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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
May 10, 2002

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, May 10, 2002 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 Richard Jussel called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Robert King, Velma Sims-Shipley and Wally Seiler. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch and Jacqueline Crocker.

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

Approval of the Minutes (March 8, 2002):  A motion was made to approve the March 2002 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: King - aye, Seiler - aye, Jussel -aye; Sims-Shipley - aye; and Rogge - aye. Motion approved.


No public participation


Rod Wagner reported that he had received a letter from Congressman Bereuter concerning the reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Act. Rod also reported that he included a letter in the packet of meeting materials from Francis Buckley, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, concerning removal of some information from Federal GPO depository libraries.  These actions have occurred following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


Chair Jussel reported that he decided not to attend the National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C.  Richard Jussel also commended Commission staff for their work in dealing with the budget situation.

Richard Jussel also commented on a remark attributed to a Nebraska state official with responsibility for technology planning and policy that in the future there would be no need for libraries because information is available via the Internet. 

Kristen Rogge reported that she attended the National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. and felt it was better then the one she attended two years ago.  

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that the Fremont Friends of the Library recently held their annual book sale and raised $9,000.  

Wally Seiler reported that he is the Republican county chairman for his county and recently had the opportunity to visit with a member of Governor Johanns' s staff. After the recent budget ordeal, Wally contacted the Governor' s office and received calls from two people.  Wally recently presented a brown bag luncheon presentation at the Alliance Public Library.  Wally also reported that his term on the Alliance Library Board will end in June.

Robert King reported that the microfiche resources at the Holdrege Public Library are useful.  Robert stated the he goes to the library every Thursday to do research and has noticed that there are many children who use the library services.


Rod Wagner reported that he was surprised when he learned that Governor Johanns had vetoed half of the state funds in the Commission' s library aid program.   This was unexpected because the Governor' s earlier budget reduction proposals had not included a state funds reduction for the Commission beyond the 3 percent reduction proposed for most state agencies.  The Legislature' s appropriations committee included restoration of these funds in its recommendations for veto overrides.  The outcome was that the vetoed funds were restored.    

Personnel - Cathy Hatterman has returned to work after her medical leave.  Kathy Dukes, who has also been off on medical leave is expected to return to work in June. Jennifer Wrampe has returned from family leave.  

National Library Legislative Day - Rod Wagner reported that he and Commissioner Rogge attended the event. There were eight people from Nebraska who participated in Legislative Day.  Monday, May 6, was a full day of briefings on legislative and policy issues. Legislative Day participants visited Congressional offices on Tuesday, May 7, to provide information concerning federal library related legislation and policies.   Rod stated that the most important issue at this time is the reauthorization of the Library Services and Technology Act which will expire on September 30, 2002.  Reauthorization legislation must be completed before that date.

The legislation has bipartisan support and has broad based support from the library community.  A significant change is an increase in the base allotment for each state.  This is a provision most helpful to smaller populated states. 

Gates Foundation Initiative - Rod Wagner reported that the Gates Foundation Library program is going very well. Working with regional library system administrators, Richard Miller and Pam Scott conducted workshops across the state on how to complete the Gates Foundation application. Many of the libraries who were eligible have applied, and those not eligible for free computers could apply to purchase the computer and software packages or could appeal to be reconsidered for free equipment and software. A conference call with the Gates Foundation will be held in early June to review the status of applications.  Many libraries have apparently applied for grants.  

NebrasKard Project Update - Rod Wagner reported that a meeting with the advisory committee will be arranged soon. A survey is being developed to send to the participating libraries asking for their experiences with the NebrasKard, how many have been issued, and what kind of publicity and promotion libraries have conducted.  

Nebraska Center for the Book - Rod Wagner reported that the 2nd National Book Festival will be held in October. Last years event was reported as successful.  This year, efforts are being made for greater involvement of states.  The Nebraska Book Festival will be held September 13 & 14 in Grand Island.   

Rod Wagner stated that several months ago he mentioned a project that was initiated by the State Department of Administrative Services to seek a prime contractor to provide a variety of telecommunication services for various government entities.  The DAS Communications Division issued an RFP but the responses were not in line with what was sought.  As a result, the Nebraska Information Technology Commission initiated creation of a task force to develop recommendations for securing telecommunication services on a statewide basis and to include state and local governments, education, libraries, and health care.  Ted Smith, Director of the Norfolk Public Library, is a member of the task force and has asked for a meeting with library representatives and Tom Rolfes, from the Chief Information Officer' s office. This meeting is schedule for May 31. The group will discuss library needs for telecommunication services.


Rod Wagner reported that the April and May reports were included in the mailing. These reports reflect the budget changes made by the legislature. The FY 2003 budget will be adjusted to reflect the additional 3% state funds reduction. Nancy Busch stated that we the Commission will need to submit a deficit request for the 2003 legislative session in order to meet the state maintenance of effort requirement for Library Services and Technology Act funds. 


There was no unfinished business to report.


LSTA Five Year Plan Evaluation - Rod Wagner stated that the credit for leadership of this project and report goes to Nancy Busch. The report provides information, ideas and observations from the library visits and work that has been completed over the last year. Nancy reported that the report is on the Commission' s web site. Mary Jo Ryan will be writing a press release to announce that the report is available on the web.  

Long Range Plan & Biennium Budget Planning Process - Nancy Busch distributed handouts that listed a timeline of activities that need to happen in the next several months in order to generate the five year plan and biennium budget request. Rod Wagner stated that the July Commission meeting will be an important one for discussion of the evaluation report of the five year plan and the biennium budget proposal. The September meeting will need to be moved up to the first Friday in order to have the budget proposal submitted by the September 15 deadline date. It was agreed that September 6 will be the best date for the 2002 September Commission meeting. Nancy Busch stated that it will be necessary to use the June 21st State Advisory Council meeting as a way for others to give input on development of the long range plan.  

Nebraska Library Commission LSTA Grant Awards - Rod Wagner stated that a printed list of the project grants that have been awarded was included in the meeting packet.   

FY 2002-2003 Grant Program Schedule - Rod Wagner distributed a tentative schedule of the 2002-2003 Commission Grants schedule.  

Out-of-State Travel - Rod Wagner requested approval to attend the summer COSLA meeting and ALA annual conference to be held in Atlanta June 14 - 18. A motion was made to approve Rod' s travel request. Motion carried on a roll call vote: Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Sims-Shipley - aye; Rogge - aye; and King - aye. Motion approved.


The next Commission meeting will be held July 12, 2002, at the Nebraska Library Commission. The State Advisory Council meeting will be held June 21, 2002, location to be announced. The Commission meeting was adjourned at 11:00 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.