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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
May 9, 2003

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, May 9, 2003 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 9:28 a.m. Members present: Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Robert King, Wally Seiler, Velma Sims-Shipley; and Karen Warner. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch and Maria Medrano-Nehls.  

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

Approval of the Minutes (March 14, 2003):  A motion was made to approve the March 2003 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Sims-Shipley -aye; Rogge - aye; Jussel- aye; Seiler - aye; King; and Warner - aye. Motion approved. 

Correspondence and Communication 

Rod Wagner reported that letters had been sent to Nebraska' s Congressional delegation concerning LSTA reauthorization legislation. Letters to Senators Hagel and Nelson asked them to sign on as co-sponsors of the Senate LSTA reauthorization bill (S. 888).  

 Chairs Report and Commissioners' Comments    

Chair Jussel reported that Kearney is planning an addition to the public library facility.   

Karen Warner noted Pierce' s new public library facility. 

Kristen Rogge reported that Brownville recently held a two-day book festival.  During the festival, Brownville was named an international book town. Each establishment in Brownville houses books in reference to their business. A large bookstore is being planned in Brownsville.  

Wally Seiler reported that he recently met with representatives of the Chadron Library Foundation and Friends group to discuss their desire to add on to their current library building.   

Wally talked with the Chadron library representatives about Alliance' s experience building their new library. Wally encouraged them to dream big.  Alliance public library recently held a successful evening program.  Next year, the Alliance public library will hold some programs in the evening as well as during the lunch hour.  

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that the Omaha public library has narrowed its selection down to four final candidates for the Director position. Fremont recently held a book-sale that netted close to $10,000. Seventy-five students from two high schools volunteered their time to the project.  The success of this project is largely due to a group of women who meet each Saturday, all year, to sort books. The Fremont public library is gearing up for the summer reading program. 

Robert King reported that Holdrege Library Director, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, is asking for a budget increase of 3% from the city and 9% from the county. The budget increase is needed to cover the 20% health insurance increase for library employees. Jeff Gilderson-Duwe is redesigning the library webpage. The three Internet computers at the Holdrege public library are in constant use. A recent news article stated that the Hastings library has 25,000 books sitting in the basement which are not accessible to the public. Hastings public library is observing its 100th birthday anniversary this year.

Director' s Report 

Rod Wagner reported that a grand opening and re-dedication ceremony will be held for the Blue Hill Public Library on May 24.  

Rod noted the public library statistics summary distributed prior to the meeting.  

Recruitment and Education Grant Application - Rod reported that the Nebraska Library Commission submitted an application for funding available from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for library workforce recruitment and education. The application seeks funding for a 3 year project. The money would be used for marketing, including production of a movie trailer which could be played at movie theaters throughout Nebraska. The second part of the project is financial aid for students participating in library science courses (pre-professional and professional). The third part addresses library employment by providing incentives for employers and students. Wally Seiler stated that each year high school students in Western Nebraska have a scholastic contest and one of the areas is library science. This might be an area that the NLC should focus on for student recruitment. Local librarians might work with these students to prepare them for the contest as well as work on recruitment. The IMLS is expected to announce grant funding decisions in October.   

Nebraska Virtual Library Project - Rod reported that the Nebraska virtual library project is included in the NLC' s long range plan.  Shannon Behrhorst is organizing a task force to assist in planning the Nebraska virtual library.   This project is intended to develop an online library that would offer simplified and better organized access to the Library Commission' s and other online information resources.  The virtual library would also simplify online access to Nebraska library online catalogs.  The virtual library would also include new content resulting from digitization projects.   

State Budget Status - Rod noted that state senators are in their final weeks of the session. Senators will begin debating tax legislation next week.  Revenue legislation must be decided along with appropriation bills to arrive at a balanced budget. The legislative session is scheduled to end on June 2.  The appropriations committee added back $89,000 to the Library Commission' s budget for Talking Book and Braille audio production services.  Nebraska is among many states facing budget problems.   

National Library Legislative Day - Velma Sims-Shipley, Robert King, and Rod Wagner will represent the Nebraska Library Commission at the 2003 National Library Legislative Day.  Kathy Tooker and Brenda Ealey will represent the Nebraska Library Association and Gail Formanack will represent the Nebraska Educational Media Association.  Chuck Peek, vice-president of the Nebraska Center for the Book will also be in Washington to attend the Library of Congress Center for the Book annual Idea Exchange.  Dr. Peek will join the library representatives for visits to Nebraska Congressional delegation offices on Legislative Day.   

Library Services and Technology Act Reauthorization - Rep. Osborne and Rep. Bereuter are among co-sponsors of the House bill reauthorizing the Library Services and Technology Act (H. 13).  All three Nebraska representatives voted for the reauthorization bill.  Senators Hagel and Nelson have been asked to support the LSTA reauthorization and to sign on as co-sponsors of the legislation.  Both the House and Senate reauthorization bills include the provision increasing each state' s base LSTA fund allotment.   

Reference and Interlibrary Loan Services - Rod noted Lisa Kelly' s report regarding interlibrary loan service, included in the meeting packets.  The NLC' s reference and interlibrary loan staff members have passed their busiest time of the year, which comes in the middle of the school semester.  

Western Council of State Libraries Meetings - Rod reported that this meeting was held in Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas. Henderson is among the fastest growing urban communities in the United States.  The Western Council meeting was held at one of the areas newest public library buildings.  Rapid population growth has contributed to the need for additional libraries.  The Council discussed the status of the IMLS grant application for a western states library science educational program.  The meeting also included a tour of the new University of Nevada - Las Vegas library, funded in part by the Lied Foundation.  The library features a large "commons" area for student research, open space and natural light, and a unique storage system that allows automated placement and retrieval of books. 

During the roundtable reports most state representatives noted they were struggling with budget issues.  Budget problems haven' t been as severe in Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.   

Financial Report 

March and April Budget Reports - Financial reports were included in the meeting packets.  

Unfinished Business 

There was no unfinished business. 

New Business 

2003 Meeting Schedule - A motion was made to set July 11 as the next meeting date. Motion carried on a roll call vote: King, aye; Seiler, aye; Jussel, aye; Sims-Shipley, aye; Warner, aye; and Rogge, aye. Motion approved. 

Out-of-State Travel Request - Rod Wagner requested approval for out-of-state travel to attend the ALA Annual meeting, June 19-23 in Toronto and to attend the COSLA meeting, June 22 in Toronto. Motion was made to approve the Director' s out-of-state travel request. Motion carried on roll call vote: Seiler, aye; Jussel, aye; Sims-Shipley, aye; Warner, aye; Rogge, aye; and King, aye. Motion approved. 

Commissioner Recognition - Karen Warner and Robert King were recognized for their service as members of the Nebraska Library Commission, both serving two complete terms.  Karen also served the remainder of an uncompleted term of a prior Commission member.  Karen Warner and Robert King were recognized with a plaque, Certificate of Appreciation, and Admiralship in the Nebraska Navy.  Commission members joined in thanking Karen and Bob for their contributions to the Commission and to Nebraska library services. 


The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 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.