training for school librarians.

Children Internet Protection Act

The Federal Communications Commission has issued regulations requiring that public libraries and schools applying for e-rate funds adopt Internet safety policies and install filtering technology.


Pam Scott and regional library system administrators have helped many libraries with e-rate questions and applications. Their efforts have helped to raise the number of libraries participating in the e-rate program.

Making A Difference

Library Commission staff members have begun visiting public libraries across Nebraska to see how LSTA grants have and are being used and to gather information for a new Nebraska long-range plan. Five visits have been completed thus far, with many more to come during the next year. Nancy Busch distributed documents containing information on the Making A Difference project.

Children's Service Grants

Grant applications are due May 25, 2001.

Service Learning Project

Richard Miller, Mary Jackson, and Sally Snyder are working with Julie Allen from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln on this project. They are holding a meeting today at the UNL East Campus. The project is intended to enlist the help of college students in public library children and youth activities.

IMLS National Leadership Grants

Nancy Busch and Beth Goble have participated in the development of a National Leadership Grant application for a multi-state digitization project that will be based on "trails" related information resources. This particular subject was selected as a representative common topic of several sates bordering Colorado. The project proposal builds upon a current IMLS funded project.

Rod Wagner reported that he was asked to serve on a panel to review and make recommendations on IMLS National Leadership Grant applications within the education and training category. Rod participated on this panel last year as well.

On-line Database Licensing and Electronic Publications

Library Commission staff members are working with about twelve vendors to arrange subscriptions for on-line database services, including new orders and renewals. Commission staff provide an intermediary service to seek discounted pricing and coordination of order processing.

Nebraska Center for the Book

The Nebraska Center for the Book Literature Festival will be hosted by Peru State College in Nebraska Center. This will be the 2nd Nebraska Book Award contest.

NEBASE Meeting

A NEBASE meeting was to be held May 4, 2001 in Gering. However, the meeting was cancelled due to the small number registrations, and an even smaller number of libraries. A workshop is now being planned for July that will cover OCLC interlibrary loan services and other OCLC issues. One factor in the low number of reservations was likely the scheduling of the Nebraska Library Association public library section meeting in Gering earlier in the same week. Even though that meeting was scheduled and arranged after the NEBASE meeting, it tends to draw a good number of people and many of the same people who would also attend the NEBASE meeting. It is very difficult for library personnel to take time for attending meetings away from their hometowns, and even more difficult to attend two away from home meetings in the same week.

State Advisory Council on Libraries Meeting

The next SACL meeting will be held June 1, 2001 at the new Game and Parks Visitor Center, in Ogallala. Kathy Lute has made meeting and other arrangements for Council members and Library Commission representatives while in Ogallala. Commissioners Wally Seiler, Karen Warner, Kristen Rogge, and Richard Jussel indicated their plans to attend.


Nebraska will join many other states in using Bibliostat services for collection and use of public library data. Bibliostat compiles, in electronic form, statistics collected from the nation's public libraries. The data will be available to Nebraska libraries online and will allow them to make a variety of statistical comparisons helpful to their service planning. Nebraska's use of Bibliostat will provide for both collection of statistics and use of the database of collected data.


Reports for March and April were included in meeting packets.



Rod reported that the NebrasKard is near ready for implementation. Ted Smith and Richard Miller attended the NLA Spring meetings to present the plans for NebrasKard implementation. Other NebrasKard advisory committee members also participated in the meetings. Some participation agreements have been returned to the Commission, even though the agreements were distributed for information. A mailing is planned by July 1 to announce implementation and to provide libraries with the information needed to participate. Commissioners Karen Warner and Wally Seiler asked that they receive a packet when mailed. It was agreed to be sure that Commission members be included in the NebrasKard mailing to libraries.


Regional Library Systems Contracts for 2001-2003

Finalization of the system contracts awaits action by the Governor and Legislature on the state biennium budget. Nancy Busch stated that the systems will lose the funding for ILL, but at least half will be replaced for assistance of the regional library system administrators in supporting the Bibliostat project.


The next Commission meeting will be held July 13, 2001


The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m. (CST).

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.